The Abu Dhabi Formula 1 Grand Prix was the last race of the 2015 season, with the Mercedes AMG Petronas team taking a one-two courtesy of Nico Rosberg and world champion Lewis Hamilton.
Courtesy of Epson, I was at the race and had VIP access to the Mercedes team – including the pit garage.
Below is a behind-the-scenes look at the Mercedes team’s set-up at the event.
There were some areas that were weren’t allowed to photograph, which are described in combination with the permitted photos.
Behind the scenes at the Mercedes F1 pit garage
The only way for non-Mercedes staff to get into the pits was with a VIP pass.
Even Formula 1 teams keep their cars’ mags clean. This area is just outside the entrance to the Mercedes garage.
The pit entrance to the best team in Formula 1 in 2015 – claiming both the driver’s and constructor’s championships.
The garage has two viewing galleries for guests, positioned behind Nico Rosberg and Lewis Hamilton’s sides of the pit.
The galleries contain large leather seats, headsets which are plugged into the team’s communication system (we heard everything they said), and screens with video and information feeds.
This was Hamilton’s side of the garage, and engineers worked on his car during the breaks in practice sessions and qualifying.
The Mercedes team is made up of around 70 “performance” members (racing and engineering), and 20 personnel who handle marketing and other functions.
This is the in-garage control centre from which each driver is given instructions by their principal race engineer.
On Hamilton’s side of the garage, his race engineer stands at the terminal on the left of the desk.
There are no chairs, and the engineers stood throughout the practice sessions, qualifying, and the race, from what I observed.
Many sections of the car are removable, allowing the engineers access to components and electronics.
Multiple spares of entire sections of the car are placed around the garage, including several transmission sections and front wings.
The gold-covered rear of Hamilton’s car’s seat can be seen on the bottom right – placed there after it was removed from his car after free practice.
We weren’t allowed to take photos of multiple sections of the garage.
These areas included a room where spare car sections were worked on; a laboratory for fuel, oil, and other car fluid analysis; and an “IT” room that looked like a mini data centre.
All the race information is processed and analysed in the IT section, which is also connected to Mercedes’ racing headquarters in the UK.
The data sent to the UK is analysed by staff at head office.
Here Rosberg makes a stop at the garage.
There are also race engineers along the start/finish straight, just inside the crash barriers.
The one pictured below is for the Ferrari crew, but I can assure you the Mercedes one looks almost identical – minus the red seats and images of Ferraris.
These systems were running Windows, while the Mercedes team’s laptop of choice was the Lenovo ThinkPad – from what I saw.
Mercedes took first and second at the Abu Dhabi race, with Rosberg claiming top spot on the podium.
A big thank you to Epson for inviting me on this incredible trip.