2024-03-01
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Performances tales

Behind the scenes of Formula 1

There are many figures in a Formula 1 paddock. From the engineers to the team principal, everyone needs appropriate clothing that can combine comfort, safety and versatility.

Behind the scenes of Formula 1
Photo credit: Kenny Leys | Unsplash

Cars, speed, technique, timing, precision.

Who doesn’t like to watch a Formula 1 race?

This category was born in 1948, replacing the one under the name Formula A that had been established only two years earlier, until it became international in 1950.
The term “formula” refers to rules that all Grand Prix participants, from the drivers to the cars, must follow, and they mainly concern restrictions on the cars to ensure that there are no disparities and make the races as fair and balanced as possible.

When we watch a race and see a driver hurtling at high speeds on these difficult circuits, we have to keep in mind that behind him there is a team that is constantly following him so that he can race at a high level and have the best possible assistance before, during and after the race.


Especially during, the driver is always in contact with his team, which is located in the paddock; meaning in a kind of enclosure where the maintenance of the cars is taken care of, where those who work with the driver can watch the race, and where the living vehicles in which the driver is housed are also located.

Who is part of this team?

If we happen to watch any Formula 1 race on television, it is inevitable to come across some shots where we see the paddock where there are various people celebrating or are focused on watching the race and particularly on observing how their driver is doing.
All these people that we can see for a few moments on television, despite having the same fame as the drivers, are essential to allow the races to run smoothly and provide entertainment for all the fans.


Here are who the main ones are:

The team principal
He is the one who has to lead the whole team. His primary goal is to manage staff logistics and delegate tasks and duties to the rest of the team, while also monitoring compliance with the rules and sporting code imposed by Formula 1.

Engineers
Engineers are key figures within a paddock and to be precise they are divided into 5 different subcategories, all with different tasks. We find first of all the performance engineers who are responsible for everything related to the chassis and the behavior of the car on the track. The control engineers are those who are responsible for the proper functioning of the gearbox and the state of engine wear. There are also the aerodynamic engineers who study all aspects related to the aerodynamics of the car.


Engine engineers
, on the other hand, take into account all parameters related to engine performance. They are, for example, responsible for adjusting the powertrains and have direct contact with the driver by taking in his feedback on the experience in the car to make possible improvements and modifications.

Finally we find the strategic engineers who are the ones responsible for the choices that are applied for the race, also taking into account the decisions made by the opponents in order to predict possible scenarios on the track also paying close attention to the weather.

Technical director
He’s responsible for coordinating all the work of the engineers, ensuring that every element of the car is in working order and in good condition.

Chief Mechanic
This is the person who supervises the entire team composed of mechanics, ensuring that all the car specifications are correct and that the car’s adjustments are compatible with what the driver and engineers require.

Mechanics
They are those figures who work away from the spotlight but are the heart of the team. Thanks to them the driver can afford to drive a high-performance, reliable and safe car. During races they are in charge of refueling the single-seater, the possible replacement of damaged parts, and changing tires, all in a very short time.

Data Scientist
Last but not least is the data scientist who analyzes a variety of data that the car transmits in real time such as engine performance, oil pressure, or brake wear.

All these figures are the main ones we can find in a paddock, and it is also thanks to them that we are able to witness thrilling and unique races.

Formula 1 | shoestechnologies
Photo credit: Formula 1 instagram

To be part of Formula 1, the right clothing is essential

Drivers have very specific technical clothing for these races from head to toe, so as to provide comfort, a good relationship with the car but above all safety in case of accidents or problems of any kind.

In this article we do not want to put the emphasis on the best shoes for drivers, instead we want to continue to shine the spotlight on all those figures who, in the context of Formula 1, very often tend to remain behind the scenes.

So what types of shoes might be best for all those people who work in a Formula 1 team?

Among all the different jobs mentioned above, surely engineers and mechanics are those people who most move around working closely with the car, so it is important to highlight how they in particular need shoes that know how to help them in their tasks.

The footwear they wear may be specific just for their work, but in particular they need to be made to provide comfort, safety, and durability for such specific environments.
They certainly need footwear that is designed to be lightweight, so as to allow for greater comfort and agility in movement, which are then also made with non-slip soles to provide a secure grip on surfaces or liquids of various kinds.


Certain types of shoes should also need to include reinforcements in the areas that are most subject to stress, such as the toe or heel, increasing the protection of the foot to avoid unpleasant injuries.

Formula 1 | shoestechnologies
Photo credit:  Yesheng Liang | Unsplash


Another element that should be highlighted is the importance of using fireproof material. Since we are talking about a sport where speed is one of the main factors, along with the presence of cars and fuel, it can unfortunately happen that unexpected fires can break out. For this reason, it is good that a driver’s entire team should also be equipped with shoes and clothing designed with fireproof materials to ensure the safety of people should such unforeseen events happen.

Brands for this world

There are some more or less well-known brands that have specialized or have specific sections for automotive and occupational safety footwear.

Puma, for example, is a brand that has added the “Puma Safety” section over the years. More specifically, since 2002 when ISM, a company of global importance for the production of workwear and footwear, began to develop safety shoes in collaboration with Puma, drawing on the latter’s sporty style by inaugurating this new category.

Formula 1 | shoestechnologies
Puma Safety
Photo credit: Pumasafety website

Sparco is another brand that, since its birth in 1977, has specialized in the production of automotive components and technical apparel that is used in the world’s most important motorsport competitions, including Formula 1.

Some of their footwear can also be used by workers employed in paddocks thanks mainly to the materials used and their characteristics.


One of these is definitely the Torque-Miki-01-SRA: this shoe is made with a phylon sole and a rubber bottom designed to resist hydrocarbons and the various types of oils that can be found on a motor racing track. A breathable insole, reinforced and durable toe box, energy-absorbing heel capacity, and specific resistance against slipping make this shoe a decidedly optimal piece of clothing for anyone who works in an environment such as Formula 1 and where snags and hazardous materials can be on the agenda.

Formula 1 | shoestechnologies
Sparco Torque-Miki-01-SRA
Photo credit: Sparco website

A shoe for every situation

We have come to realize that the world of Formula 1 is not characterized only by a driver and his car. There are so many figures behind him that allow the sport to be so exciting and acclaimed.


In spite of the adrenaline and beauty of watching these professionals hurtle around a motor racing circuit, it is good to remember that there are more or less serious unforeseen events that can pop up even when we least expect them, which is why it is important to be as prepared as possible.


Even all the people who are part of a Formula 1 team, must have the right equipment both to work in comfort and above all to be safe in case of problems of any kind.
There are no precise and exclusive footwear for this specific reality, but there are many brands that make shoes that can also adapt to this world and the needs of individuals.

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