Mr. Wolff, the MERCEDES AMG PETRONAS partnership with ebm-papst is now entering into its third season. Give us a progress report.
Toto Wolff: The partnership is highly effective. In Formula OneTM, it’s very important that all the different parts of the team work together. And ebm-papst is a key part of the team because the company helps us in many critical areas. It makes a major contribution by effectively cooling our cars at the track with the on-car cooling fans. And our employees work more efficiently and effectively in a cooler environment in the team garages as well.
Why are working conditions so important today?
We have 60 or 70 mechanics working in the pit garages. When the car arrives with a hot engine and hot brakes, the temperature can become very high. Both the mechanics and the drivers perform better when the temperature in the garage is 28 °C instead of 45 °C. With ebm-papst, we have created a pleasant working climate. This provides a clear advantage in the competitive racing environment at Grands Prix.
In Brackley, you also rely on the ventilation technology expertise of ebm-papst now …
Yes, we have 800 employees at our headquarters in Brackley in the UK. It is important that they work in a comfortable air conditioned buildings — not too cold or too hot and with pleasant air — so they can concentrate. As we measure and improve all aspects of our operation on a continuous basis, I can confidently say that ebm-papst help our success.
As far as cooling is concerned, do you think you’ve reached the pinnacle in Formula OneTM?
There’s always room for improvement in Formula OneTM. We’re always working to make the car even faster, generate a bit more downforce and find more power from the engine. It’s exactly the same with cooling. We want increasingly efficient cooling systems and to constantly improving work conditions — our collaboration with ebm-papst in these areas is key.
How did the competition react to the new supplier? Surely they are curious about what you are doing.
Of course, Formula OneTM teams are always trying to copy the innovations of others. It’s obvious that we have new units and new ventilation systems in the pit. So I expect to see one or two other teams coming along with a similar solution. But we were the first to react, and with an exclusive relationship with a partner of this calibre we expect this to give us a clear competitive advantage