I n Monte Carlo everything is different. It starts with the locations. Usually the paddock is behind the pits. In Monte Carlo, depending on the garage, it's between 300 and 600 meters on foot.
In the non-racing phases, you walk along the route from Rascasse to the Anthony Noghes curve, and then simply turn right. When there is operation on the route, it goes over hill and dale. Including a pedestrian bridge with a freight elevator. Usually you look from the box to the home stretch. In Monte Carlo, the short straight between the swimming pool and Rascasse passes below the pit lane.
You will look in vain for the big Formula 1 trucks. They are temporarily stored in 2 places in the principality. According to a sophisticated plan, they are allowed to drive into the paddock and the pit lane for unloading and loading. Only one transporter per team. When all the material is stowed away, it goes to the alternative parking lot. HaasF1 was there for the first time. And experienced quite a few surprises.
HaasF1 with 9 trucks at the Monaco GP
The US team traveled to the principality with 9 semi-trailers. They are divided into the abbreviations TT1 to TT7 and MT1 to MT3. TT1 and TT2 are the mobile conference rooms in normal races. Since they are not needed, they drove straight to Germany after the test in Barcelona. In TT3 the spare parts are bunkered in the paddock. It is the only truck that is allowed to park in the second row behind the motorhome at the port. TT4 has the garage equipment on board.
The sea freight is stored in TT5. TT6 to TT8 cart further equipment to the racetrack. MT1 to MT3 bring the motorhome. As a newbie, HaasF1 has the smallest. Only 5.5 meters wide.
The TT3 to TT7 trucks transport the freight to Monte Carlo. 'We treat the Monaco GP like an overseas race,' explains team manager Dave O‘Neill. 90 percent of the team flies home after the Spanish GP. The rest goes through. GP Spain, Barcelona-Test, GP Monaco.
Garages 25% smaller than usual
HaasF1 had 8 days Be on site before the race to start setting up the garages. One day later the motorhome had an appointment. The paddock on Quai Antoine 1er is not occupied from the back to the front, but according to size. The temples of McLaren, Mercedes and Ferrari come first.
Red Bulls Energy Station is pulled into the harbor on a floating platform. HaasF1 had to squeeze between Honda and Manor. The truckies are true maneuverers. They have to maneuver their monsters in the place of a postage stamp.
As an exception, the rest rooms for the drivers are set up in the motorhome. The technology trucks are missing. Lack of space in the boxes too. The garages are 25% smaller and lower than elsewhere, and the floor is partly sloping. Not everything can be balanced. At Haas, the garage floor slopes backwards. Not easy when you have to measure the car.
It is forbidden to paint the pit floor in Monaco. HaasF1 usually paints it in team colors. So gray. Therefore, special plastic floors are drawn onto the reddish asphalt. So that the garage looks like the operating room. There is no electricity from the municipal utilities. All garages are supplied with generators that are set up in a special place.
They have no more than 400 liters of gasoline in one place
Behind the garage and in front of the guardrail leading to the home straight Teams a temporary storage space. But there are also some trees growing there. You have already seen Juan-Manuel Fangio's victory in Monaco in 1950 and are sacred to the city. In order to be able to work on level ground, the teams use special platforms. They have to be tailor-made depending on the tree population on the home straight.
Team owner Gene Haas is amazed when his team manager shows him the badges for the 'team trees'. At HaasF1, the trees with the numbers 1,758 and 1,759 stood in the way. O‘Neill reveals: 'At Red Bull even a tree grows through the office.'
The spare parts store is protected from rain by a tarpaulin. A maximum of 5 sets of tires per driver and 400 liters of petrol fit in the emergency depot. The 400 liters are a requirement of the city.
Now it is also clear why the phrase Supersoft can hide in the farthest corner of the box at Red Bull. There is simply no place for all racing sets in the front row. And certainly not when there are 5 mixes on offer with rain tires, intermediates, soft, supersoft and ultrasoft. The rest of the spare parts must be bunkered in the paddock. The teams rent quads to drive the equipment back and forth.
The command post is in the firstFloor
On the first floor above the garage there are offices for the technical meetings, rooms for the battery storage, two-way radios, electronic components, motors, gears and computers. There is also the command post. And the 3 large servers for all laptops.
All heavy parts are lifted to the upper floor with a pallet truck. Otherwise there is only a narrow staircase leading up to a room that is divided by several partition walls.
Monte Carlo is the only route on which the strategists navigate the drivers through the race without a view of the route. The pit stop takes place behind the team. 'We have cameras in the garage and a large mirror at the command post to check whether the mechanics are ready for the pit stop and where the tires are,' explains Dave O'Neill.
Communication with the chief mechanic takes place via radio. O‘Neill himself does not trust peace. 'My young colleagues listen to computers. They only look at their screens during pit stops. I turn around quickly and check through the window whether our boys are in position.'
All meetings take place here on the first floor. There are 3 offices for this. One for the engine people, one for the team, one for the pre-assembly of certain components. All carpets, partitions, decorations and wall coverings must be made of flame-retardant material. O‘Neill is amused: 'The fire brigade comes for an inspection every evening.'