The above is the reception of the Force India formula one team, no relation to the motorhome, but cool nonetheless. The new motorhome of the Force India formula one team is also expected to be a steel and glass structure.
In the era of austerity and economic crisis, there is one team that is certainly not feeling the heat and its Vijay Mallya led Force India formula one team. One remembers him for his flamboyant ways and the uber cool parties thrown by him on the Indian Empress yacht. The whos who of formula one including Bernie Ecclestone, Flavio Briatore etc. are known to be guests of Dr. Vijay Mallya who leaves no stone unturned in ensuring that his guests are treated well.
So it really should come as no surprise when we get to hear that the Force India formula one team is redesigning their motor home to Vijay Mallya’s exacting standards :P.
With the flyaway races done for the time being and the European leg starting, teams carry their own motor-homes with them and try to have super luxury in these 😛
‘The structure we used in 2009 and 2008 was still in very good condition and the square footage it afforded us was perfect, but internally it needed some pretty major tweaks based on the use it had over the last two seasons. We looked at this use in depth and made a plan accordingly over the winter. We worked intensively with our hospitality partners Kitz Catering& Service to get their feedback on what could, or should, be done.
‘Last season the use of each of the floors overlapped slightly. The ground floor was used for team and guests, the second floor for team and drivers and the third floor for Dr Mallya’s guests and meeting area. Overall, when we looked at it, nobody really had the ideal situation. We needed to revisit each floor.’
Quoting further from the Force India F1’s press release , one can imagine the super luxury :
Which is exactly what happened, with each floor a separate ‘project’ in itself. After more than 40 designs between Force India and Kitz, the ground floor has become a space for guests and media where, after stepping through a touch activated sliding door mechanism (also new from 2009), visitors are greeted by a new welcome desk with computerised guest lists that will even – when the person says their name – recognise what their preference of drink is! Next the guest will be seated on furnishings made specially for the Force India motorhome, a mix of white, green and orange curved ergonomic tables and chairs. A fully integrated bar area with flat screen TVs will also be available for visitors wishing to chat a bit more informally, while a chill out area gives guests space to read the latest newspapers or team updates. Although this set-up is designed to promote a relaxing yet convivial atmosphere, the work that has gone into making it so has been taxing.
‘The ground floor has been a challenge,’ Andy continues. ‘The whole area has been re-fitted. The floor has been relaid with a wood laminate to make it more durable but also more in-keeping with the cooler decoration, the electrics completely rewired and the air conditioning units replaced so the whole area stays cool. This has been done in close consultation with Dr Mallya, who takes guest hospitality very seriously.’
The second floor is perhaps the most impressive overhaul from 2009. This area will be used exclusively for team and drivers, but also features a large boardroom-type meeting room, a marketing office and two extended driver and treatment rooms with all fixtures and fittings changed to make it more of a relaxing space for Adrian and Tonio.
This floor will be accessed via a separate staircase that will also have direct access from the kitchen so the team’s meals can be served fresh. Again, this whole floor has been rewired – with two kilometres of cables approximately – and air conditioning units completely reinstalled. More than 30 panels will be used to construct this area, which has also been extended by 33 square metres by the addition of an extra container to the semi-permanent structure.
The top floor will remain Dr Mallya’s guest and meeting area however he will enjoy the luxury of an additional 33 sq metres as a terrace has been constructed on the roof of the additional containers. Again, this has been refitted completely to have three separate areas, including an office, reception area and guest zone with panoramic and sound-proof windows.
This whole structure weighs more than 40 tonnes and will take 10 people up to three days to construct – more than the team’s VJM03’s take to build!
‘It’s been a major undertaking,’ surmises Andy. ‘But we feel in the end that it has been worth it. Kitz has done a fantastic job within the timescale and brief. As a team, the biggest selling point you have – apart from on track performance – is the experience you can offer to guests, sponsors and potential partners. We want to excel in every area this year and we’re confident that this new refurb will help us achieve this.
‘Given the overall benefit we will have, both long and short term, we’re quite happy to wait for an additional two races to have a perfect motorhome for our needs. The first build always takes some time to get spot-on and rather than have to revisit again later in the year, we want it right first time. In the meantime we will use a temporary motorhome in Spain and Monaco while the new improved motorhome is driven direct to Turkey. It will be impressive and something the whole team can be proud of when we see it return in 2010.’
Now that will be one sleek motorhome , cant wait for the photos of the motorhome to come through.
Photos Copyright : Force India Media Images