It has been mentioned that McLaren was missing from my factory visit write ups. I’ve not been to the McLaren Technology Centre (yet) but I was fortunate enough to be their guest at the weekend of the 2012 British Grand Prix at Silverstone. My father and I were invited in on the Friday, although I did already have tickets for the whole three days. The weather conspired against us – the rain was torrential and turned the fields set aside for parking into swamps. Traffic was horrendous (we queued for a hour at 6am on the Friday morning) and a lot of the teams were short staffed that day as their personnel were stuck on their way into the circuit. This meant that we couldn’t go into the paddock area until after the second practice session and sadly we didn’t get to meet any of the drivers.
Nonetheless, it was a very interesting visit as the team were in the process of dismantling both cars and testing every component ready for qualifying on Saturday. We were told that everything got tested and if there were any doubts on any part it would be replaced (you can see one of the mechanics using an ultrasonic tester in one of the pictures below). As you would expect, the garage was very clean and ordered with everything having a place and something to hold it there. McLaren had their garage set up with the bit you see on TV next to the apron of the pits and several rooms behind (we weren’t permitted to take photos there). These rooms contained among other things parts stores, mechanical workshops, telemetry rooms and servers. It was a warren of activity and I was surprised at the number of people there given the time and day. The hospitality centre was also immense and very impressive.