M onaco probably has the smallest paddock in the World. Right next to the harbor, the 10 Formula 1 teams are crowded into their motor homes for the Grand Prix weekend. There is hardly any space left to spread out. Various trucks stand lengthways behind the motorhomes. They still have to be unloaded this Tuesday (May 22nd, 2018) before the most glamorous race on the calendar starts.
The next sheet metal avalanche rolls not 50 meters further. From the swimming pool chicane to the famous Rascasse, vans, trucks, forklifts and lifting platforms lean against the guardrails on the right and left. In between, cars, fans and tourists push their way through. In the place where Michael Schumacher parked his Ferrari at the end of qualifying in 2006, there are forklifts, wooden pallets, fences, a large truck and junk. All hell breaks loose on the home stretch. Here, normal traffic winds its way between the crash barriers towards Sainte Devote.
New pit system with more space
The pit lane is also very busy. The trucks play Tetris. Around noon, a large Williams truck is parked between the heavy trucks from Force India and Renault. Without help and instructions from outside, it would hardly be possible for the driver to hit the gap precisely. The mechanics set up their workplaces for the weekend in the garages.
Not all cars have been loaded yet. Mercedes have two front wings on one side of the garage. The other is still free of auto parts. Williams has a white bike in the garage instead of the Martini racing car. Red Bull, McLaren and HaasF1 barricade themselves behind partitions. Ferrari and Sauber cover their racing cars. Force India, Renault and Toro Rosso at least provide a few insights.
The weather does not play along at the start of the Monaco week. It's raining and puddles are forming in the pit lane. The principality has dressed up for that. For the first time, the pit buildings are built on two floors. The first floor used to be an improvised storage room made of corrugated iron. Now it's a glass palace.
On the first floor, as in the HaasF1 case, the teams hoard spare parts made of carbon and metal such as underbody, wings, suspensions, brakes and steering. IT has housed its large computers there. The so-called sub-assembly takes place in one corner. Complicated parts like the front wing are screwed together there before they are lifted down into the garage. A separate room is reserved only for the ERS elements. The spare parts store was previously between the pit building and pit wall towards the home straight - i.e. in the back area of the garages.
On the second floor, a regulation by the organizer prohibits heavy parts. There is the meeting room for the engineers and space for sponsor guests, each with a balcony facing the pit lane and the back facing the home straight. The first five teams have excellent visibility on both sides. At HaasF1, Toro Rosso and Sauber, the large swimming pool grandstand obstructs the view of the course. You only see the pit lane.
In our photo show we show you the pictures from the construction in Monaco.