Grand Prix Driver (2018) s01e02 Episode Script

Built to Fail

In the first race of 2016,
Fernando had erm
what can only be described
it was a monster crash.
I remember running
from my office
through to Mission Control.
I just saw the car
in this blizzard of debris.
I thought I was going in
to lock everything down.
I thought I was at that
moment where,
we've got
a really big one here.
A couple of years ago
he probably wouldn't
have walked out of it.
He lost a few lives
on that one.
The survival cell
is what should be left
after your biggest crash
Come Alonso's
Melbourne shunt,
that was taken back to
pretty much the survival cell
with the engine attached.
Everything that goes into it
is built around protecting
one person, the driver.
We're responsible
for designing
the survival cell.
There's numerous FIA tests.
We have a front impact
that shows that
the seatback bulk head
is strong enough to keep the
driver where he should be.
A huge 250 kilonewton squeeze
on the side of the car.
With the safety of
their drivers assured,
the team focuses
on their next challenge.
They have just three weeks
to assemble the all-new
McLaren MCL32.
The car build has begun.
So with very little
from the last car
of last year,
to the car that we're
going to launch
on February 24th,
which is about 13,500 parts,
no carry-over.
All of this
has to be manufactured.
And the organisation
just has extreme indigestion.
The essential point of this
is we come together
as one team
and we balance
out those challenges.
The big issue, really,
for us is,
the big risk is the floor,
so..we're only
gonna have one floor
for the shakedown and
ermpossibly the launch.
It means the floor for day
one and two of the test
is the floor we run
in Silverstone.
So if we curb it or trash it,
then we have
nowhere to go on that.
-But that's not the plan--
Yeah, all right.
At this rate, do you
still think getting to
a shakedown is viable?
Erm80% positive.
OK. Fair enough.
And I've got this healthy
dynamic team behind me!
A shakedown is the first
time a new car runs on track.
This year McLaren will
shakedown the car
at the Silverstone circuit
in the UK,
two days after assembly.
SIMON: When we've
finished the last race
of the season, everyone
at home kind of thinks
that's it, we all pack up
and sit back and chill.
But actually,
it's the opposite.
For everyone here,
it's actually just about
designing and building
the new car.
Luckily for me personally
in the car build this year,
Jono and the guys are
doing a really good job
of kind of managing it all
without me having
to get too involved.
JONO: This is the car build
At the moment it's over
a three-week period.
That's from us working on
the car in the trim shop,
to then going through paint,
to then final assembly
of the car.
Two days after getting
the chassis,
Honda will arrive
and then we'll be
installing the engine.
48hrs later - fire-up.
McLaren's rookie driver
Stoffel Vandoorne
has been training hard
throughout the winter.
He has just over three weeks
before his fitness evaluation
for the 2017 season.
STOFFEL: People normally,
they just think,
"You're driving a car,
what is physical about it?"
I mean, we're exposed
to very hot climates,
extreme G-forces,
and yeah, you have to do
loads of training
to be able to sustain this.
So palms facing the ceiling.
OK, and you'll go
so effectively your biceps
always under tension.
That's it.
STOFFEL: When I first started
working with Mikey,
it was all about getting to
know each other a little bit
and for him to understand
what my strengths
and weaknesses are.
MIKEY: I think he's got
really good range of motion,
I think he's got really
good strength,
I think his cardiovascular
endurance is good.
He's got good speed as well.
Our programmes
really have been about
making consistent
gradual gains.
We have one more training
camp left in a week's time
which is in Lanzarote.
-Looks like a sex toy,
doesn't it?
STOFFEL: The only way
during winter, really,
to keep your neck fit
is using this device,
and even then
it's extremely difficult
to replicate the G-forces
we are feeling in the car,
so even this as hard as
I can ever pull it,
it's still not as hard
as it is in a real car.
I mean, the first day
you're in the car,
you always feel it.
On the first day
we do over 100 laps,
so you don't want to be there
after 50 laps and be like,
"Oh, I can't drive
any more."
It's not only about
the physical training.
It's so important to have
a good vibe with your trainer
because you spend
so many days.
-Come on, Mikey.
That was a crap throw!
When the drivers are away
training during the winter,
we're building the car.
They're kind of
building themselves up,
and we're building
the car up,
and hopefully together,
when they come together,
they're a formidable package,
if you like.
We're putting the gold
onto the chassis,
which heat-proofs
the fuel tank.
Obviously, you don't want it
heating up,
it's got a max temperature
it can reach
so it just stops it from
getting hot, basically.
So it's just normal
ertape with gold on it,
it's gold leaf.
It's £1,700 a roll,
I believe,
and roll's a little bit
bigger than that
so it's not cheap.
-You can't get three of us--
-If it slides, I'll go over.
The fuel tank - or fuel cell
- in a FORMULA ONE car
is a flexible bag
located directly
behind the driver.
It can withstand huge
accident impacts
without rupturing.
We need to put that --
-Right up there.
-Right up there, like so.
We've got to pull the front
down here.
So we just put
the fuel cell in.
Once you've got it in, you've
just got to expand it all out
and get it in the corners.
Ermand then there's
some bolts that go in
to hold some pins that keep
it located in the chassis,
so it doesn't
sort of fold in.
It's tiny little holes so
all part of the fun.
The final stage of
fuel cell installation
is to attach hard lines
through which
the fuel will flow.
Fuel system builds
ermcell's been installed,
it's a better fit,
it's not perfect
but it's better.
So hard lines are going in
the chassis, they all seem
to be OK so far.
We have had engine confirmed
as arriving on Friday.
Just need to make sure
the fuel rig's ready.
Any more from anyone?
Thank you very much, cheers.
As Stoffel trains for Monaco
for the pre-season,
Fernando does the same
in Spain.
He won his second
championship in 2006.
At 35 years old, he has been
training harder than ever
for that elusive
third world championship.
Rules prevent Grand Prix
drivers from driving F1 cars
off season,
so Fernando
keeps his competitive edge
by driving
specially modified,
high-powered go-karts.
Winning in FORMULA ONE
is all about time -
time measured
by thousandths of a second.
OK, go.
They're taking it really
seriously about pit stops,
because they believe
that is where FORMULA ONE
lies, isn't it?
That's what everyone wants to
see, the pit stops.
Because that's where you
gain time, you lose time -
it changes the race.
LEE: We'll go out
four days prior to the event
and start building
the garage.
Reset. Go.
And that's my job
for the weekend.
And hopefully make it home.
And win a race.
And fastest pit stop.
LEE: We help each other
as a team, always helping as
a team - it's a big thing.
If you don't have teamwork,
then you're not gonna
achieve anything.
So if we're sort of doing
a two-and-a-half second stop,
then we're sort of reaching
our target.
So we're just
I'm just gonna go across
and see what the floor,
how the floor's getting on.
So I saw it arrive
this morning.
It arrived at about erm
eight o'clock this morning,
I saw them carrying it
Let's go and see what
progress they've made.
So as you can see,
that's how it comes in to us,
it's pretty plain,
nothing bonded on it.
So this is now why
the guys are up against it.
They've got to try and bond
all the standard cover
panels, electrical sensors,
all the aero sensors.
So because this is gonna be
our only floor,
we want to make sure
it's fully instrumented.
Otherwise you're gonna
lose all that data
through the test.
So we wanna go to Silverstone
with a fully pressure-tapped
They're gonna do everything
they can through the weekend
and through into next week.
STOFFEL: This is our last
training camp
before the season gets going.
It's an important one because
it's really the final push
to get ready, so we're doing
high volume, high intensity.
It's very exhausting,
but that's what we have to do
to get ready
before jumping in the car.
MIKEY: All of the training
that we're doing,
there's a real purpose to it.
And that purpose is just
to help him perform better
in the car.
We're not doing things
for the sake of doing them.
We can see whether what we've
been doing over the last few
months has been beneficial.
your body fat percentage
was very low anyway.
So we're not gonna be
seeing massive gains in that.
I think everything
that we have done has been
mapped out, everything
All the goals that we've set,
you have achieved
or surpassed.
Ermin terms of readiness
for the F1 season,
are you ready?
100% you are.
I don't think
you could be any more ready.
There's gonna be a whole load
of pressure that you're gonna
be put under.
ErmI think that
you'll tolerate that well.
Try and really sort of savour
this first year in
-Sure. I will.
Good man.
The RA617H Honda engine
has arrived
from Sakura in Japan.
The design
is all new and top secret.
After two years
of underperforming,
Honda must deliver
for McLaren.
The engine behind us in here,
is that offered up
this afternoon?
So that's going in
at four o'clock,
all being well.
-So a couple
of hours from now.
-That's good.
the biggest concern
for you at the moment?
JONO: So at the moment
we're missing some hoses
for the engine,
which we need to fire up.
So ermwe're just working
through that with planning
at the moment,
we do have a backup plan.
-Which I think we're
gonna put in place.
JONO: So this is the
first time the real engine,
real chassis
have met each other.
It's a big milestone
when you get an engine
on the back of a chassis
for the first time.
The main pins fastening
the engine to the gearbox
don't fit.
-It's cold.
-I'm about to sort that.
I don't know. Luckily
I've been down this side.
So I'm not sure
what's going on at the back.
We just went to put
the gearbox on ready
for the fire-up tomorrow,
and we've got a problem,
with where the gearbox and
the engine's mating together.
So we'll just have to have
a little bit of a look
through the design,
see what the problem is
and then make a plan.
It's going to be one of those
situations where
we're gonna have to
quickly go through design
and into manufacture and
try and get some new parts
around us within a couple
of hours, probably, to kind
of solve the position.
Can we have the drawing
for this as well?
Can we have the
have you got the drawing?
-OK, OK.
Yes, we'll make it now,
yeah, yeah.
So we need the drawing
and we'll have them made
in a couple of hours,
we can have them made.
If we have this, then we can
have this made in
Yeah, so Adam will go
and do design
and then he will send
email with proposal,
we'll all agree, and then
we'll make the bits, OK?
-Which is engine side,
this is engine side, yes?
-Yes, engine side.
We could still step over
here maybe?
-Maybe something
We'll have a look.
We will show you design
before we do anything.
But I think we should
have a look. Can I borrow
all of these bits?
-Can I show the designer?
I'm gonna run.
JONO: If we were out in Japan
with the chassis
and we had problems,
they'd do the same for us.
You know, it works both ways.
There's erm We have
all the facilities here
to rework anything.
The whole engine
is stalled until the new pins
can be fabricated,
pushing back this critical
stage of the car build.
Oh, really?
The shakedown was
scheduled five days before
the first Barcelona car test,
giving the team just a few
days to fix any problems
they may have discovered.
SIMON: Right, we'll make a
start. Morning, everybody.
Ermso talk about
the shakedown first.
Unfortunately we're not
in a condition
where we think we can run
the shakedown at Silverstone
with sufficient parts
in good order.
The main issue we've got -
we haven't got a floor yet.
So with some reluctance
this morning
we've decided we're
gonna scratch the shakedown
on Wednesday,
so we're not going to
Silverstone on Wednesday,
and we're gonna
run a shakedown
in Barcelona on the Sunday.
So sorry to have to
tell you that this morning
but that's the way it is.
to miss an event, I think
it's the right thing to do,
and we move on from there.
If there are problems now,
McLaren-Honda is risking
valuable test time.
SIMON: The impact of that
on the organisation
will be huge.
It's a massive fail.
JONO: Failure is a word
that we don't like to use.
People here try and do
the best job they can
at all times.
And they're hard-working
people and when we fail,
I think we're very hard
on ourselves sometimes,
maybe too hard.
Modern FORMULA ONE drivers
have to be Olympic level
How's your
body composition looking,
do you think?
Good. I gained a little bit
of weight, maybe.
-But I lost
-A little bit of weight
but lean mass?
I lost 3% of fat.
So you're changing.
STOFFEL: I've done this test
two months ago,
to have base fitness test
and to know exactly
all the information we needed
to go on our training camps
and start working
on my fitness.
This is the final test before
the season is starting
so it will be good to see
how we've progressed.
Ermto see all the training
we have done has actually
helped something.
TESS: Thank you very much.
Keep focused, Stoff.
Well done, you got this!
Keep pushing, let's see how
far you've got in this now.
Let's try and get over 400,
Well done. Good!
Push, push, push, push, push!
Your heart rate's still got
a little bit left in it, OK?
Your heart rate's
not quite there yet,
you're not quite maxing.
Nearly over 400 now.
Over 400! Well done!
Good! Push, push, push, push!
426, you've absolutely
smashed it, Stoff.
Excellent, mate.
Well done, well done.
Can you take his mask off?
STOFFEL: I've never been
over 400 watts,
I think, on the bike,
so, yeah,
pleased I achieved that.
This is definitely the
fittest I have ever been.
TESS: Excellent work.
You've absolutely
smashed that, well done.
The best for us
is to be in the car
and being race fit, but yeah,
that's always the challenge,
to keep that fitness level
over the whole year.
McLaren's new driver has
exceeded every benchmark
set for him.
The team's focus is now
on the all-new Honda engine.
Fire-up of the car
will be a little bit like
giving birth to your baby.
First noise, and normally
it's the same, you know,
it's like ersniffing and
losing all water everywhere.
So similar to a birth.
You invite everybody here
to go and have a look.
JONO: We should have
been firing-up at 11 o'clock.
We've just had a delay
on that from Honda,
they're working on
some software in Japan
to try and solve a problem
with cranking the engine,
it's a safety issue.
Ermso they're
working on that,
we should have
an answer on that at 12.
Code is a bit of
a funny thing.
If you don't have
the latest stuff in,
the one thing that you missed
could stop the car firing up.
So they like to fire up
on the latest code.
MECHANIC: Not ready.
We're just gonna
JONO: Part of my job
this morning
is making sure the execs know
when we're gonna fire up.
It may start without us
actually telling it to start.
So that's why the guys
have all been told, briefed
that as soon as they
enable it, it could go.
It could go without us
pressing the button
on the wheel.
You're gonna look that side
and I'll look this side.
Only the bare minimum,
please, for fire-up.
Not every man and his dog.
So you're completely happy
for us to start cranking?
-I can hear the contactors.
-(LAUGHS) Click.
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