F1 is consistently increasing the number of races, which means that staff spends more and more time traveling, and teams spend a fortune on hotels and flights. Logistics is increasingly becoming a nightmare for teams and some are starting to talk about it.
Lukasz Kuczera02 February 2023, 11:32
Press materials/ Alfa Romeo/ Pictured: Alfa Romeo car on the F1 grid Growth in popularity Formula 1 makes Americans from Liberty Media would like to organize up to 30 races in a season. This would mean driving from March to December almost without a break. However, this idea is opposed by F1 team bosses, who are aware that with the expansion of the calendar they will be left without employees. Some of the staff will resign from working in the paddock due to the constant separation from their families.
While F1 fans focus on duels Max Verstappen with Lewis Hamilton or Charles Leclerc, they would not be possible if not for the hard work of the core staff. The expansion of the calendar makes logistics more and more difficult, with workers hired to pack, dismantle and assemble equipment earning only a few thousand dollars a month.
F1 teams are increasingly complaining about how there is a schedule. The May race in Miami is preceded by a round in Azerbaijan, and after returning from Florida, the Grand Prix takes place in the Italian city of Imola. In June, the teams fly to Canada for one race, which was “squeezed” between the competitions in Spain and Austria.
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Organizing a flight to Canada during the European part of the season costs about $1 million for the team. With budgets of USD 140 million, approx. 15 percent. of this amount is spent on travel alone (approximately $21 million). The war in Ukraine has led to an increase in air travel prices, so in this respect, the 2023 season could be even worse. traveled the shortest possible distances. The implementation of this plan is not going well for them, which is clearly evidenced by the map below. Where do the problems come from? This is partly due to the fact that some promoters have secured the hosting of a Grand Prix in a particular month or season in their contracts.
It might seem that two weeks break between races this is good news for the F1 teams. Not necessarily. The “scattering” of events around the world means that often the equipment has to return to factories in Europe for a few days. This means further costs related to transport, unpacking and subsequent loading of the goods. In the 2023 season, excluding the return to their headquarters, teams will cover a record 133,000. km.
This makes inflation and the increase in fuel prices a nightmare for team leaders. “We agreed to limit spending in F1 in mid-2020 while the coronavirus pandemic was raging around the world. No one could have foreseen the current situation, the increase in energy and fuel prices. This is a serious issue – pointed out a few months ago Christian Horner , boss of Red Bull Racing , demanding an increase in the budget ceiling available to the teams.
When fans become … a problem
The increase in popularity of F1 has resulted in many venues recording record ticket sales. It turns out that this is quite an unusual problem for teams. The hotel infrastructure in cities located near the tracks is not developing so fast, so hoteliers are raising prices. Same goes for air tickets.
– Austin, US GP venue, is fully booked for 2023. We wanted to book ten extra rooms at our hotel, but it turned out that there are no it’s a chance. Everything is already booked. We also have an issue with the return flight from Melbourne. Even before the Australian GP date was announced, all post-race flights were fully booked. If there is a free spot, you have to pay several times more for it – he told “Blick” Beat Zehnder, manager of Alfa Romeo
How are F1 logistics?
Racing equipment is delivered in three ways. 240 heaps of goods are shipped by cargo ships, 30 lots are shipped by planes and the rest are transported by trucks – this is mainly for the European part of the season.
While a racing weekend starts with Friday practice and ends with during the race, part of the infrastructure is set aside for transport during the race. It happens that the Grand Prix does not come to an end, and some of the goods are already on their way to the next round of F1. On Sunday, a few hours after the race, the paddock on the track ceases to exist.
All F1 logistics for the next season must be planned by December at the latest – this includes booking hotels, air tickets and transport. Therefore, any changes to the calendar, which was the norm in the 2020-2021 seasons due to the coronavirus pandemic, are a nightmare for the teams.
Plenty of people pass through the F1 paddock
Teams they employ no more than 60 people to service cars, but chefs, trainers, spokespersons and representatives of the marketing department also fly to the races. This gives 80 to 100 employees.
Ships ship, among others: office equipment, tables, chairs that are necessary for employees in the pit lane and paddock. The most important cargo goes to the planes. Each team has three sets of the most urgent items. While one country is packing gear, a second set of essential items lands in another. This is usually on a Tuesday or Wednesday. The mechanics therefore have 24-48 hours to prepare the paddock and garages for the start of the F1 weekend.
Cost cutting in F1 has meant that staff are starting to perform several functions at once. Packing and unloading the equipment is often assisted by people who are tasked with planning a strategy or doing mechanical work on the car at the weekend. All this for relatively little money, so in the paddock, fears that employees will start looking for happiness outside F1 are more and more serious.
Łukasz Kuczera , WP SportsFactsFollow @Kuczer13