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Tesla hires Formula One veteran to "revolutionize servicing mainstream cars"

By Shawn Knight
Apr 7, 2015
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  1. elon musk tesla f1 formula one tesla battery swap kenny handkammer michael schumacher sebastian vettel

    In competitive motorsports like Formula One and NASCAR, the efficiency of a pit crew and mechanic team is just as important as the person behind the wheel. Now, Tesla Motors has one of the best in the business on its side in F1 legend Kenny Handkammer.

    Tesla CEO Elon Musk recently announced the hire on Twitter, adding that Handkammer will be applying his Formula One techniques to revolutionize servicing mainstream cars. Handkammer will fulfill the role of Global Director of Service Training at Tesla although what exactly that means is up for debate.

    One thing is for certain, however: Handkammer has been around long enough to certainly know his stuff.

    elon musk tesla f1 formula one tesla battery swap kenny handkammer michael schumacher sebastian vettel

    The automotive expert spent a total of 25 years in Formula One, winning championships with both Michael Schumacher and Sebastian Vettel. Handkammer was also the chief mechanic on the Red Bull Formula One team that achieved a world record pit stop of just 1.9 seconds back in 2013.

    Handkammer told Adam Cooper’s F1 blog that he believes he had the best years in Formula One. He wanted a new challenge and now he is with one of the biggest innovators with road cars ever.

    While the speed and precision of a Formula One crew don’t often translate to standard consumer vehicles, Tesla isn’t your ordinary automotive company. Late last year, the company opened its first Model S battery swap station in which drivers can have a full battery swap performed on their cars in less time than it takes to pump a full tank of gas.

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  2. Skidmarksdeluxe

    Skidmarksdeluxe TS Evangelist Posts: 6,475   +2,033

    It's probably more of a forced moved, Red Bull F1 are about to show a lot of it's employees the door so I think he got out while the going was still good and saved a bit of face.
     
    cliffordcooley likes this.
  3. 9Nails

    9Nails TechSpot Paladin Posts: 1,212   +174

    I agree. He just might be a dinosaur in the evolving racing game. F1 has changed quite a bit in the last 2 years. It would be enough for me to seek a graceful but sudden retirement too.

    And it seems like Tesla has an excellent program and terrific staff. Perhaps it is that environment where someone with 25 years of engineering expertise can contribute to and make an notable impact. I had visited a Tesla dealer recently, and their cars are highly remarkable.
     
  4. Skidmarksdeluxe

    Skidmarksdeluxe TS Evangelist Posts: 6,475   +2,033

    Yeah. I'm sure Tesla's tech will evolve a lot slower than F1's. He's been in the game a long time now and the knowledge and experience he'll bring to the dance will no doubt be a great asset to them.
     

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