November 12 2019
F1 Pit garage: A lesson in efficiency
29 October 2011

Formula One is all about precision and being organised. Everything is so closely fought that even a small slip-up can mean the difference between winning and losing.

One visit to the pit garage will tell you why everything happens the way it does. On entering the McLaren Mercedes garage the first thing that strikes you is the cleanliness and orderliness. There is not a nut or bolt out of place. You even have to leave ample space while moving about inside the garage because there will be a lot of hectic activity going on around the cars.

The first free practice session was just done and the McLaren cars of Jenson Button and Lewis Hamilton were both up on jacks and mechanics were working on them. No large changes but subtle changes and tweaks for the second practice session. The mechanics have all necessary nuts, bolts, washers etc. stacked in neat drawers. The fuel for the cars is also kept and easily accessible.

There is one big control centre in the middle of the garage and that is where the race engineers keep a check on the cars. All team strategies are based on the information that is continuously relayed on these screens. This control centre and the one on the pit wall are the ones that do all the strategising.

Just behind the main room is where all the equipment is kept. Several sets of tyres for each driver are stacked in neat rows, all numbered, coded and wrapped in tyre warmers. This way, a new set of tyres can be taken and put on a car in a jiffy. Then, there is all the other parts like steering wheels, jacks, tools and other equipment are all arranged neatly.

What strikes anyone looking at a pit garage is that it is really stuffed but nothing or no one gets in each other’s way. A real lesson in efficiency.



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