Peugeot F1 Logistics
Have you ever wondered
how whole garages are transported around the world to
service and maintain the cars so that they keep going for
two hundred odd miles a fortnight? Speed
Motorsport News finds out from Jacques
Ievacher Logistics Manager of Peugeot Sport.
Can you tell us
about the logistics needed for the Peugeot Sport F1 team
for the races in Australia and the double-header in
Brazil and Argentina?
two distinct parts on the Job: the people and the
equipment Moving around people involves a variety
of things the most obvious of which is the
hooking of hotel These must be arranged more than
a year in advance and confirmed three weeks
before the Grand Prix in question. The choice of
hotel is dictated by the desire, if it is
possible, to have the entire team in the same
hotel. On average Peugeot Sport has 20 people at
a Grand Prix Including all the technical staff,
the support personnel, the press officer and the
kitchen staff. There are actually two fewer
people at the 'fly-away' races than there are in
Europe as the driver of the truck and the- mo do
not travel outside Europe.
In addition you
have to book all the air tickets. These are done
four or five months in advance The 20 or so
people roughly divide into two groups the first
group are those who are involved in setting up
Before a race. These are the mechanics, the
electronics specialists, the software
engineers(who look after the telemetry) the
kitchen staff and the logistics manager. The idea
is for our arrival to coincide with the delivery
of the equipment. Two or three days later the
engineers and the Peugeot people who work in
liaison with Jordan will arrive "
Apart from people
what else does a Formula 1 engine supplier nave to take
to a Grand Prix?
Peugeot is a
little bit different to other engine
manufacturers as we do not only supply the engine
to Jordan we are also involved in all the
electronics and the telemetry for the team. This
means that we have to transport much heavier
equipment than most of our rivals. In general
terms, we send eight engines to each Grand Prix
race. Three others are mounted in the cars and,
consequently leave from the Jordan headquarters.
In total we have about eight tonnes of equipment
divided up into 50 tailormade travelling
What makes up all
the weight - apart from the engines?
eight engines there are all the ancillaries. Then
there are telemetry computers which fit into
special lightweight, made-to-measure containers
which the airline companies ask to be built so as
to be fitted easily into the space available in
the holds of the aeroplanes. It is logical to
make life easier for everybody.
tools are transported in their workbenches on
wheels, so that they can he used as soon as the
units are taken out of their boxes. All the
radios are sent attached to the stand which is
erected in the pit garage. We also take three
boxes for the kitchen staff, which include basic
ingredients, although all fresh produce is bought
on site. I have one box specifically for all the
bits and pieces one needs. It is a bit like a
hardware store filled with rows of different
plugs and adaptors so that we can cope with the
different electrical supplies in each country.
Every year we improve the kit!".
How long does it
take to got all the equipment ready before an event?
everything In the traveling boxes takes a total
of four days. Every box has a check list. Each
department manager has his own dedicated boxes
which are then passed on to me, so they fill
their boxes and I check them in order to prepare
the necessary documentation for the customs
authorities. Then we have to weigh the boxes so
we can check that we have the weight for which
FOCA (the team organisation which oversees the
transportation of F1 freight) charges us. The
last thing to be boxed-up are the engines on
which our engineers are working up to the last
minute. Then a FOCA truck comes to Peugeot Sport
headquarters In Velizy and takes all our
equipment to Milan where it is Joined by the
freight from Ferrari, Sauber Minardi and
What exactly does
FOCA do with the freight?
"They take it
first of all, from our factory to Milan. They
then look after all the customs formalities to
get the equipment out of Europe, sign the papers
which Peugeot's own transport company Gefco has
filled in. This is a pretty big dossier. Once the
freight arrives in Melbourne, Sao Paulo, Buenos
Aires, Osaka or Tokyo, FOCA looks after the
formalities of temporary importation into the
countries concerned and then ensures the
transportation to the racing circuits and,
finally, the delivery of the equipment the right
How long does it
take to got the freight from Velizy to the garage at a
Brazilian GP as an example, the freight left
Velizy at 10 am on Friday morning and arrived in
the garage at Interlagos on the Monday.
For the two South
American races is it a problem that the equipment stays
out between races?
"It is true
that the freight stays in South America, although
this changes from year to year. For Brazil this
year we sent three engines home to Paris on
Saturday night before the race. We arrange
through FOCA and its local handling agent to have
space cooked on certain flights so as to be
prepared for any eventuality. On Sunday night we
sent out another three engines - two of them
being the race engines. This is not a problem
because we had space booked for six engines to
fly out from Paris to Argentina in the middle of
the following week. "
With such an
organisation is there any room to improvise?
"Sure. It is
always possible to get an individual part sent
out to you, either as freight or as hand luggage.
The difficulty in Formula 1 is to prepare for
unexpected problems. That is the only way to cut
down delays. That means that often we reserve
space on aeroplanes bu end up not needing to use
it. It is a safety measure that we cannot be
How many tonnes of
freight does FOCA transport at reduced rates?
special arrangements for the teams to transport
cars and equipment within certain guidelines.
These apply only for the teams - and not for the
engine manufacturers. The cost is considerably
higher for us, it is one of F 1's bad habits.
On the evening after
a race, the freight is packed up again and sets off for
new adventures. Can you tell us about the flight home?
terms, the freight must be ready to be loaded
onto trucks at the end of Sunday. It is about six
o'clock for the cars and eight o'clock for all
the boxes of equipment. Returning from Argentina,
the equipment will be available at Velizy by the
following Wednesday evening or at the latest on
that equipment around must be a risky business?
risks are in Brazil and Argentina. The classic
accident in the freight business is that a fork
lift truck will stick one of the forks through
the side of a box. The worst thing is if a box is
not balanced properly and falls. FOCA takes no
rosponsibility for damage and so Peugeot insures
its own equipment. All our boxes are sealed and
the contents and value carefully recorded. We
have had boxes which were broken open, but so far
we have never lost anything nor had anything
What else does a a
logistics manager have to look after?
once everything is in place one helps everyone in
the team to lead their lives; making sure that
the local Peugeot company or the Importer in a
country lays on cars for the team. Organising
that everyone gets fed, sorting out the kind of
problems that occur, minor Illnesses, parking
tickets, problems with the local police, changes
of flights and hotels, the relationships with
circuit authorities settling the accounts with
hotels and local suppliers, in fact the job of
logistics manager is to allow the team to
concentrate completely on the technical Job in
hand by taking care of all the little things in
life that get in the way.
In the army they say that
if the Service Corps does not follow the troops, things
will go badly. In this game the service corps must be AHEAD
of the troops anticipating the problems.
Formula 1 Contents