Greater Noida: A Formula One season can be demanding. Teams virtually live out of a suitcase and the drivers and crew are looked after with a lot of compassion to ensure the fatigue factor does not creep in.

The 2011 season is at its fag end and with two more weekends of racing to go after the Indian Grand Prix, the F1 family must be looking forward to putting their feet up for a couple of weeks before they get cracking again.

The 2012 calendar has been trimmed to 20 races from 21, dropping the Turkish Grand Prix for lack of spectator response and Bahrain returns after missing this year because of civil unrest. It is still a long gruelling run.

The drivers and the crew spend the entire day together during the race weekend. While the crew is working tirelessly in the garage, trying to put the best car out in the race, the other members of the team have the option of unwinding themselves in the adjacent team building.

At the McLaren Mercedes team building at the Indian Grand Prix here, there is no difference between a Lewis Hamilton and a stoic mechanic who works 18 hours a day over the weekend. They both sip a glass of wine together and it gives the picture of a happy family.

'We are used to hopping from one part of the world to another. All the guys work very hard and they deserve the best treatment once they get done with their work,' Steve Cooper, communications officer of McLaren said.

The teams from championship leaders Red Bull to backmarker Team Lotus travel with all those daily items that they would use back home.

Most teams prefer to carry even basics like mineral water, juices and an array of local drinks along and every one of them has an expert chef who churns up cuisine from all parts of the world.

'The guys like to try food of the country they are visiting. In India, we have tried some excellent curries; he is good with Japanese food too. We will try the humus and pita bread when we go to Abu Dhabi next. And when we feel home sick, we tell him to make what we are used to eating,' said Cooper as driver Jenson Button came to the terrace of the building with girlfriend Jessica Michibata.

The day in the Ferrari team building starts with pasta which is also a boon for the Italian media traveling with them. A sumptuous buffet is served all day at the FIA building at the Buddh International Circuit.

'We like try to different cuisines and at the same time, we want our regular dose of breads. Whatever we need is provided to us,' Matteo Bonciani, FIA head of communications  said.

Red Bull crew members explore a new country on their bikes.

'We like to relax cycling. We carry our bikes in all the European races. In our Milton Keynes factory, we work out in the gym and spend a lot of time in the swimming pool. The traveling thing gets to you but the employers take good care of us,' says Jon Gates, who gets a daily allowance of 50 pounds besides his monthly salary of 10,000 pounds.

The Indian Grand Prix is marking the end of season which started in March. McLaren's Cooper says the end of the year is the most challenging time for all teams.

'You are never bored but you get tired. This is the 17th race of the season and everyone is already thinking about getting home.'

The F1 jamboree heads to Abu Dhabi from here in two weeks time and will take a sigh of relief after the season's finale in Brazil.

(Agencies)