Grand Prix Driver (2018) s01e03 Episode Script

Launch Day

At their first attempt,
despite using
the latest software,
Honda engineers failed to
fire up the engine remotely.
This is probably
the highest pressure
fire-up of the whole year,
If it's delayed
they're looking at me
to kind of wonder why
maybe it's behind schedule.
When you're happy
and the systems
are happy on our side,
we'll get a thumbs-up
to crank.
That's right, yeah.
The team makes the decision
to abandon
the electronic fire-up
and crank
the engine manually.
Everyone happy?
Alpha. Alpha.
We have life,
but not as we know it.
It was OK.
Got there in the end.
Just to hear the engine
actually crack into life,
it actually
sounded quite good.
JONO: It's another milestone.
Just a relief
that everything's gone OK.
The engine may have fired up,
but the car build has fallen
even further behind schedule.
So right now
we have not got a nose box.
We haven't got a fixture
to proof a nose box.
We've got no floor and we've
got no rear brake ducts.
Those top three
are a massive miss
right across
the organisation.
For McLaren's marketing team,
the car launch is the biggest
event of the year.
We're saying the spotlights
are in the right place.
We're gonna bring up
the house lights
as soon as it comes on.
And the orange on top.
We're fortunate in that
we've got a lot of things
changing for this year.
We've got a new driver,
a new colour scheme.
So there's lots of things
we can talk about
so that kind of played
into the idea of change.
We felt it was time
to have a live event.
We're live streaming it.
This is the chance to kind
of really push the boat out.
We launch with a video
first of all
and then we'll put
the lights onto the car.
Bring on stage
the two drivers, driver Q&A.
And now I want
to speak to Zak Brown.
Zak Brown can stand up
and kind of make it
Do it here, for example.
MAN: Just kind of there and
have the car still rotating?
Yeah, yeah.
Everyone happy with that?
-That looks cool, I think.
MAN: Yeah, that works.
-Yeah? Good for you?
Simon Roberts and his team
are under huge pressure
to complete the car
in time for testing.
SIMON: It's mildly out of
control around the factory.
Don't drop it.
That's all right.
I've never seen it
quite as bad as this.
Things are not on plan,
things are late.
People are doing
the best they can.
we haven't got enough time
to get the job done.
It's just so much stuff
in the system.
And you think: Oh, my God.
So we're never sure what
the outcome's going to be.
But we'll keep going.
When that car goes out,
you've got to know
it's right.
Plan A was to build two cars.
One for the launch,
and one
for the Barcelona test,
which is three days later.
But the lack of parts
means switching to plan B,
to build one car for both.
towards me at the moment.
Nice. And then some
looking off to that corner.
Rookie driver
Stoffel Vandoorne
has arrived at his photoshoot
with the marketing team.
And the other way as well.
The car launch is a momentous
occasion to go public,
to message what the ambitions
of the team are.
And the other way.
The more competitive
and attractive we are
as a FORMULA ONE team,
the more sponsors
we can attract.
So it becomes
a virtuous circle.
But money is the thread
that runs all through it.
That's great.
Did Fernando
have a flat cap as well?
Yeah. Which I prefer.
I like you both in the same.
I think it looks better.
The team has only two days
with their most
marketable asset
two-time world champion
Fernando Alonso.
-How are you?
-Good. You?
Welcome to your
favourite part of the year!
Just chin up a little bit.
Yeah, that's good.
Little bit further back.
OK, gents.
Stoffel, just come a little
bit closer to Fernando.
I think that's good
of both of them. Yeah.
OK? Good.
JONO: At the moment we are
putting Barcelona set up on.
Rear brake ducts, I believe,
Matt, arrive at 3 o'clock?
-At the very best.
I'm not sure where we're
gonna be with the floor.
Bodywork fit's associated
with the floor as well.
So again, that looks at risk.
The team has just 72 hours
to complete the test car.
You do feel the stress, you
know, you feel the pressure,
you feel the stress,
you feel the long hours.
You know, everyone's tired.
That's what you do.
You just work,
work through problems
and firefight, go from
one problem to the next.
The newly designed floor
has been a major problem
for this year's car build.
The intricate
front section of the floor
is only making matters worse.
Certainly, I haven't seen
anything like this before.
Normally they're quite
simple shaped.
But we're pushing the
boundaries of aero this year,
to try and
maximise everything.
Yeah, typical
when it won't come off.
We're a bit like ducks
at the moment, I think.
Calm on top and
the feet are going like mad.
You know, so
You know, just keep at it,
until we get it there.
This is Fernando's
17th season in FORMULA ONE.
So in terms of visibility,
are you&?
Fernando's got
a lot more experience
so it's fairly
black and white.
You give him something he
doesn't like, he's gonna say.
But it's very easy going
when it's like that
because you're not having
to try and second guess.
So the wing mirrors
being further back
is actually easier
to get in and out, isn't it?
We thought this was
gonna be right in the way.
This is not a problem.
You cannot see it.
It's not inside your
-Field of vision.
No problem.
Yeah, it's a very slow rack
for this year, yeah.
You can just sense this thing
is coming together.
It just gathers momentum,
it pulls more people in.
More engineers get involved.
After continual delays,
the floor is finally complete
and ready to fit.
-Is it caught on that jaw?
-Good luck with that.
The engineers still have
a lot of work to do
to complete the test car.
But with the launch
just hours away,
it's time to put
the body panels on
and let the marketing team
complete the livery.
DIANA KAY: No pressure.
Looking good. Getting there.
Gone a little bit
over our deadline.
It is too tight.
It's got to go up.
JOHN: Tomorrow
we launch the car.
It's a fantastic feeling
for the whole team.
For the marketing guys
as well as the racing guys,
of course.
And tomorrow is
the culmination of
all those efforts.
So there's a lot of pride,
there's a lot of hope.
JONATHAN: The thing I like is
the chance to get the staff
up alongside the car to
see the fruit of their work.
For four or five months,
they've been working
so hard at this thing
and the chance to get them
to see: here is the product,
here is the end piece,
the punctuation mark for
that winter's worth of work.
We've still got a bit of work
to do after the launch.
We've got quite a lot of work
still to do.
And get it down to Barcelona.
This year, our launch is
going to mark some changes.
Good to see you, mate.
Now, have you looked
at the briefing?
I briefly looked
at the briefing.
That's why
it's called a briefing.
We don't have Ron Dennis
any more, and we do have
Zak Brown.
And Zak will be front
and central in our launch.
The American president?
Yep, not allowed
to talk about Donald Trump.
We can have a look at it.
So let's go with this
when the car starts to move
and we'll have
a look at that.
A great day, isn't it, Zak?
We're live
on Sky Sports News.
How excited are you
about this new car?
This is a fantastic day for
everyone here at McLaren.
MATT: We're being quizzed
about the relationship
between McLaren and Honda.
I think we need to show
that we're going faster,
that we got
a chance of winning
and a World Championship
is not far away.
The team's name
is McLaren-Honda.
We win as a team
and we lose as a team.
Big day. I'm excited.
I think we're all excited.
MATT: Stoffel, what he
hasn't done ever before
is be centre of attention
in a FORMULA ONE launch
with the world's
media glare upon him.
Obviously they'll ask
about change
because we're changing,
you know.
Obvious changes,
Zak, Ron, You.
That's a positive.
We're saying we're changing
and rightly so.
Change is necessary, change
is important, change is good.
So what we don't want:
"Vandoorne predicts
Grand Prix win" blah blah.
Be the one
that doesn't make a mistake.
All the teams agree
so that we don't launch
on the same day.
We agreed 24th February
for McLaren.
That's why Merc went 23rd,
Force India went 22nd,
and Ferrari just came in
on top at the end:
"Oh, we'll have 24th
as well."
Having said that
they were not going to,
so it was a bit annoying.
Their colour scheme
won't be a surprise.
-Morning, morning.
-Are you ready?
-Yes, yes.
-Are you ready?
-No !
Anyway, morning.
Good to see you.
Yeah, orange.
Right, can I give you your
overalls to change into?
they'll ask about change.
You know, Ron's not
here any more,
so, yes, we are changing.
Change is necessary,
change is good.
Don't slag anybody off,
but change is good
and change is important,
and we are changing.
And by the way, that's why
we've changed the livery,
we've got an orange car
with a bit of black.
Why are you laughing?
I'm happy
you're happy for me.
Overtaking. Will there be
less or more of it in 2017?
One of the issues
people are saying is there
might be less overtaking.
What do you actually think,
Fernando, about that?
-There will be less?
So, are you going to
say that, or?
Perfect. Perfect.
You didn't need a briefing
at all.
we need to start walking.
While the marketing team
sips Chandon
with McLaren's
sponsors and guests,
the engineers
are working at full capacity.
We are trying to get that car
back from the launch at 4:00.
Turn it around.
We've got to fit all the
dampers, everything in it.
It's got to have
all the suspension on
that's fit to run.
And then turn it
into a running car,
to get it out to the test.
Do you mind just coming in
for a bit of powder?
I know!
MATT: Fernando
will be helping Stoffel
through his ordeal,
of his first launch.
This absolute colossal media
spotlight is new to him.
doesn't need any of that.
He knows what he wants
to say, he knows who he is.
He knows exactly
how to be Fernando Alonso.
In fact, he's carved out a
Fernando Alonso-shaped role
for himself in the sport
and in the world.
We are in
the entertainment business.
I'm not about controlling
or gagging drivers at all.
If we've got
an entertaining driver
who wants to speak his mind,
bring it on.
And we're live to Japan too,
-Yes, we are.
-So OK.
So I'll finish with
"Ladies and gentlemen"
We're at the home of McLaren,
one of the most famous names
in Grand Prix racing,
and a name
synonymous with success.
Past champions have included
Emerson Fittipaldi,
James Hunt, Niki Lauda,
Ayrton Senna,
Alain Prost, Mika Hakkinen,
and, of course,
Lewis Hamilton.
-Do you want a tea?
-I'm good, thank you.
Following weeks
of rumour and speculation,
we're just about to find out
what McLaren and Honda
have in store for us in 2017.
Ladies and gentlemen,
McLaren Honda's challenger
for 2017: The MCL32.
I can tell by
the amount of phones out
that you're all as impressed
as I. She is a beast.
Fantastic! Whoo!
I'd like to introduce, up
onto the stage, to tell us
a little bit more about it,
McLaren's Executive Director,
Zak Brown.
We went through
a variety of designs
and ultimately it was
in response to our fans.
We've had so much outreach
from the fans, saying,
"We wanna have some orange,
we wanna have some orange".
Once we get there,
it will be pretty hard
to knock back down.
Patience isn't something
any of us are good at
Ladies and gentlemen,
Zak Brown.
Put your hands together
for him.
Eric, Hasegawa-san,
it's great to have you here.
If I could start with you,
you've talked about
a new vision
for the power unit
for McLaren.
How do you think
that might manifest itself
in the year to come?
The track will be the proof,
We will win again.
is extremely difficult
to achieve.
There's so many young kids
dreaming about it.
In the end there's
only 20 spaces available.
The two men that will be
piloting the MCL32 in 2017,
Stoffel Vandoorne
and the double world
champion, Fernando Alonso.
great to have you in here
and I'm sure the fans will
be delighted to see you here
in front of
what you'll be driving.
-What do you think of this?
-Well, fantastic.
Obviously, it's the first
time we saw it today.
Is it one of the sexier cars
that you will have driven?
Well, I think they become
sexy when they are fast.
So let's wait and see
but next week we will have
some answers in Barcelona.
there's only so many coffees
a man can have
in the paddock.
You must be absolutely
itching to get into this
and have a full season.
Yes, exactly. It's a
very exciting time for me
to be part of McLaren-Honda
as a - finally -
full-time race driver.
And in two days it's gonna
be the moment to step in,
so really exciting
and looking forward to it.
Ladies and gentlemen, this
year's McLaren-Honda drivers,
Stoffel Vandoorne
and Fernando Alonso!
the engine's better,
hopefully the car is good.
Can you maybe
win a race this year?
An hour after the launch,
the car is back
with the engineers.
It is still missing
essential parts.
We'll still be here
for dinner so
another dinner at McLaren.
Cars are always born,
a bit like children are,
sort of odd hours
of the morning,
just when you least need it.
This team, together,
has produced this contender
for the season.
JONO: We've had it back
for 18 hours
and we've basically
now turned it into
the full test car
that you're gonna see
out on the track.
I never saw anything
of the car launch.
Not yesterday. Yesterday
was a really busy day for me.
I hear there was champagne
on the boulevard
but yeah,
I didn't see anything.
No Chandon for me. No.
It's one of the questions you
get asked the most, actually,
you know,
when you're in the pub.
"How much is
one of those cars worth?"
Well, it's worth everything
to everyone in this building.
Our livelihoods
depend on this car.
MAN: Here we go.
So let's hope she's quick.
Previous EpisodeNext Episode