22 or 23 F1 races per season may seem amazing for fans, but for F1 team members, this is tough. Teams spend long hours on the road, and many days away from family. Red Bull senior systems engineer, Dan Drury, has revealed just how much dedication it takes to travel with an F1 team, in one of the most insightful Twitter threads I’ve ever read.
Dan ran his Twitter followers through just what sacrifices are made by team members, as the F1 circus revolves around the world:
“Monday: fly to the event, usually arrive at a hotel for the evening after fannying about with hire cars, luggage etc. Depending on the time, maybe you get to go out in the local area for a late dinner, otherwise, it’s whatever you managed to eat on the flight or airport
“Tuesday: leave the hotel at 7 am, catering isn’t available at the track yet so it’s a buffet at the hotel. Head to the circuit to start unpacking the garage/freight, lunch is whatever finest meal the circuit owners can muster. It’s a 12 hour day, you get back to your room at 9 pm.
“Wednesday: it’s a repeat of yesterday, but maybe this time the hospitality is up and running, if it is, you’ll have breakfast lunch and dinner at the track Again, back in your room late, maybe get time to video chat with your family
“Thursday: Car build day, 3 meals trackside. 12 hours at the track would be a good day, more likely 14+
“Fri/Sat: event running, all meals trackside. Engineering meetings, debriefs etc. Again, 12 hours is a good day
“Sunday: it’s race day, maybe you’ve had a result, brilliant Now the fun begins, that garage you built in two days? It needs clearing in 4 hours, loaded and ready to go to the next event
“Monday: early checkout from the hotel, you look forward to getting back to your family after a hard few days. But it’s a triple-header, your flight isn’t going home, it’s going to the next event so you can start on Tuesday again.”
As you can see from the above, it really is non-stop for the F1 crew. From Monday to Monday, well over 70 hours are spent away from the ‘comfort’ of the hotel. To put this into some perspective, to be considered a ‘full time’ worker, many people work 35-40 hours in a 7 day week. These people also go back to the comfort of their homes and families, F1 team members can’t.
Of course, it differs slightly for different roles, but this overview gives a gist of what every single person gives up.