Stars of the season: Formula 1 mechanics

By Gary RoseBBC Sport
Mercedes mechanic
The demanding existence of an F1 mechanic - 18-hour days away from their families in a dangerous environment

Formula 1 is not all about driving fast cars, hanging out with celebrities and attending lavish parties.

Behind the glitz and the glamour, there are the unnamed, but certainly not undervalued, mechanics.

They are the sport's unsung heroes. Often working 18-hour days and away from their families for months at a time every year, theirs is a demanding existence.

If they are not sweating profusely in searing temperatures changing tyres, they are furiously working through the night to rebuild a technically complex Formula 1 car after a driver has thrown it into the barriers.

And danger is also never far away, with mechanics putting their lives on the line every race weekend, as this year's Spanish Grand Prix highlighted.

There, only the quick feet of the McLaren jackman averted a collision when Fernando Alonso's brakes failed as he entered his pit box.

Further down the pit lane, however, a Lotus mechanic was less fortunate.

Romain Grosjean was unable to stop on a slippery surface and he clattered into the front jackman, pitching him into the air.

Fortunately, he was unhurt, save for needing an ice pack to nurse a sensitive part of his body that had taken the full force of the handle of the jack he was holding.

In a sport where every second counts, mistakes are impressively rare. For keeping the cogs of the F1 machine turning smoothly, mechanics are the stars of this, and any other season.

Full Stars of the Season list

Lotus jackman takes one for the team