McLaren-Honda staff sacrificed Christmas Holiday for 2016 F1 car

by Gemma Bray

To ensure its 2016 Formula 1 car was ready for the first pre-season test next month, McLaren-Honda staff sacrificed their Christmas Holidays. With the late reshuffle of the F1 2016 calendar, the target of producing the car before the first test began in Barcelona, proved to be difficult for the team, with testing earlier than originally planned.

“Our entire build programme wasn’t lined up for that,” McLaren’s operations director Simon Roberts told his team’s website. “So we knew we had a problem to solve. 

“In terms of our design and engineering capacity, it’s a relatively straightforward re-planning exercise – there’s less time to get the work done, so everyone works a bit harder. But the build schedule is on a critical path – it needs to pass all the FIA safety tests and be ready for the first test, which was also brought forward.

“In that situation, you can’t just re-plan, you need to do something different. In simple terms, we put about eight shifts of work back into the programme over a five-day period – a fantastic effort. 

“In total, there were about 110 people involved and we looked after our Christmas workers with a competitive package. We had a really good response, and people seemed to enjoy it too – it was a bit weird, not having all the time off, but there was a good spirit in the place.

“Everyone knew why they were doing it, and it really cleared the decks. Most pleasingly, it meant that, once we came back in the New Year, we were back on schedule – and it felt like the programme had always been phased that way. It was an incredible effort.”

McLaren will be launching their 2016 Formula 1 car online on 21 February.

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