F1 for Beginners: Who is behind the drivers? Roles in a Formula 1 team
If we thought of a Formula 1 Grand Prix as a great show, the drivers would definitely be the protagonists. However, they are only a small part of a huge team made up of hundreds of people: the team manager, mechanics, engineers, strategists, analysts, investors, social media managers... And more.
Let's take a look at some of the roles that make up a Formula 1 team.
After the drivers, the team principal is the most visible member in a Formula 1 team. Since those days when they used to be the owners too, the public perception of the team tended to be intrinsically related to the personality of the director.
The team manager's job is to present the team in the best light possible; on the one hand tackling the criticism and on the other, making sure that the praise is shared.
In addition, they have a marketing function. Part of the team manager's job is to be the public face of the team to sponsors, and that often means immersing themselves in the marketing and hospitality activities the team offers its guests.
When things don't work, or don't work as well as they should, it's the team manager's job to fix them. This may involve moving staff, investing, or changing a particular regime.
During the sessions, the team leader will usually be seated at the pit wall. They will listen to general channels, but they will also have their own channel, where big decisions will often be discussed.
In the team Mercedes, currently who fulfills this role is Toto Wolff.
Mechanics are a fundamental part of any motorsport. They are the ones in charge of testing the motor< /a> of the car before each race to check its performance, as well as to repair and maintain the car in optimal conditions.
Being under pressure is something habitual for them, because the time he almost always plays against them and sometimes they only have days or even hours to prepare.
Despite the fact that the Formula 1 races are held on Sundays, the mechanics start their work on Tuesday, taking out the cars and preparing them so that they are ready to start the laps on Friday. the free practices.< /p>
Therefore, they work according to the perception and demands of the pilots. If, for example, they have power problems or lose grip, the team of mechanics led by the team manager will be in charge of fixing them.
The group of engineers is made up of between 15 and 20 professionals with different specializations and they are divided into groups with specific functions for each one.
The main one is the race engineer, who communicates directly with the pilot and makes him aware of issues such as track conditions, if you have traffic nearby or the times of your competitors. In addition, he is the one who communicates to the rest of the team everything he receives from the pilot, becoming the link between the two.
But the race engineer does not work alone, the performance engineer is in charge of analyzing the performance of each part of the car, perform simulations and advise the driver through the race engineer on how to get the most out of the vehicle and the adjustments to be made to achieve it.
In another area is the control engineer, who makes sure the car's controls are working properly before starting the race, while during its course it ensures that the settings are optimal.
Finally, the engine engineers are divided into a group for the power unit and another for the engine. Both complement each other: while the first seeks to obtain greater power output, the second takes care that it does not affect the reliability of the car to avoid possible damage.
Strategy is a crucial part of the race, so without one that suits each circuit and the performance of all competitors, the difficulties to achieve a good position are even greater.
Strategists are the “brains” behind every decision. They take into account both the performance data obtained in the free training, such as the wear of tires as the laps go by or the amount of fuel in the car. As a result of this, their job is to generate legal strategies to score as many points as possible.
The analysts are the people who are in charge of taking all the data from the car and transmitting it to the race engineer, who can then notify the driver.
They control all aspects of the car, from the temperatures to the wear of the tires and also the most serious damage.
Large investors can also be part of the team's image, as is the case with Lawrence Stroll< /strong> at Aston Martin. He is a part owner of the team, he is always at the races and he has a lot of influence.
Investors want to see results and tend to play an important role within the team, along with other general members of management.
Coaches and representatives
Both on the track and off it, there will be several people accompanying the drivers. Among them we can find the coaches, whether physical or mental, who help the drivers prepare for the race.
They also usually have a manager or representative, who will usually be present to help them with the means.
Social network managers
Races attract a lot of media attention and therefore the teams will also have social media officers within them who will work alongside pilots and other staff when faced with questions on camera.
Hospitality and event managers
Events can be organized by teams throughout the year and for this, they will need hospitality workers and event managers. There are also receptionists and assistants.
Then there will be the truck drivers, who will take the cars and the team to each and every race during the course of the season.
In general, a Formula 1 team can be made up of hundreds of people. Apart from the race team, there are many more people working behind the scenes in the factories, where the cars are designed and built, as well as in the offices where the teams are based.
The biggest teams, such as Mercedes and Ferrari, will employ more than smaller teams. However, each is made up of many different and equally important roles that make each an integral part of the team's success.
Author: Florencia Andersen
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