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Operations in Formula 1

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

Ivo Nikolov

on 26 January 2016

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Transcript of Operations in Formula 1

Looking 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
167 Formula 1 Races
43 Race Victories
49 Pole Positions
Triple World Champion!

All Mercedes Powered!!
In 2015
Mercedes-AMG-HPP Supplied Three Customer Teams
Who are the Competitor Manufacturers?
Jenson Button
113 Formula 1 Races
14 Race Victories
5 Pole Positions
2009 World Champion!

All Mercedes Powered!!
115 Formula 1 Races
13 Race Victories
22 Pole Positions
Twice Runner-Up

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
- Special 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
- Engine
- Battery Pack
- Power Electronics
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
How many people???

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

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

500-700 people required to do this!

Design, Make and Test under one roof! Gives complete 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.
- Classified as an "Turned/Ground Part"
- Made in a dedicated
Turning Cell
Processes Layout
of machines to make

- The Cell is used to make precision turned and ground parts
- Cell is closely linked with Inspection area (+/- 1micron tols)
- The Cell makes larger quantities of standardised parts, not as familiar with quickly creating prototypes
Valve Manufacture: 2 types, 12 per engine,
- Classified as a "Small Complex Part"
- Made in a dedicated
Production Cell
Processes Layout
of machines required to make pistons
- Operators specialised in producing complicated components
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.
Current MBA Student at WBS

Graduated Mechanical Engineering in 2006

Mechanical Engineer in Automotive Engine Design

5 years of experience in Formula 1 working at Mercedes F1 Engine Facility

Worked in Design, Testing and Development

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