JANUARY 17, 2007
Got to keep up with the Mateschitzes
McLaren has long been an innovator in Formula 1, not just with the racing cars but also with all the paraphenalia that comes with a Grand Prix. It was the McLaren team that built the first mega-motorhome, a two-storey construction known as "The Communications Centre".
Since then Dietrich Mateschitz's Red Bull organisation has come along with its three-storey "Energy Station" which overshadowed even the McLaren facility - quite literally on occasion.
For some time McLaren has been planning to hit back with a new design and the word on the street in Valencia is that the choice of launch venue for the MP4-22 was not a coincidence as the new McLaren facility is rumoured to be based on the striking design of the Spanish city's America's Cup Pavilion, known as the Edificio Veles e Vents. This was the work of British architect David Chipperfield. The problem with these impressive paddock constructions is that they take a great deal of time to build although experience with the Communications Centre should keep the hours of rigging to a minimum.
The team now has strong Spanish theme with drivers Fernando Alonso and Pedro de la Rosa and several sponsors so a little architectural homage is not a bad idea.
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