Early this morning at 8.30am I was at the F1 paddock for a little insight into the setup of the teams’ garages.
Containers from the sea and air freight have arrived for the various teams and were lying out on the main straight, lining up in the pit lane and the paddock.
This will all look really different soon!
Photo from the internet: Credit to LAT Photographic
Not all the teams have started setup yet…
One team that was already hard at work unloading the contents of the containers at that time to start piecing the garage and hospitality suite together was Scuderia Toro Rosso.
Hosted by Marieluise Mammitzsch, the sweet PR officer from Toro Rosso, she was telling me that there are about 12 people who work on the logistics and they take about 2.5 days to complete the setup of the garage.
The things are air freighted from one race to the next are the cars, pit stop equipment, pit wall structures and basically everything used for the car.
As for the sea freight, there are actually a few identical sets of logistical equipment that move around the world. These do not go from one race to the next as there isn’t enough time. For example, the ones from Singapore will move on to Brazil after this and another set from one of the previous races will arrive at the next race in Japan.
The main piece within the garage that comes up first is the ceiling, after which everything else is built around it.
Once this framework was in place, the wall panels were put up.
Although it was quite cloudy today, the humidity levels were really high and the Europeans were perspiring profusely! I felt bad standing there watching them build the garage up from scratch.
I tried my best to stay out of their way as they worked… just occasionally standing a bit closer to get a shot. Oops.
Some tried to make conversation with me, but I can’t understand a word of Italian (well, except ‘ciaobella’and ‘pizzaria’??). This guy was the only one who actually smiled for me when I was shooting him.
I also went to peek into some of the containers and not surprising, the contents of the containers are packed very neatly for space maximisation.
At the back of the garage, they were also putting up the panels for the side of the garage that opens up to the paddock.
The setup is a rather slow process, about two to two and a half days, but somehow the teardown is much faster!
There’s a place for everything and I quite enjoyed watching how everything will eventually build up to look something like this:
(This was taken way back in 2010 during the Malaysian Grand Prix – geez, I look really young!)
Another team that was also putting together their garage was Scuderia Ferrari.
Red Bull Racing was also building their garage…
… that will look something like this when it’s done!
Pay attention to the floor – see the stickers?
When I was standing in the pit lane, I noticed the floor was blank.
It’s amazing how fast they work.. Soon the sponsor logos will be painted on, like the one in this picture:
The logistics involved in Formula 1 is massive – don’t forget we have all the floodlights as well since Singapore is the only full night race.
In all that humidity and possible heat stress, I thought I spotted Spiderman.
I hope they don’t suffer from too much jetlag… Hopefully cigarettes from home will help.
The race weekend will be over before we know it. Will you be there? Welcome to Singapore!
I found a really apt word in the paddock to describe the whole experience:
Here’s to a fantastic Grand Prix weekend Lion City!
For more of my F1 Singapore Grand Prix photos, view here.