CREW CHIEF, PORSCHE 919 HYBRID LMP1 TEAM
SITTING IN FRONT OF NUMEROUS CONSOLES, AMIEL MONITORS BOTH CARS AND MANAGES THE RACE ENGINEERS AND MECHANICS OF BOTH CARS. ALONG WITH THE TEAM PRINCIPAL, HE MAKES THE BIG STRATEGIC CALLS.
THE SKILLSET “You need an all-round knowledge of how the car works. That helps you plan and gives you insight into the different scenarios of what could go wrong and to make sure we’re on top of our game during pit stops. We prepare for every scenario and we practise all of these repairs back at our headquarters, from all the parts of an engine and gearbox components, to changing the suspension corners on the chassis.” THE TOUGHEST FIXABLE SCENARIO
“It’s probably the gearbox. The rules don’t allow us to replace the gearbox housing, but we can change all the internals. In terms of time it takes, well that will depend on the type of failure; whether it’s a gear, an oil pump or the clutch. It can be anything from 40 minutes to 90.
“That’s generally race over, but this year showed that you’re never out of the race. Car number two lost front axle drive and we had to change the front gearbox and front suspension. As I said, preparation is everything and all the replacement parts had already been on the car before, so there were no extra measurements required. We did the whole thing in 60 minutes. Toyota had a similar failure and it took them twice as long.”
THE HARDEST PART “Dealing with the lack of sleep and the stress is tough. I don’t sleep at all; I can’t afford to. You just have to deal with it. This year was the toughest race we’ve done, for sure. With the speed advantage the Toyotas had over us, we were up against it, plus there was the heat (it averaged 37 °C), and then those reliability issues which we’d never had before.”