F1 teams hit by French freight bureaucracy | HGV UK.com
Several F1 teams ran into transportation problems after the Monaco Grand Prix due to administrative changes to bank holiday transportation rules.
This year s Canadian Grand Prix could have been short of a few parts thanks to new laws created by the incoming French government. The F1 teams needing to transport their equipment across France on the Monday after the Monaco Grand Prix found they suddenly did not have the necessary documentation needed for all their trucks.
F1 teams have previously benefited from a Derogation de Court Duree which is a special dispensation for F1 vehicles to travel on bank holidays and other weekend days when normal road freight is not allowed to move. The dispensation, given where a bank holiday would affect the race schedule, used to be issued by the local authority but the new French government recently moved the responsibility to the central government transport department.
Marc Wodehouse, of European Abnormal Freight Logistics (EAF) in Bognor Regis, was contacted by two teams and a TV broadcast unit looking to move vehicles to Midlands airport in the UK in time for the flights to Canada. He says: The dispensation is only given where it is shown that the transporter, has to travel from A to B within a restricted time frame and that any weekend or Bank holiday or local restriction would affect the Race schedule.
We process many of these applications every year for Ancillary equipment trucks for many of the F1 teams. However, due to the legislation changes this year, the derogation protocol had been removed from the remit of the local authority but had not yet been set up at national level.
Because of the tight time frame and the difficulty in getting different departments to take executive decisions for a protocol that had not been set up, EAF had to involve F1 boss Bernie Ecclestone in the process.
I spoke to some very senior figures in the French government to try to sort it out for the teams, says Marc, but on this occasion, no one was directly able to take an executive decision so I asked Bernie Ecclestone to make a direct appeal for dispensation.
This kind of thing is unusual and by the time of the next Monaco Grand Prix it will no doubt be sorted out, but the Canadian GP could have been a very different affair for some teams and TV viewers if those teams had not been able to take all their gear.