La Silicon Valley de la F1 et ses secrets sur Canal +

La Silicon Valley de la F1 vient d’accueillir la 10ème manche de la saison 2016 de Formule 1, avec la 4ème victoire de Lewis Hamilton sur le circuit de Silverstone. Une victoire au goût forcément particulier sur ce qui est le berceau historique de la F1, Silverstone ayant accueilli le premier Grand Prix de l’Histoire de la Formule 1, le 13 mai 1950. Après le Grand-Prix de Grande-Bretagne, les équipes de l’émission « Formula One » de Canal + proposaient un zoom sur les secrets de cette Silicon Valley de la F1, également appelée « Formula One Valley »

A Silverstone, les employés de l’écurie Force India, l’équipe de Nico Hulkenberg et Sergio Perez, jouaient à domicile avec une usine qui se trouvent aux portes du circuit de Silverstone. Ce qui, bien sur, change des lointains déplacements, la F1 s’étant fortement mondialisée depuis les années 2000 : de Kuala Lumpur (Malaisie) à Mexico, en passant par Singapour ou encore Bakou (Azerbaïdjan) au mois de juin dernier.

Outre Force India, la plupart des écuries de Formule 1 se sentent à la maison lors du Grand Prix de Silverstone. Et pour cause, 8 équipes sur 11 sont basées en Angleterre, aux alentours de Silverstone dans ce qu’on appelle la Silicon Valley de la F1 : McLaren à Woking, Red Bull à Milton Keynes, Williams à Grove, Renault à Enstone, Mercedes à Brackley, Manor et Haas à Banbury, et donc Force India à Silverstone.

Pour Claire Williams, Team principal de l’emblématique écurie britannique du même nom : « C’est notre course à domicile, tous les employés viennent. Cela leur permet de voir rouler la voiture pour laquelle ils font tant de sacrifices »

La campagne anglaise, la ferveur et l’ambiance d’un public très connaisseur caractérisent cette course au coeur de la Silicon Valley de la F1. Mais pas seulement. Si les écuries se bousculent dans cette « Motorsport Valley » c’est aussi (et surtout) pour des considérations d’ordre technique et logistique : les compétences, talents et savoir faire (filières, académies, universités, ingénieurs, fournisseurs spécialisés) y sont concentrés, tout comme les grandes infrastructures  que sont les usines et les souffleries réputées complexes. Le meilleur exemple de cette histoire qui perdure est racontée dans le reportage via Enstone : les couleurs et périodes changent (Benetton, Renault, Lotus, Renault) mais l’usine reste.

Toto Wolff (Mercedes): « On ne peut pas bâtir une usine de cette ampleur autre part »

Seule exception à la règle, la Scuderia Ferrari, car « Ferrari est à Maranello » comme le rappelle le Team principal des rouges Maurizio Arrivabene.

Voir le reportage « La Silicon Valley de la F1 », diffusé dans « Formula One » sur Canal + le dimanche 10 juillet 2016

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