McLaren Snaps: RACE ENGINEER
During the course of the 2016 F1 season we bring you exclusive access to some of the personalities in the McLaren-Honda Formula 1 team. Meet the men and women who keep the team on track throughout a race weekend, at the circuit and back at the McLaren Technology Centre.
NAME: Tom Stallard
JOB ROLE: Race engineer for Jenson.
PIT STOP ROLE: Watch nervously from the pitwall.
HOW LONG HAVE YOU WORKED AT McLAREN? Since 2008.
DESCRIBE YOURSELF IN 3 WORDS… Calm, Determined, Big.
FAVOURITE RACE LOCATION? Suzuka. It’s a great circuit, with crazy fans (think working DRS hats), in a fascinating country.
FIRST McLAREN MEMORY? After my interview, I was phoned whilst being driven across Austria to my final pre-Olympic training camp before Beijing. The mobile kept cutting out every time we went through a tunnel. Eventually I was offered the job whilst sitting on the roof of an army hut at Silvrettasee in the Austrian high Alps – the only place with reception.
BEST McLAREN MEMORY? Has to be Canada 2011 – my first win as Jenson’s performance engineer and the longest race ever. Last to first in 30 laps. It felt like we had achieved the impossible.
FAVOURITE RACE IN McLAREN HISTORY? When Lewis won the Championship in 2008 I had only been at McLaren for a couple of months. I still felt very much a spectator rather than an integral part of the result. Everyone was invited to watch the race from the boulevard at MTC. The rollercoaster of emotion when it started to rain in the final laps race was really intense, and the final result was incredible.
WHAT WOULD BE YOUR THREE F1 TRAVEL ESSENTIALS? Bottle opener (for Sunday night beers), WhatsApp (for sending messages and pictures to my kids), running shoes (for @RunThatTrack).
BEST PART OF YOUR JOB? It’s every little boy’s dream job isn’t it?
FAVOURITE McLAREN DRIVER – PAST OR PRESENT? Jenson Button obviously!
WHEN NOT AT WORK, I LIKE TO… Take my four year old son cycling and sing along to Frozen with my two year old daughter. “Let it go! Let it GO!”
INTERESTING FACT ABOUT YOURSELF…I am a world champion, Olympic silver medal winning rower, with flat feet and type 2 diabetes.
WHAT FUELS YOU THROUGH YOUR DAY (FOOD/MOTIVATION)? Can’t be long until lunch, can it?
YOUR FAVOURITE LUBRICATION (DRINK!)? Gin and Tonic.