Formula 1®

Delivering Formula 1 to Bahrain: Special circumstances call for special measures

Transporting the entire Formula 1 Championship around the world is a highly complex process, as not only the cars for each team have to be delivered to the 21 race venues within nine months but also all the supporting equipment that is used during a race weekend. This includes the infrastructure required for the Fan Zone and Paddock Club.

The Bahrain GP once again showed that unexpected challenges might occur requiring deviation from the original plan and acting fast and with can-do attitude to find solutions.

Fan Zone and Paddock Club infrastructure were scheduled to arrive by sea in Bahrain on 25th March, six days before the second race of the season. Since there are no direct sea freight connections to Bahrain, the equipment was shipped via Jebel Ali in Dubai. The three 40ft containers were confirmed to be transported to Bahrain on the same ship, but when the DHL Motorsport team contacted the shipping line, it turned out that this was not the case – only one container was on board.

So what had happened to the two other containers? Hopes now rested on the possibility that the cargo had been loaded onto a second ship which docked in Jebel Ali on 24th March and was due to arrive in Bahrain on 26th March. However, the two containers had been unloaded in Jebel Ali, which disrupted the entire tight schedule.

From Baku to Bahrain

At this point, DHL Global Forwarding in Dubai was involved and, together with the customs authorities, sought a solution to the problem. The revised plan was to put the original sea freight onto a plane bound for Bahrain, thereby ensuring timely arrival at the race track. The customs authorities gave the green light, permitting the containers to be driven from the seaport to the airport and reconfigured to safe airfreight specification.

At the same time, the DHL Motorsport team packed up three tons of equipment originally intended for the Azerbaijan GP in Baku at the end of April and put it on a DHL plane at East Midlands Airport from where it was flown via Leipzig to Bahrain. This consignment arrived at the Bahrain International Circuit on 26th March.

Our onsite team unloaded and assisted with dispatch and install, and there was no noticeable impact to client or production

Paul Fowler, Vice President Motorsport & Managing Director UK

With the assistance of the DHL Aviation Hub in Bahrain, it was possible to divert a UK-bound aircraft to Dubai in order to pick up the freight waiting there and fly it to the race track. At 4.00 am on Wednesday 27th March, the loading was complete and the equipment finally arrived at its destination at midday.

“Our onsite team unloaded and assisted with dispatch and install, and there was no noticeable impact to client or production,” said Paul Fowler, Vice President Motorsport & Managing Director UK.

The equipment originally planned for Bahrain will be used next at the Japanese GP in October and is now on its way to Asia by sea freight. The cargo earmarked for Baku and diverted to Bahrain will be sent by direct charter to Azerbaijan ready for its next deployment.

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