The demise of the dynamic Mercedes duo of Lewis Hamilton and Nico Rosberg on the first lap of the Spanish Grand Prix was bad enough for team and drivers, but back at the Brackley factory, everyone has gone into overdrive mode to prepare the Silver Arrows in time for Monaco.
The German squad currently has its work cut out for it, forced to work even harder in the run-up to the big event in the Principality next weekend.
The man in charge of putting two cars back together in such limited time is the team’s chief operating officer Rob Thomas.
“Fortunately, these sort of incidents are very rare for us,” Thomas explained.
“But when they do happen we have quite a good process in place to deal with it. When it happened, we all had our head in our hands for about ten seconds, and then we all think, ‘Ok, so what next ?’.
“As the process happens, we’re hungry for information, so immediately we’ll be contacting ourselves within the factory asking what we should do. When the cars get back to the garage at the circuit, a lot of analysis already goes on and a lot of phone calls and photographs come back to us.
“We get a quarantine list of ‘suspected’ parts, and on this occasion we had about 1200 parts listed as suspect. When the cars are back at the factory they are carefully taken apart and all the parts are blown throughout the factory for inspection or testing of the structural integrity. About 100 parts we get looked at in 24 hours and that will tell us our workload.”
The planning and organisation of getting the cars back on all four wheels requires is a huge challenge, but that is where the Mercedes team excels, as it coordinates the efforts and resources of all its departments.
“All communication is real time, we have two structured meetings a day to coordinate everything, the reality though is happening all the time.”
Adding to the arduous task is the fact that compared to other races, teams get one less day to prepare for Monaco as free practice begins on the Thursday, something Mercedes must also take into account.
“Basically, we start building the cars on Friday and we have three days to pull it all together and build two cars to go to Monaco. It’s all about compromise and making quick decisions.
“We know we’ve got a pretty competitive car, so everybody is massively motivated to make sure we get these performance parts together and we go in the best possible conditions to the the circuit.”
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