Exclusive: How to run a Grand Prix
TG gains unprecedented access for a behind-the-scenes look at the FIA at work at the Brazil 2012 finale
Posted: 19 Feb 2013
The FIA garage is at the bottom end of the pit lane. Inside is the weigh-in equipment for measuring cars and drivers, various monitors, an interlocking network of screens and three substantial aluminium sheds, including a dedicated laboratory for fuel analysis. Eleven full-time FIA officials, most of them race-hardened former team mechanics, move about the place with quasi-military precision, but thankfully they're not quite as intimidating as they look, and there's a brilliantly bone-dry - and mainly British - sense of humour at large.
In total, these guys shift more than 14 tonnes of freight from race to race, the ever-evolving mechanisms with which to police a sport that's hell-bent on staying one step ahead of the rule-makers. What the FIA garage doesn't provide, however, is a toilet, something I find myself unexpectedly explaining to 2013 McLaren signing Sergio Pérez who has just legged it up from the grid in a clear state of pre-race urinary distress. Then we do the same for Vergne, Hülkenberg, Maldonado and Rosberg. So that's what they do...