With just a few days to go until the unveiling of the Mercedes-AMG F1 W09 EQ Power+, the pressure’s on to get everything ready for the all-important launch event.
Long days and late nights.
In Formula One, there’s little time to rest over the winter months. The design process is still in full flow, thousands of parts are being manufactured and the cars are being built for the first time - piece by piece.
But, while all of this is going on, one of the biggest events of the year for F1 teams is also being organised: the launch. As you’d expect, it’s a big, big moment - the first chance to see the new car hit the track, but also the first opportunity to showcase the result of the team’s hard work.
Thousands of hours spent designing, machining, creating and building. Long days and late nights. What you’re about to see is more than just a machine. It’s the symbol of a 1,500-strong workforce of creative, innovative and dedicated people, coming together as one.
The W09 will be unveiled on 22 February at Silverstone, where the car will also complete its first laps out on track during a shakedown programme. It’s a major milestone and one of the first big landmark events of the year.
So, it’s a moment worth celebrating and making the most of. A day packed full of nervous anticipation, pride and excitement. Car launches only come around once a year, so why not unleash the latest beast in style?
The build-up to launch day is an incredibly busy time for various departments of the team, with plenty of tasks to achieve and not a lot of time before the car is revealed to the world. On arrival at the factory on Monday morning, you can immediately sense it’s launch week.
The hustle and bustle of the race bays, contrasting with the quiet atmosphere of the offices, everyone with their heads down, determined to get everything ready for Thursday’s hotly-anticipated car reveal.
For the Teamwear and Merchandise crew, it’s an eventful start to the week, as one of the main tasks on Monday was to get everyone kitted out for the launch and following pre-season tests - having recently announced our new Official Apparel Partner, TOMMY HILFIGER.
The hustle and bustle of the race bays, contrasting with the quiet atmosphere of the offices
Thursday’s launch is our big moment, so the team has to look super-sharp!
During the course of the previous week, around 50 pallets of new TOMMY HILFIGER team kit were delivered to the team, which had to be sorted and organised - before over 200 bags of kit were packed over the weekend, for the core engineers, marketing team, mechanics and anyone else who might attend a race event this season.
These are then distributed throughout Monday. With so many items of clothing being handed out, the next two days will feature a raft of exchanges and tailoring jobs to make sure everyone feels comfortable in their team clothing. Thursday’s launch is our big moment, so the team has to look super-sharp!
On the other side of the spectrum, there’s also the significant task of building the new, shiny 2018 car that will be uncovered on Thursday. The main job on Monday is to complete the chassis preparations, fuel system installation and fit the engine, with the aim of getting the spine of the car in a good place for the rest of the build process.
Not quite as detailed as an F1 car, but equally impressive, is the organisation of the event itself and its vast, 54-column master spreadsheet. Preparation and work on the car launch began many months ago for the Marketing department, but the final few days are where everything starts to take shape and come together.
Over the weekend, Silverstone was a hive of activity, but there weren’t any race cars on track. Instead, it was bustling with people preparing the branding and signs around the circuit, while the hospitality and media areas were also being set up inside the circuit’s ‘Wing’ pit complex.
The work continued on Monday, with the catering team also setting up the various areas required to feed and hydrate several hundred attendees. The preparation work for the event spaces will continue for the remaining days to come, right up to launch day on Thursday.
For the Hospitality team, the launch is a particular challenge, juggling a number of different partner programmes while also organising the catering, schedules, partner events, movements and much more.
Co-ordination is key and that has been a major focus for the team on Monday, with comprehensive schedules being created to map out exactly what is going on every five minutes of launch day. After all, F1’s all in the detail!
Most of the pre-launch activity has been taking place in Brackley, Brixworth and Silverstone, but there has also been a partner appearance in the snowy climes of Sweden. Our very own Toto Wolff and Lewis Hamilton have been ice driving in AMG cars at a partner event, and will be back out on the ice again on Tuesday. No matter where you look, it’s non-stop. And it’s properly exciting too.
Another day of launch preparation complete. Just two more to go...
No matter where you look, it’s non-stop.