330 tonnes of specialist racing cargo for Bahrain
Manama, March 10, 2014
Almost 330 tonnes of specialist racing equipment will arrive on Bahrain's shores ahead of next month's Formula One.
The Gulf Air Bahrain Grand Prix will take place from April 4 to 6 at the Bahrain International Circuit (BIC) in Sakhir, said a report in the Gulf Daily News (GDN), our sister publication.
All of the 11 teams competing in the race are completely self-sufficient and carry enough water bottles, refrigerators, car parts and motor fuel - among others - to fill as many as four 40 feet sea containers each.
It is the job of official F1 logistics partner DHL to make sure the equipment arrives intact and on time, which can be quite a challenge, according to DHL motorsport deputy managing director Pierluigi Ferrari.
"But to be honest with you, from the first day we arrived in Bahrain we have found everything to be very well organised - we have the full support of the authorities and everything is absolutely professional," he told the GDN.
F1 teams are expected to arrive in Bahrain 48 hours after the end of the Malaysian Grand Prix, which will be held at the Sepang International Circuit from March 28 to 30.
However, Ferrari said Bahrain was one of the easiest places in the world to operate because everyone from the airport or seaport to the track have been fully briefed and know exactly what is needed ahead of race day.
"The time schedule is very tight but within 24 hours of the race finish in Malaysia all the material from the circuit is broken down and on its way here," he said.
"And by the next morning the teams will already have started to unpack at the BIC."
Some new parts, such as the front wing or underbody of the cars, arrive at the track at the last minute for qualifying rounds using express flights, on-board couriers and direct helicopter transfers from the airport.
A complete paddock can fill the cargo hold of up to six jumbo jets, said Ferrari, who has worked in Formula 1 for 32 years and was at the first Bahrain Grand Prix in 2004.
"Today these back-to-back races for the Formula One championships, in terms of preparation and logistics are very difficult - but we are ready," he added.
This year's Bahrain F1 will be a night race to celebrate the event's landmark 10th anniversary, but Ferrari said this had little impact on the types of equipment being shipped.
"To be honest, I don't think the night race makes that much of a change in terms of logistics," he explained.
"They are already racing at night in Abu Dhabi and Singapore - it does not impact on our operation. In fact, probably the only difference between a day race and a night race is for the drivers themselves."
Tickets for the Bahrain race are on sale at the BIC stands in Bahrain City Centre and Seef Mall, and are available online. - TradeArabia News Service