It takes over 5 months for teams to develop most of the individual components for the next season's race. The top F1 teams invest millions into the best parts for their cars; from new wheel nuts optimised for pit stop efficiency, to the highest-grade carbon fibre brake discs and, of course, the most aerodynamic bodywork components.
Some F1 car parts may have a lifespan of 30 seconds, for example in the case of an early race crash, whereas some parts are strictly controlled via FIA regulations and can only be changed a handful of times during the championship season. Teams will produce literally thousands of the same component parts each season, but just what happens to the heap of 'retired' F1 car parts at the end of the race? We talk to Barry Gough at Memento Exclusives; the upcycled F1 memorabilia specialists to find out!
Barry was inspired to start his F1 upcycling company when working as a mechanic in the pit lanes of Formula One with teams such as Jordan Grand Prix and BAR Honda. He saw the huge amount of valuable retired car parts which couldn't be recycled and teams had to pay to send to landfill. He couldn't bear to see the parts go to waste and wanted to come up with an F1 product range which was considerably more innovative than your average cap, t-shirt or team pen. Barry and his team now work together with many of the F1 teams to discover innovative ways to 'upcycle' car parts and give them a new life for fans to purchase!
The first 'upcycled' product created by Memento Exclusives was the F1 Wheel Rim Table. Still a best-seller today, the table is made from a genuine race-used magnesium wheel rim. Generally used for just half a race, used wheel rims are a great tangible piece of F1 racing history. The industrial-style table fits perfectly in a modern home or office and maintains its F1 appearance whilst serving a very practical purpose!
F1 factory parts managers operate with military precision and for good reason. Thousands of parts are tested in team wind tunnels every week and there is no room for confusion about which one performed the best. Each part is engraved with its unique component number which enables the teams to track its performance and life history. Where parts are at risk of providing other teams with insider information, they are kept under close guard in storage, and it is only when there is no risk of competitive espionage that they are released to Barry's team.
Barry doesn't like to waste any part of a race-used car. A recent product created in partnership with the Sahara Force India Team is a keychain made from race-used Jabroc (also known as 'skid block'). Jabroc is the mandatory attachment to the underside of a Formula One car which was introduced in 1994 as a safety improvement; following Ayrton Senna's death. The Memento team are even working on ways to melt down race-used F1 radiators and transform them into clothing accessories.
The most recent product launch has been this stylish F1 Brake Disc Clock. The network of cooling holes around the titanium bell, once performed a function to optimise brake cooling, but actually work incredibly well as a design feature on the face of this upcycled timepiece.
With all of their products designed and produced within the UK, the Memento Exclusives team are supporting British industry in the growing sector of upcycling and have experienced rapid expansion; even during the recession. Check out their full range of upcycled F1 items here and fill your Christmas list.