McLaren Brand Centre, Monza, 2019

McLaren to replace its distinctive Brand Centre motorhome with sustainable alternative

2021 F1 season

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McLaren’s long-serving motorhome, officially known as the Brand Centre, will no longer be seen around the racing tracks of Europe.

The towering structure, one of the biggest in the paddock, requires dozens of trucks to transport from race to race. It has been in service since 2007.

However the team has brought new facilities to Imola for this weekend’s Emilia-Romagna Grand Prix. Team principal Andreas Seidl explained the current arrangement is temporary and they will introduce a full-time replacement later in the season.

“It’s still a work in progress on our side,” he said. “The hospitality you see at the moment in the paddock for McLaren is still an interim solution which is quite cost-effective. We are planning later in the year to introduce our updated hospitality once the world is also a bit more back to normal and we are allowed to welcome guests as well.”

Formula 1 has set itself a target of becoming a net zero producer of carbon by 2030. Seidl confirmed the team’s new facilities are intended to reduce their environmental impact.

“In terms of the update, I don’t want to go too much into the detail, but one focus was clearly to have a solution for us in place for McLaren in the future which is much more sustainable in terms of how to transport it, how to set it up, how to use it. The clear objective is to have a more sustainable solution in place.”

Formula 1 motorsport director Ross Brawn previously suggested the teams could do away with their motorhomes entirely and use facilities provided by the circuits, a proposal which met opposition. Seidl said discussions on the subject will continue.

“It’s simply about finding the right balance going forward,” he said. “When I look at our updated hospitality that we will bring later in the season, we will make a big step forward in terms of its operation and the sustainability that comes with it which is, again, I think clearly, something which is future-orientated.

“The discussion is still ongoing with Formula 1 together with the other teams and again, it’s simply about finding the right balance.”

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Dieter Rencken
Dieter Rencken has held full FIA Formula 1 media accreditation since 2000, during which period he has reported from over 300 grands prix, plus...
Keith Collantine
Lifelong motor sport fan Keith set up RaceFans in 2005 - when it was originally called F1 Fanatic. Having previously worked as a motoring...

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  • 15 comments on “McLaren to replace its distinctive Brand Centre motorhome with sustainable alternative”

    1. Interesting to see what they do with the old one – I’m sure there would be buyers out there for it.

    2. Formula 1 and Formula E will converge at some point in the next 10 years.

      My teenage children and their peers barely register when a Porsche or a hot Mercedes drives past but if it’s a Tesla – any Tesla – then their heads turn.

      The future of F1 is Batmobile-esque electric cars (or some other sustainable power source) accelerating at breakneck speeds.

      In the meantime, well done to McLaren on leading the charge when it comes to sustainability. I’m a McLaren fan but the cynic in me would suggest that their motivation is probably as much financial as it is environmental!

      1. Negative on the leading the charge bit, Red Bull switched to a sustainable motorhome years ago.

      2. I think it will happen but will take much longer than 10 years. Especially if current manufacturers commit to the new ICE’s in 2025.

    3. Unless the current ‘Brand Centre’ needs extensive renovations, surely the most eco-friendly thing to do is use it to destruction since a good amount of the carbon release associated with its use will already have happened.

      Obviously having lots of trucks to move it doesn’t have great optics but unless the proposed solution offers very low manufacturing carbon release I can’t see how this wins out in pure CO2 terms if we start from today. I’m sure that McLaren will have some calculations to provide me wrong and will eat my words when they do.

      1. CO2 is all PR and Business

      2. @chimaera2003 That’s partly true, although a lot of energy use in buildings is around ‘operational’ energy as opposed to embodied, for example heating it, cooling it, electricity, water use, etc. The best thing to do would probably be to retrofit it and essentially upgrade the old one, but it’s a case by case thing.

        The red bull home (see Tristan’s comment above) is an interesting one, because although it’s made from glulam (timber) and therefore potentially carbon negative, it’s probably very heavy and therefore transporting it uses quite a bit of energy. It’s also massive – one of the best things you can do in terms of sustainability is to reduce the size of the motorhome regardless of what materials you use which will massively reduce operational carbon, but obviously red bull won’t tell you that.

        I’m curious to see how large the McLaren motorhome will be.

        1. @john-h I doubt it will get smaller unless the FIA mandate it or McLaren purposefully take fewer staff to races even post pandemic. Sponsors are not likely to accept fewer chances to go to races without an associated payment reduction which no team would consider.

          On that basis I reckon the motor home will be broadly the same size which was the basis of my original assertion.

          1. Yep think you’re right about size @chimaera2003 but my response to your original assertion was about operational energy associated with running the motorhome. It may still make environmental sense to build a new home that runs on less energy operationally. In a typical newbuild office for example, savings on operational carbon can be much more significant than any embodied energy involved in manufacture.

    4. Formula 1 motorsport director Ross Brawn previously suggested the teams could do away with their motorhomes entirely and use facilities provided by the circuits, a proposal which met opposition.

      I’d be surprised if the circuits/organisers want to sacrifice their hospitality suites. Those tickets are not cheap to say the least.

    5. They already use the facilities at flyaway races, like the little islands in Shanghai for instance, so I think motorhomes will be a thing of the past soon, apart from maybe some of the circuits that can’t adapt to have enough room for the teams.

      1. Hmmm, I disagree with that one. At the European races at least, I would argue that demountable motorhomes (transported via lorry) actually make more sense from an overall material & energy use perspective than creating permanent facilities at all the races that are rarely used 360 days of the year. They have also been especially useful in adapting to the Covid crisis and visiting new but more temporary locations.

      1. Very nice and campy set-up.

    6. Mark in Florida
      16th April 2021, 20:05

      How about converting roll on roll off containers into their trackside headquarters. They could simply use electric semis to back them in and never unload it. Call it industrial reuse. Or go complete hippy and pitch a tent and use a travois to drag it around. That will save a lot of carbon unless oxen are used then they would add to the methane total. Have to plant some trees to offset that.

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