How to get a Formula One team to China 27 Sep 2006
The Italian Grand Prix marked the last race of the European leg of the season, and now McLaren, along with the other 10 teams, face the logistical challenge of getting to Shanghai for the first of the final three flyaway races. To enable McLaren to compete in China, 33 tonnes of equipment has been transported by the team to Asia, as outlined below:
Five tonnes of equipment is sent by sea freight. This includes items that can be produced or purchased easily such as screens, wiring, trolleys, generators, and tables. This is in addition to all fuels and hazardous consumables which are sent by sea freight, packaged in a different container to the other items.
The McLaren equipment fills a 40-foot sea container.
27 tonnes of freight and three complete cars are sent by air. This includes items such as spare components, pit equipment, tool cabinets, fuel trolleys, timing stands and radio systems.
Mercedes will send seven engines to China. Three are sent as part of the complete cars and four spare engines are sent out on a different airfreight, which leaves on the morning of Tuesday, September 26, arriving in China on Wednesday, September 27.
Mercedes use a 3500-kilogram shipping container to transport all spares, tools and equipment for flyaway races. The weight of the spare engines is additional to this.
The sea freight for the Chinese Grand Prix left the UK the week beginning August 7, from Tilbury in Essex, arriving in China the week beginning September 11.
The air freight is managed by FOM (Formula One Management), and it departs London Stansted on Thursday, September 21, arriving in Shanghai on Friday, September 22.
All freight is delivered to the Shanghai International Circuit by midday on Sunday, September 24.
The air freight does not return to the McLaren Technology Centre in the UK until Tuesday, October 24, as it travels directly on to Japan and Brazil.
Certain parts, such as gearboxes, uprights, steering racks, dampers and front and rear wings do return to the teams Woking base following the Japanese Grand Prix on October 8 in order for them to be serviced.
For the sea freight there are three different sets that are sent separately to each race.
There is one collection of air freight that is flown to all three flyaway races.
The air freight is packed into six igloos, metal packing containers that measure 3 metres x 3 metres x 2 metres, in addition to two pallets of stacked boxes that are the same size as the igloos and a spare chassis box.
Three complete MP4-21s and a spare chassis are transported by air to the race.
To transport the MP4-21s the front and rear wings, steering wheels, wing mirrors and the side deflector panels are removed. A protective wooden floor and sides are put in place around the cars with a bumper on the back to protect the gearbox.
There is a travel nosebox to protect the steering rack and front of the chassis.
Bespoke covers are then put on the cars before being strapped onto double-decker pallets and loaded onto the FOM charter plane.
McLaren will send around 95 people to the Chinese Grand Prix. This includes drivers, team management, engineers, race team, marketing and catering.