McLaren to rely on alternative hospitality unit in Austria

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McLaren is facing a logistical hurdle for this week’s Austrian Grand Prix following the fire that partially damaged the team’s hospitality unit last weekend in Barcelona.

The drama unfolded on Saturday morning ahead of the final practice session when a suspected electrical fire erupted above the kitchen area of McLaren's motorhome.

The team was forced to evacuate the unit as emergency services and fire crews arrived to extinguish the blaze. Thankfully, the situation was brought under control quickly, with only one team member requiring a precautionary hospital visit - and a subsequent discharge.

While the fire caused damage primarily isolated to the kitchen area, smoke lingered, posing a significant inconvenience.

Thankfully, F1 and the FIA stepped in to provide McLaren personnel and guests with alternative space for the remainder of the Spanish Grand Prix weekend.

“The kitchen area is completely destroyed,” commented McLaren Racing boss Zak Brown. “But a big thanks to Mercedes who helped feed our crews while F1 provided me with an office.”

Brown was uncertain whether McLaren’s unit would be up and running in time for next week’s British Grand Prix at Silverstone as a full extent of the damage remains under evaluation.

To ensure a smooth operation at the Red Bull Ring in Spielberg this week, McLaren has secured an alternative hospitality unit to serve as a temporary replacement.

“It was a bit of a scare for the whole team, never a nice thing,” admitted Lando Norris who went on to finish second in Barcelona. “But just a bit more of probably a stressful day than I would have liked.”


Like Brown, Norris was grateful to rival teams for pitching in and providing some logistical comfort.

“I’ve not been able to maybe relax and chill out as much as what I normally do,” explained the McLaren charger last weekend.

“I’ve had a lot of offers from people, so it’s been great. A lot of the teams, honestly, have been very, very nice to us, McLaren, in offering help and things like that. So that was all good from that side.

“It’s a shame that it won’t be used today or tomorrow, I don’t think, for anything – maybe not into the future, but that’s not anything that I know about for now.”

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