Duo of ATVs Used to Clean Track for Formula 1 Bahrain GP

Debris on the tarmac during Free Practice 1 brings out the quads.

Substantial debris on the Bahrain Grand Prix circuit meant ATVs reported for duty.Formula 1

We’ve seen ATVs being used as support vehicles for motorsports before. Most notably, we’ve seen them utilized in quarter-mile drag racing for quickly transporting race team personnel to the scene of a mechanical failure or crash. Four-wheelers showed another bout of versatility in motorsports usage last Friday when they were used to help clean the track during a red flag situation at the Formula 1 Bahrain Grand Prix’s Free Practice 1 session.

Roughly 15 minutes into the first official race weekend practice session of the F1 season, a large chunk of Esteban Ocon’s car shed its bodywork and littered it all over the front straightaway. There was a mess of debris covering the section fore and aft of the start/finish line. This quickly brought out the red flag so as to prevent the rest of the field from running through the composites and potentially damaging their race cars. With Ocon’s Alpine safely back in the pits, along with the rest of the field, the track workers were able to begin cleaning up the mess.

While some ran onto the course to fetch larger chunks of the Frenchman’s blue and pink car, the sheer amount of small pieces required further remediation. The track dispatched its cleanup crew, a duo of ATVs with pull-behind attachments to rid the surface of the remnants. It’s hard to determine exactly what make and model these machines are, but our speculation is that the dark green quad headed toward the camera in the image seen here is a BRP Outlander from the 2004–2008 era. It tows what looks like a fan device to move smaller particles off the pavement. The bright yellow and black machine further down the track appears to be a newer Can-Am Outlander, and it drags what is effectively a large broom. We’re happy to see the world’s predominant motorsport using ATVs to handle work duty, even if it is dirty work.