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Operations in Formula 1

An insight into Formula 1 - Performance Objectives - Process Layouts - Make vs. Buy

Ivo Nikolov

on 25 January 2017

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Transcript of Operations in Formula 1

Look into a Winning
Formula 1 Operation
State of the Art Engineering & Operations
Fierce Competition on Every Front
What is Formula 1 About?
The Drivers!
The Drivers are the Heroes
Lewis Hamilton
188 Formula 1 Races
53 Race Victories
61 Pole Positions
Triple World Champion!

All Mercedes Powered!!
In 2016
Mercedes-AMG-HPP Supplied Three Customer Teams
Who are the
Jenson Button
113 Formula 1 Races
14 Race Victories
5 Pole Positions
2009 World Champion!

All Mercedes Powered!!
136 Formula 1 Races
23 Race Victories
30 Pole Positions
World Champion 2016

All Mercedes Powered!!
Nico Rosberg
Motor Sport Valley
The Monocoque Chassis
Carbon Fibre
Machine Cut Moulds and Sheet
Hand laid by skilled staff
Hugely labour intensive
5-off made to a unique design every season
2-3 month lead time
Critical Path component
The Power Unit (compared to road-car)
It shapes the business throughout
Success, Glamour, Adulation, Risk, Failure
Building a Formula 1 Car...
Process Layout Cells used throughout
Formula 1 teams make a large number of their own components. But not all!
How are these decisions made?

- Very fast development required
- Plenty of performance from controlling design and manufacture
- Highly sensitive Intellectual Property
- Small scale
- Small quantities
- In-house expertise and resources available

- Defined by the rules
- High investment required to make
- Specialist expertise required
- Needed in very large quantities
- No performance gain from control
of manufacture
- Commodities
Now let's look at how it is made...
- 1.6 litre, V6 engine
- >4500 components!
- >850bhp (<200bhp)
- Engine
- Battery Pack
- Power Electronics
- 145kg minimum weight (>350kg)
- Tightly restricted by Formula 1 rules
- Still plenty of scope for innovation
- Integral to the car. PU and car designed to work optimally together

The business makes around 75 engines per year.
Compare to Daimler making over 1,7million.

VERY low volume
Many engines are unique due to development features.

Still >600 people required to do this!

Design, Make and Test under one roof allows
close control of every operational aspect
- The design and technology in
the Piston is critical
to the performance and reliability of the engine!
- Therefore the expertise is kept in-house in order to be capable of developing quickly
Piston Manufacture: 6 per engine.
- "Turned/Ground Part"
- Made in a dedicated
Turning Cell
Processes Layout
of machines to make

- The Cell makes turned and ground parts
- Cell is linked with
area (+/- 1micron tols)
- The Cell makes larger quantities of high accuracy parts
and not as adept at prototypes
Valve Manufacture: 2 types, 12 per engine,
- "Small Complex Part"
- Made in a
Production Cell
Processes Layout
of machines required
- Specialist Operators
So what parts are brought in?
On the car
- Brakes - High volume and specialised processes
- Wheels - High volume and high capital (Foundry)
- Electrical Sensors - Complex to develop and make
In the engine
- ECU - Has to be the same throughout F1
- Castings - Process requires economies of scale
- Battery Cells - Huge economies of scale mean that only large manufacturers can provide up-to-date technology
- Magnets - Metallurgical and process expertise is essential
- Commodities - Fuel/Oil

However, other manufacturers outsource much more!!
Make vs. Buy Decisions?
In Conclusion
- Formula 1 is a highly dynamic industry

- Success is based on a flexible and reactive operation

- Decisions are made on performance potential above all else

- Efficiency is not the highest priority for the business
- Speed
- Flexibility

- Performance objectives are unlike any other industry

- It's a race of constant evolution that requires Operations Managers to continually keep pace with the state of the art.
Ivo Nikolov

- WBS MBA Alumnus 2016

- Graduated Mechanical Engineering in 2006

- Automotive Engine Designer

- 5 years Formula 1 engine experience at Mercedes F1 Engine Facility

- Design, Testing and Development
F1 is an international Operation
- Massive IT operations
- International data transfer

- F1 Logistics require 500 tonnes of freight to be shipped around the globe

- Staff and equipment travel >100,000miles per season
Full transcript