Continental notes, July 2004
Jenks on GP catering!
In any Grand Prix paddock you will find giant motor caravans, known in Americanese as motorhomes, for the team personnel. Most of the teams provide a proper sit-down lunch for the mechanics, at a large communal table under an awning, after the qualifying hour, and then it is bock to work until 2 or 3am, depending on what dramas have hit the team.
It is quite an education to wander along the paddock and view the culinary delights being cooked up in the various motorhomes: spaghetti and vino rosso in the Italian teams, veal and vin blanc in the French teams, steak-and-chips and tea in the English teams and so on. I shall always remember seeing dear old Regazzoni under the awning of the Ensign team with Silvia Nunn pouring him out a nice cup of English tea. He later insisted that he had developed quite a taste for English tea.
These team motorhomes perform a very important psychological function that helps towards the smooth running of a team, for most people are pretty fixed in their food requirements and a well-fed mechanic is a happy mechanic, especially if it is food that he is used to at home and not “that foreign muck”. I used to watch Ferrari and Maserati mechanics at Silverstone with some sympathy as they poked at pie, beans and chips, longing for a good plate of spaghetti Bolognese and not “that foreign muck”.