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Transportation of Formula 1 race cars

Posted: Tue May 21, 2019 9:27 pm
by Jutlander
I just had this discussion with a friend of mine about the whole Formula 1 circus. It strikes down in a different part of the world for every race.

No doubt the way to get the race cars and all of it's equipment and staff from one place to another is by plane, but how exactly does that work? Do the cars go on regular scheduled cargo flights or do they charter special aircraft for them? What about the drivers and staff? Do they go on the same or a different plane?

Anything brought into a country has to go through customs. Does this go for Formula 1 race cars as well? How do they get them released in time for the race?

Re: Transportation of Formula 1 race cars

Posted: Tue May 21, 2019 9:34 pm
by StTim
There was a tv program on this a few years back. The logistics are organised by F1 and each team is allowed a certain amount. The European races are driven to and from - it is the non European ones that are fly aways.

Re: Transportation of Formula 1 race cars

Posted: Tue May 21, 2019 9:35 pm
by pdp
I know the teams frequently use Titan out of Luton, FOM run out of Biggin Hill (where they're based). The FIA staff use standard commercial flights (or at least a race director friend - not F1 mind - does).

The EU rounds aren't an issue as all of those rounds are in the single customs territory. For the other rounds I believe paperwork is often submitted in advance and special priority gets given to F1 stuff, which is always on its own aircraft.

Re: Transportation of Formula 1 race cars

Posted: Tue May 21, 2019 9:40 pm
by Bostrom
Jutlander wrote:
I just had this discussion with a friend of mine about the whole Formula 1 circus. It strikes down in a different part of the world for every race.

No doubt the way to get the race cars and all of it's equipment and staff from one place to another is by plane, but how exactly does that work? Do the cars go on regular scheduled cargo flights or do they charter special aircraft for them? What about the drivers and staff? Do they go on the same or a different plane?

Anything brought into a country has to go through customs. Does this go for Formula 1 race cars as well? How do they get them released in time for the race?


There is actually a pretty good youtube video on the topic. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6OLVFa8YRfM

Re: Transportation of Formula 1 race cars

Posted: Tue May 21, 2019 9:48 pm
by Bongodog49
All the European races are covered by road transport, each team has its own transporters, as do the tyre suppliers. The other races are covered by freighter flights chartered by formula one for all the teams to use. I recall that they mostly fly out of STN as most teams are UK based.

Re: Transportation of Formula 1 race cars

Posted: Tue May 21, 2019 10:13 pm
by jetblueguy22
If I remember correctly F1 covers the cost once you score points. When Haas scored their first point I remember it being a big deal because of the substantial cost savings it created.

Re: Transportation of Formula 1 race cars

Posted: Tue May 21, 2019 10:50 pm
by llintner
Jutlander wrote:
I just had this discussion with a friend of mine about the whole Formula 1 circus. It strikes down in a different part of the world for every race.

No doubt the way to get the race cars and all of it's equipment and staff from one place to another is by plane, but how exactly does that work? Do the cars go on regular scheduled cargo flights or do they charter special aircraft for them? What about the drivers and staff? Do they go on the same or a different plane?

Anything brought into a country has to go through customs. Does this go for Formula 1 race cars as well? How do they get them released in time for the race?


Only speaking to the race that occurs in Austin, Texas. I've been present for the ground operations at the airport every year since F1 started coming to Austin. The cars and much of the time sensitive parts/equipment come in via chartered B747-400F and B747-8Fs. Depending on the previous/next race, sometimes its six unique airframes, and short hauls, to say Mexico, several of the aircraft will make roundtrips.

When the cargo arrives in town, it gets trucked to the track and is held in a bonded area until it can be cleared by Customs. The arriving flights usually occur over several days, but the races after Austin have been the following week, so departures move pretty quickly. Cargo starts arriving back at the airport in as little as five hours after the race and sometimes departures start leaving as early as midnight, going every couple hours.

As for the personnel. There are generally several private jets that show up; some belonging to FOM, teams, and individual drivers. It is not uncommon to start seeing an influx on the Wednesday before the race. We have had as many as 200 private aircraft on the ground during the race, with the bulk of departures happening in the first three to four hours after the race. The bulk of the folks are coming in on a combination of chartered and scheduled airline flights. No two years have seen the same combination of carriers or aircraft types bringing folks in/out. That said, the Monday after the race is usually one of our busiest days of the year for departing passengers.

Re: Transportation of Formula 1 race cars

Posted: Tue May 21, 2019 10:58 pm
by bevan7
I went to McLaren a couple of years ago and was speaking to one of the mechanics about this. He said all the transport is very regulated down to who gets off the plane first. Supposedly the cargo is loaded so that the current constructors champion gets unloaded first and second is next etc.

Re: Transportation of Formula 1 race cars

Posted: Tue May 21, 2019 11:02 pm
by A350OZ
Melbourne-based here, so every year I track the 747 freighters chartered to bring the equipment down from Bahrain ready for the first race. Typically 3+ chartered 747Fs that fly in and out of AVV to bring the cars and all equipment.

Found this article from a few years back, it hasn't really changed and is a well-oiled logistics operation: https://www.drive.com.au/motor-news/6-j ... 0312-34m49

Re: Transportation of Formula 1 race cars

Posted: Wed May 22, 2019 12:33 am
by SheikhDjibouti
Here is an image from the mid 1960s, when air freight was a faction of what it is today.

Image
(image courtesy of pinterest.com)

Moving the Formula 1 circus around in those days was quite an event, and the CL-44 was probably the best tool for the job.
As for the superstars; most of them probably flew economy on regular flights, sitting alongside their support crew.

If it was within Europe, a lucky few flew around in small twins.
I can just about remember watching this Swedish Beech Baron landing at LHR one evening, and my father suggested it was probably Ronnie Petersen arriving for the British GP that weekend.
Meanwhile the US registered Aztec was normally resident at Elstree, and was flown by Graham Hill. It was whilst returning from a testing session in France that Hill died after crashing into a golf course in thick fog just a few miles from Elstree.


These days, World Champions fly around in twins of a completely different calibre.....

Re: Transportation of Formula 1 race cars

Posted: Wed May 22, 2019 12:40 am
by ctrabs0114
Bostrom wrote:
Jutlander wrote:
I just had this discussion with a friend of mine about the whole Formula 1 circus. It strikes down in a different part of the world for every race.

No doubt the way to get the race cars and all of it's equipment and staff from one place to another is by plane, but how exactly does that work? Do the cars go on regular scheduled cargo flights or do they charter special aircraft for them? What about the drivers and staff? Do they go on the same or a different plane?

Anything brought into a country has to go through customs. Does this go for Formula 1 race cars as well? How do they get them released in time for the race?


There is actually a pretty good youtube video on the topic. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6OLVFa8YRfM


The scheduling of the races sometimes makes things very tight as far as moving cargo, but this is a very good summary of how it all works (Wendover has also produced some very knowledgeable aviation-related videos in the past few years).

Re: Transportation of Formula 1 race cars

Posted: Wed May 22, 2019 1:01 am
by GalaxyFlyer
A friend of mine was Schumacher’s pilot for a number years in a Challenger. Said it was a lot of fun, but after a few races they meld together.

GF