• INSIGHT: Explaining F1's Summer Shutdown

Why do F1 factories turn into ghost towns for two weeks each year?

For a 14-day period in August, almost all corners of the team's factory fall silent. Machines stop, offices are empty... this is what is known as the 'Shutdown'.

But what exactly is it? Well, Article 21.8 of the Sporting Regulations obliges all F1 teams to have a two-week shutdown period in August, where their activities are restricted.

Shutdown has been part of F1 for a while and was introduced for two reasons. The first is to save costs - the thinking being that two weeks where everything shuts down and stops might reduce the costs of participation in the sport.

The second is to give the hard-working, passionate members of F1 teams a chance to have a break from work, head off on holiday and recharge.

As F1 seasons have become longer and longer, the shutdown period and this rare opportunity to relax have become even more crucial, so people are re-energised ahead of the second part of the season.

Any work related to enhancing the performance of the car is not allowed. So, those who design, build and run the car, alongside those who control infrastructure developing the car and even suppliers, are affected by the shutdown regulations.

Therefore, the majority of areas and offices around the factory will be empty but a few departments will still be in action.

Walking around the factory during the shutdown is certainly an interesting experience... the Machine Shop, previously bustling with activity, now absolutely silent.

The busy Design Office, absolutely empty. Test and Development, which is always buzzing with noise, now so quiet you could hear a pin drop.

While most team members are not permitted to work during shutdown, certain departments are unaffected and so remain in the factory as usual.

These include Marketing, Finance and Legal, who do not directly impact car performance and are therefore allowed to be in the factory within the regulations.

Of course, there's a different, more relaxed vibe and atmosphere around the factory at this time. And it's a good chance for these departments to get ready and prepare for the second half of the year.

But, once the shutdown period is over, it'll be back to work, pushing as hard as ever to end the season on a high.