We're in the summer shutdown!
So Formula 1's on holiday. It's official.
But what, exactly, is the Formula 1 summer shutdown? Why does every team voluntarily partake in the scheme, and when did it start?
The notion of a Formula 1 'summer holiday' has a long history; it was way back in 2001 when the sport first unofficially mandated a lengthy summer break. The constantly expanding calendar (at the time, it was 'just' 17 races) and the increasingly lengthy stints spent away from home meant there was a pressing need to humanise the sport during the school holidays. Thus, a three-week break was introduced between that summer's German and Hungarian Grands Prix.
After all, for a team member, a grand prix is far more than just the three days shown on television - travel and preparations start days before. If you're a truckie, it can be weeks before you see your own bed. Or your wife and kids.
So the summer break was considered by all as an eminently sensible impasse during the sport's relentless nine-month campaign.
Since then, F1's moral and financial responsibilities have widened, and the need to formalise the break was introduced at the end of 2008 when teams signed off the Resource Restriction Agreement.
The agreement cut spending, limited testing and introduced a mandatory two-week shutdown for the 2009 season - for both cost-cutting and social reasons. Why a full shutdown? Because it's simpler for all and easier to monitor - while the agreement forbids work, special dispensation is given in extreme circumstances (if a chassis were to be written off in Hungary, for instance).
That doesn't mean the McLaren Technology Centre suddenly resembles a ghost town for those two weeks in August - far from it. For while McLaren Racing all take a well-earned break, and the cars sit eerily still in the racebays, the other McLaren Group businesses are still hard at work.
McLaren Applied Technologies, Electronics, Marketing and Absolute Taste are not subject to the shutdown, and continue to operate as normal - albeit usually in a somewhat reduced capacity as many staff choose to take their own summer holidays to coincide with the summer shutdown.
For everyone at Vodafone McLaren Mercedes, the shutdown is a thankful break of routine; the chance for some quality downtime without the looming presence of another grand prix on the horizon.
It's also a great opportunity to recharge the batteries: with the season's 'second half' now more densely populated with flyaway races than ever before, it's imperative to regroup and refocus before that final, sapping flurry of races.
However, despite the pause in proceedings on the track, we will still be bringing you lots of team news and updates right here on McLaren.com, as well as our on our twitter and facebook pages, so stay tuned!