McLaren have explained why the 'fire up' of an F1 car is such an important moment for the team.
The Woking-based squad recently shared footage of the first recorded fire up of their 2023 car, the MCL37, with the clip showing the likes of CEO Zak Brown and rookie driver Oscar Piastri watching it unfold.
Firing up the new car has become a traditional stage in the pre-season build-up, and McLaren's Jonathan Brookes – Director of Formula 1 Build, Car Assembly and Hydraulics – has outlined why the moment is so pivotal, citing the work put in to the process by the team.
McLaren on car fire up
"[It marks] the birth of a new car and a new season," Brookes said in a McLaren interview.
"The car comes alive at that point. Fire up is a culmination of many people's work over months, possibly even years, depending on where they work within the team.
"It is a big moment for the whole factory because so many people have put so much work into it. As I said, it is like the birth of the car, and everyone wants to be there to hear it fire up for the first time.
"Getting to fire up is a long process of late nights and a lot of hours worked across the whole team. Lots of things have to be checked and signed off in isolation before they get fitted onto the car.
"Fire up is confirmation that everything works correctly and as it should, once it all comes together."
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What marks a good fire up?
Having been a part of the McLaren team for 24 years, Brookes has been on hand to watch the fire up on numerous occasions.
In terms of what makes the moment a success, he explained: "A good fire up is when everything goes to plan: everything is in the right place, and we're in a good spot."
Brookes believes that the 2023 fire up has been a positive one.
"This car build has gone very smoothly," he continued.
"Last year was more difficult for every team in the pit lane due to the new regulations, and new complexities to the cars, whereas some of this year's car is more of a known entity.
"At the moment, everything has gone to plan, and we've been able to work through any small issues that we've had without any major problems."
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