Charter planes and team awnings: Meet Formula 1 2020
Mercedes has outlined the logistics of Formula 1 in 2020, notably with the paddock set to look very different with awnings replacing the eye-catching motorhomes.
F1 has made public its plans for individual teams to work within 'social bubbles', but, aside from the absence of team personnel mixing with one other, it has been very difficult to visualise how the sport will look in the coming season.
Facemasks and visors may be the most visible additions, but, in a new video, Mercedes has explained how the team has adapted to the changes.
“It won’t be the same setup as a normal European race, because we won’t have any motorhomes," said Mercedes head of team logistics Karl Fanson.
"In agreement with F1, what we’ve managed to do is we’re going to move the race trucks further away from the garages, and we’ll be supplying our own tents and awnings to give us more working space within the garage.
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“It’s easier to social distance and work comfortably.”
With the situation in different countries changing daily, Fanson added: “For the last two weeks at least, I’ve been on the phone every day on conference calls to our logistics provider, because everything’s constantly changing.
"With the race calendar being confirmed so late, luckily we’re staying in Europe for the first eight races.
“Although it’s a triple-header, logistically we’ll really class it as a double-header.
“What we’re doing is racing in Austria, then racing in Austria again, then just almost a quick five-hour move up the road to Budapest.
“Once we’re set up in Austria, it’s mainly like a single event for us, although it is a double-header. We don’t have to pack down and move all the equipment to another venue.
“We’ll have everything arrive before the race, and our suppliers like Petronas and Pirelli, they’ll have more stock arriving I’m sure, but we’ll just be in the same situation as normal.
"We’ll just have vans arriving every other day maybe, the only difference is that those vans won’t come as close to the paddock as normal. We’ll just have to go out and collect the items from the vans, then bring it back to the paddock."
Travel restrictions, meanwhile, have caused a few headaches for Mercedes team travel manager Joanna Jones.
"Usually we travel on commercial flights for the team's safety, however, we’re now travelling on private charters, departing and arriving into private terminals," said Jones.
“The team are also driving from Austria to Hungary, and all these measures have been put in place to reduce the number of people that the team come into contact with.
“I think the biggest challenge we face at the moment is the ever-changing travel restrictions. We are constantly having to review each government guideline within each country.
"Usually, we have months to plan the travel for the races, however, this has been reduced to weeks. We’ve had to make decisions quickly. For example, charter planes."
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