F1 Insight - Teams' Grand Prix home comforts

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F1 Insight - Teams' Grand Prix home comforts

Post by Ross on Thu Apr 24, 2008 8:43 pm

Not so much of a technical insight this time around, but an insight into F1 nonetheless. And now we're back in Spain for the first race of the European season, motorhomes are back. So in this week's feature I will be assessing the teams' ever expanding and increasingly magnificent palaces.

The first Formula 1 motor home was a crude camper trailer in the early 1970s. Today the motor homes have evolved into traveling palaces almost as ingenious in their construction as the racing cars themselves. Each team creates its own style of motor home. What they all have in common, however, is that they all travel from race to race in Europe via the public highways, as each motor home deconstructors into a regular semi truck. Teams arrive long before the race weekend and assemble the motor home, most of them using the truck as a base for the final building. The buildings are then taken apart on the Sunday and Monday following the race, and they either return to the team headquarters, or travel on to the next race.

Here's a quick guide to each team's motorhome, including the newest, Force India's magnificent glass fronted 'office'.



Ferrari's motorhome - Scarlet cars, scarlet living.

This is the multi-floored scarlet Ferrari motorhome, originally debuted in early 2007. The ground floor of the motor home serves as a conference and meeting place area for the media. The upper floor is reserved for the team's Philip Morris sponsor and that company's clients and guests. Traditionally, Ferrari has not been one of the most ostentatious of teams when it comes to motor homes, but that has now obviously changed.





BMW - It seems the German squad want to camp like their fans

The BMW Sauber motor home is one of the most functional, tasteful and original of the F1 paddock. It combines the traditional motor home style with a more modern structural approach. On either side of the central area are two large multifloored motor homes. Between the two is a multifloored hospitality area with a bar in the center. The whole is covered with a canvas roof, giving a tasteful look to this ingenious motor home concept.






Renault - Cosy, yet industrial. Notice the height of neighbour Ferrari's.

Renault F1 team's motor home is designed with the now traditional concept of two motor homes side by side joined in the middle by a structure with a roof and walls. The central portion is a dining and press conference area and the two motor homes act as an area for the marketing team, the team directors and the drivers to work and relax.





Williams - Friendly team, welcoming motorhome. It's wheelchair accessible too.

Williams has lost its large budget of its best years, but it still has a way with making the most of what it has. Its motor home is designed on the traditional basis of two side by side motor homes with offices, joined in the middle by a large hospitality restaurant area where the team dines and arranges media interviews with the drivers, relations with the sponsors and other business matters.





Red Bull & Toro Rosso - The impressive Energy Station even has a pool in
case of another podium...

The Red Bull Energy Station has the largest surface area of all of the motor homes. But it is a combination of Red Bull's motor home and Toro Rosso's motor home. In total it is three floors in height, and contains several bars, dining areas and terraces. It is built with the same design as other Red Bull Energy Drink sports stations in the other sports that Red Bull sponsors.





Toyota - Richest team in the paddock - it doesn't show.

The Toyota motor home follows the traditional style of a motor home with a large veranda structure off to the side. Within the motor home are offices for the drivers and senior staff. The veranda area is the dining and hospitality area where the drivers and other team members dine and perform interviews with the media.





Honda - Environmentally friendly. Doesn't match the team trousers, though.

The Honda motor home has become a much more environmentally conscious space than in previous years to reflect its new environmental approach to sponsorship. It has two bars for eating down either side of the central area. The wings either side are based on the motor homes that transport the rest of the structure, which is assembled at each race.





Super Aguri - It's a tight squeeze, but there's not many of them.

By today's standards, the Super Aguri motor home is modest. As the team is certainly the poorest in the paddock, the motor home is a reflection of the team's means. It consists of two separate traditional motor homes side by side, each with an enclosed truck office area and an external hospitality area. Even so, this season the team upgraded by buying the former Jordan team's motor home, which was state of the art at the time it came out - about five years ago....





Force India - New for Spain. A true home to rival nextdoor McLaren

The newest of all motorhomes and very impressive for a back-running team. With a glamorous glass-fronted facade and state of the art facilities, the grid’s newest team hope the motorhome will set a fresh standard for paddock hospitality and rival McLaren’s ‘Brand Centre’ and Red Bull’s ‘Energy Station’ as the toast of the pit lane’s glitterati.





McLaren - Eery motorhome is by far the biggest, not the prettiest

McLaren thinks big. The Brand Center is the ultimate in Formula 1 motor homes, and it is difficult to imagine that any other team can upstage this act. Built on three floors, the motor home takes two days to build and about 12 trucks to transport. A reflection of the McLaren team's ambitions, the motor home is the most technologically advanced of all of the motor homes in the paddock.

Which do you think looks best? Vote in our poll...

Information from about.com, ITV Sport and f1.com

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