The race is on

Globally renowned ERP software, Sage ERP X3, has become the official suppliers to the Marussia F1 Team in the UK to drive efficiency, enhance collaboration and increase business insight into its Formula 1 operation. 

The Marussia F1 Team is an Anglo-Russian Formula 1 racing team competing in the ambitious world of Formula 1.  It has the commercial firepower of Virgin which is one of the most recognised and exciting brands in the world along with the passion of Marussia, a Russian sports car manufacturer.    Earlier this month one of our Sage team, Michael Maddison, won a competition to see behind the scenes of this exciting F1 team.

Our tour began as we were picked up in a huge Marussia F1 Team liveried Range Rover and whisked off to a Silverstone circuit where eager Formula 1 fans had already begun flooding through the turnstiles despite it being another 20 or so hours until the show was set to begin.

We parked up next to the paddock entrance alongside the road cars of choice of the Formula 1 grid (quite a few Mercedes SLRs since you ask), and passes were handed out as we left the car and approached the security gate of the F1 paddock – the holy grail of access at a Grand Prix weekend.

As we entered with a reassuring beep which confirmed we were who we said we were, we were immediately greeted with a number of famous Formula 1 faces conducting one of the weekend’s many obligatory press calls, including Force India’s Nico Hulkenberg and the enigmatic Kimi Raikkonen who, despite his ten or so years in Formula 1 still doesn’t appear as at ease out of the car as he does in it.

Marussia F1

Wandering through the paddock I was struck by the sheer scale and opulence of the Motorhomes that form the nerve centres of the teams’ operations at any of GPs in Europe. These things are absolutely enormous, and cost millions. All highly polished metals and mirrored glass. There really is no such thing as a recession in the few square miles that make up the F1 paddock on Grand Prix weekend!

We were led by our ‘tour guide’ Mike towards the back of the Marussia pit garage as he talked through some of the challenges in getting a Formula 1 team around the world, among feverishly working mechanics readying the team for the first free practice session the following morning. Entering the garage it struck me how like Marussia HQ back at Banbury it is; the same sense of busyness and of quietly and assuredly working against the clock; just a more compact, mobile version.

To the front of the garage there was more of the same, this time readying the race cars as we headed by and out into the pitlane. Thankfully the rain that was forecast held off and it was blazing sunshine as we headed over to the pit wall and the bank of computers and screens of telemetry that are used to dictate, control and monitor all important race strategy. Formula 1 is a sport where a fraction of a second can mean the difference between success and failure, and it’s here that split second decisions are made that can save (or lose) you these fractions.

All the while the safety car screamed round the track on a number of sighting laps to make sure conditions are fit to go racing.

Walking up and down the pitlane it was clear how much of a community this is as Marussia personnel mingled with their Caterham counterparts, McLaren with Mercedes and Red Bull.

Unfortunately, our time in the inner sanctum of Formula 1 was coming to an end and we were shepherded out, despite our protests.

It’s not everyday you get this sort of behind the scenes access, and it was a great insight into the world of Formula 1 beyond what you see on TV. A big thank you to Mike and everyone at The Marussia F1 Team who made it all possible.

Michael Maddison, Designer and F1 Fan