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Three weekends, three countries, three races: DHL ensures smooth logistics for the first triple-header in Formula 1 history

DHL is organizing the "race behind the race" as Official Logistics Partner.

  • For the first time, three Formula 1 races will take place on three consecutive weekends 
  • DHL is organizing the “race behind the race” as Official Logistics Partner  
  • Up to 1,000 tonnes of equipment must be dismantled, transported and reassembled within 48 hours

In June and July, for the first time in the history of the series, there will be a triple header in the race calendar for the 2018 Formula 1 season, i.e. three races on three consecutive weekends in three different countries: France, Austria and Great Britain. This means that not only the drivers and their teams have three packed and particularly challenging weeks ahead of them – the triple header also represents a new and very special challenge for DHL as global Logistics Partner.

“For the spectators at the track and in front of their TV sets view, a Grand Prix is a huge spectacle,” says Martin Pople, Trackside Manager at DHL. The logistical effort behind it, on the other hand, remains invisible to the spectators: “A single race weekend involves months of planning and the work of two dozen of our specialists,” explains Pople. The fact that this “race behind the race” is fast and safe is also due to the expertise of the DHL specialists: The company has been active in Formula 1 logistics for more than 35 years and has been the Official Logistics Partner since 2004. DHL is also involved as a logistics partner in other racing series, such as Formula E, the WTCR touring car championship and MotoGP.

But even for the logistics service provider’s experienced teams, the 2018 Formula 1 season is something special: The reason is that this year the race calendar will feature a triple header, i.e. three races on three consecutive weekends – for the first time in the history of Formula 1. On June 24, the Le Castellet circuit will host the French Grand Prix, on July 1, the race series will be hosted at Spielberg in Austria and just one week later, on July 8, the drivers will be competing at Silverstone in England. “For fans, three exciting Formula 1 weekends in a row are a gift,” says Pople. For those involved behind the scenes of the event, the schedule is above all a logistical challenge like no other.

Two days for up to 1,000 tonnes of freight

In practice, the tight timing means that the team has no more than 48 hours after the race to dismantle the irreplaceable equipment at the race venue, transport it to the next venue and reassemble it there. There is a timeframe of just two days for the transportation of the valuable and sensitive cargo, including the teams’ racing cars, tires, fuel and spare parts, but also transmission technology, hospitality and marketing equipment. “For the tight schedule to work, everything has to be planned well in advance to the minute,” says Paul Fowler, Vice President Motorsport & Managing Director UK DHL Global Forwarding. At European races, DHL operates up to 25 trucks to transport around 1,000 tonnes freight from one racing venue to another safely and on time. For fly-away races outside Europe the amount of freight handled by DHL still increases to about 2,000 tonnes, corresponding to the load capacity of six Boing 747 aircraft and 40 sea freight containers.

Despite the high demands, DHL feels it is well-prepared for the special challenge presented by the triple header. “Of course, this season’s race calendar presents us with particularly complex issues,” says Fowler. “But we are also looking forward to this special opportunity to demonstrate our expertise in motorsports logistics and to showcase our capabilities,” continues Fowler. With decades of experience in motorsports logistics, DHL is ideally equipped to transport the racing circus safely and quickly from race to race, thus making possible the very special moments with which Formula 1 thrills its fans all over the world.

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