How Are Formula 1 Cars Moved Between Races?

How Are Formula 1 Cars Moved Between Races

The Formula 1 schedule is extremely demanding. Teams are required to transport their entire operation worldwide throughout the season. Once a race is finished, they must pack up and move to a different country for a race that’s sometimes as soon as the next weekend. Such a quick turnover between races demands lock-tight logistics, but transportation is not so easy with such a large operation as an entire Formula 1 team.

In between races, teams use various transport methods to move the cars and everything else required for a weekend. To transport the cars safely, they disassemble as much as possible before primarily using air or ground shipping to the destination. Read on to learn more about how Formula 1 cars are transported between races. 

Deconstructing an F1 Car

Formula 1 cars are incredibly fragile and incredibly expensive. As such, teams take tremendous care to preserve the integrity of all the car parts during the shipping process. Certain parts of the car are more fragile than others, so these parts are removed and packed into their own separate boxes. This way, all parts of the car are protected if  anything gets jostled during transport. The aerodynamic parts of the car, which optimize airflow and are often made of thin carbon fiber or plastic, are especially fragile. The teams take great care to disassemble as much of the car as possible to prevent any costly mishaps. While this means more work for the team before the start and at the end of each race, the time justifies the potential cost.

Air Shipping

For races in different countries, and often on different continents, the best solution is to transport the car by plane. This is the fastest way to ship a Formula 1 car and all the necessary equipment. While many races in Europe mean that teams don’t always have to use air shipping, it’s required for travel to Grand Prixs in the United States, Brazil, and Australia, to name a few.

Of course, air shipping is also by far the most expensive option. Formula 1 cars come with quite a bit of baggage in terms of tools, replacement parts, and race car fuel. This is why teams must be practical and efficient in terms of both space and weight when shipping their operations through the air. 

Ground Shipping

Whenever it’s possible, Formula 1 teams prefer to ship their cars via ground shipping. Formula 1 employs a fleet of specialized trucks designed to keep the cars as safe and secure as possible. It’s also far more cost effective to ship via ground than air. Ground transportation can take longer than air shipping depending on the destination, so teams must account more for the timing to ensure everything arrives for the next race with plenty of time. With Formula 1 emphasizing a sustainable future for the sport, the prominence of ground transportation will likely only increase going forward