Wednesday, 24 August 2011

Time To Go Home

I know we are all looking forward to the Belgian Grand Prix, but when it's over, and especially if it's raining, spare a thought for the folk who have to put everything away. Packing starts while the race is still on, although care is taken to make sure it doesn't look like that. But that's when the trucks start to reveal their inner secrets.

Hospitality gets packed away too, so it's not uncommon to see trucks loaded with trees and bushes, or the occasional semi-surreal site of a fruit bowl co-existing with engineering equipment. Of course, the engineers and mechanics have fruit provided for them too (although the chocolate generally disappears first) but it's not displayed quite as nicely.

The motorhomes are not that easy to dismantle, although some teams have an easier job than others. You can generally reckon that the relatively simple HRT motorhome will be one of the first to be ready to drive home. Red Bull and McLaren, which require in excess of 40 trucks between them to transport the Energy Station and Communication Centre, will take a little longer.

This is the Williams motorhome, which for some inexplicable reason, starts to blast out loud rock music once it is no longer required for media functions.

Finally, there's the cars themselves. Sometimes they seem to sit around in Parc Ferme forever, before being released by the FIA. It's not uncommon to wait a couple of hours before they can be returned to the garage when they can then be cleaned, dismantled and packed for travelling.

As you can see, it starts to get dark fairly quickly, so all of the workers wear Hi-Vis to make sure that the fork lift drivers can see them, as everything still happens at F1 pace - nobody wants to stay longer than they have to!

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