Teams shut factories for compulsory break

Race bays  Force India Factory, Silverstone, England.  29 May 2008

Aug.3 (GMM) Formula one teams must close their factories for a mandatory two-week period between last Sunday’s Hungarian grand prix and the next race in Belgium.

The shutdown – commenced at the stroke of midnight after the Hungaroring race by McLaren, Mercedes, Williams and Sauber – is a cost-cutting measure agreed between the teams.

“It still seems odd to me to have a shutdown but it’s probably good for people,” said McLaren’s Martin Whitmarsh.

It had been reported that Ferrari also closed its doors on Sunday, but the Maranello based outfit will in fact commence its shutdown next Sunday, as will F1’s other Italian team Toro Rosso.

Engine supplier Cosworth’s F1 unit closed on Tuesday. “I think the staff all deserve a break,” said Mark Gallagher.

On Wednesday, HRT will begin its two week closed period, followed by Virgin on Saturday.

And on Monday, Red Bull, Renault and Force India will close their doors.