McLaren’s former Number One mechanic Marc Priestley publishes a new book “The Mechanic” detailing some outrageous F1 secrets, rivalries and more of his experiences touring the world.
In the high octane atmosphere of the Formula One pit lane, the spotlight is most often on the superstar drivers. And yet, without the technical knowledge, competitive determination and outright obsession from his garage of mechanics, no driver could possibly hope to claim a spot on the podium. These are the guys who make every World Champion, and any mistakes can have critical consequences.
That’s not to say the F1 crew is just a group of highly skilled technical engineers, tweaking machinery in wind tunnels and crunching data through high spec computers. These boys can seriously let their hair down. Whether it be parties on luxury yachts in Monaco or elaborate photo opportunities in gravity-defying aeroplanes, this is a world which thrills on and off the track.
Marc Priestley spent almost a decade at the front line of the McLaren Formula One Team’s operations, predominantly as a race mechanic and member of the pitstop crew. He’s worked with a glittering array of drivers from the likes of Mika Hakkinen and David Coulthard, to Fernando Alonso and Lewis Hamilton and progressed through the business to become an instrumental leader in their successes.
Today Marc has moved into the media side of the sport and presents, commentates and analyses on television and radio, as well as presenting the technical side of ITV’s FIA Formula E Championship coverage of the new, all electric race series. Marc is perfectly placed to talk about topics such as teamwork; attention to detail; dealing with immense pressure; brand image and marketing and weighing up the considerable risk against reward in each of these key areas. He also speaks passionately and knowledgeably about the wider impacts of sustainable and disruptive technologies in the electric vehicle market and how both Formula One and Formula E are helping to rapidly drive innovation.
In one sense an F1 team is a business like any other, but it’s also different in many ways to most others and offers unique lessons in such areas as rapid productivity, marginal gains, image portrayal, data analysis and of course team work. Having been an integral part of these processes for so long and seen, first hand, how they impact on a company, there aren’t many people more perfectly placed, or better educated in the field, to impart these lessons.
Marc‘s speaking topics are:
- Industry Going Through Change
- Marginal Gains & Use of Data