I was just checking this afternoon, and apparently its only 60 days until the start of FP1 in Melbourne. Exciting huh ? I for one am a little bit scared…

Its been a long time since I posted on this site. October, November, December and now January have been a blur of long nights and tough decisions. The new cars are different beasts to the 2013 cars and as we have got more and more into the detail, its become apparent that more and more will change and how much more complexity will go into the design. There is a lot new in 2014.

The fan part of me cannot wait until the new season starts. I am desperate to see the other team’s new cars and find out what they will look like and what new ideas they have come up with. The engineer side of me however desperately wants more time to work on our own car, get more prepared and refine what we have done. Its going to be a busy, but very short winter test period and the first race will be upon us very soon. I doubt whether there is a single team in the pitlane which will feel like it is fully prepared when we fly to Australia.

Its a different side of the coin I suppose when you work in F1. As a fan, you just want to see the racing and you perhaps don’t appreciate fully how much is involved between the old car disappearing in Brazil and the new cars rolling out in Melbourne. Its a side of the sport that I think would make fascinating viewing but of course, no team wants to lay bare its preparations for the new season if it thinks another team might gain advantage from that. This is a competitive sport.

The work going on behind in the background is still continuing at a furious pace. Designers are still designing, machinists are still machining and mechanics are still assembling. This will be round the clock until we get to Jerez for the opening test, and probably until the cars leave for Melbourne in the freight. Then we will need spares sending out (as many as we can gather but probably not as many as we need) and we will be working hard on the next uprgrade. Life in F1 never stops, even in the off-season so whilst most F1 fans are impatiently counting down the days, if you worked in F1 you probably would rather you could stop the clock for a week or 2 because 60 days doesn’t sound like a lot to me !

Keep in touch

If you are interested in a career in Formula 1 or want to learn more about how you can get involved, take a look through my list of frequently asked questions or read through some of my recent posts. This blog has a lot of useful tips and information waiting for you.

The time pressures of my job in F1 mean that I cannot update the site each day but I aim to post regularly. You can keep checking the blog for new articles or alternatively you can use the follow form at the bottom of this page or on the home page and I will keep you up to date with new articles as they are published.

If you have read the blog but there is still something specific you want to know you can always add a comment to this or any other post. Please bear in mind however that I get a lot of comments on the site now and I can’t guarantee to answer all questions, particularly if they have been asked before or have been discussed in previous posts. Please check my frequently asked questions or other people’s comments as your query may have already been answered.

You can also follow me on Twitter @Work_in_F1.

18 Comments

  1. Hello, Work_In_f1! First of all, I’d like to thank you for that amazing website and the dedication and effort that you put there. Be sure that the motivation that you plant in our heads is priceless and a probably a F1 Engineer will be born here. I’m a brazilian mechanical engineering student and I’m moving to France in August, in order to study abroad. That being said, I’ll ask you three questions. First of all, in Brazil (and probably in other countries) there are some teams composed by unitersity students called Formula SAE. These teams are run only by students and associated to different universities, each one representing their own. They attempt to build a Formula 1 car and after that there isa competition between then, and the winner of the national step may go to the international, located in the US. My first question is: is this FORMULA SAE competitions well recognized in Formula 1? Right now I’m deciding between going to this group at my university or finding another type of experience. I’m moving to France in a near future and I have the possibility to choose the city. As my second question, I’d like to ask if is there any well known motorsports enterprise/organization that is reachable for ME students in France and in which city it is located.
    My third and last question is: is it common to see people from South America working in F1? I know that a guy from my university went to work in F1, his name is Fernando Grando (maybe you know him? hehe), so I know it is possible, but I’d like to know, at least statistically, my chances. Thanks again for this amount of valuable information and for your precious time, hope someday we’ll meet and I’ll pay you a coffee.

    João Campos
    1. Hi

      Thanks for great comments, really appreciate it

      Would recommend studying in Europe for sure. It’s a great way into motorsport

      Renault F1 – Viry, Paris
      Oreca –
      Courage
      Mygale – Magny Cours
      Ligier –
      ART Grand Prix. – Villeneuve-la-Guyard

      Lots of others

      I DO know Fernando Grando believe it or not!! He works at Mercedes Benz HPP I think or at least he did. Small world but there you go!

      Good luck with your studies and your future career.

      work_in_f1
  2. Hi,
    I’m studying Mechanical Engineering in India, and am looking to do a Masters in Motorsport Engineering soon. Do you think it is a good idea for a non-EU national to pursue this in the UK? From your experience, have you seen companies hire such graduates? Will a couple of years of work experience greatly increase the chances of a company sponsoring my work visa after graduation?
    Thanks, and all the best for getting the car ready!

    Tik
    1. Hi

      Yes I’d recommend that you apply yo study in the UK.

      It’s the best route for someone in your position

      Any relevant work experience you can get is worthwhile, it could make a big difference.

      work_in_f1
  3. Hallo there!

    I am massively interested in F1 and motorsports and I need some advice. I am from Denmark and I am about to start on an under graduate education followed by a master. My problem is in what direction I should follow. I am very strong at maths but average in physics. Firstly, would it be better to study a diploma which includes ½ year intership or a 3 year bachelor? Two examples are mechanical engineering (diploma) and electrical engineering (bachelor). Both give access to one a master called wind energy in which one can specialize in aerodynamics etc. But I don’t know if I would be any good at aerodynamics but as I said, I am very competent in math.

    Would you advice me to try to get into a UK university for a master or something else? I think it is unlikely I can get an internship in UK if I live and study in Denmark. If I get a master in wind energy and specialized it to aerodynamics, fluid mechanics etc. would it be possible to step inside some sort of motorsport even though I have zero practical experience? It is just so hard for me to work out how I can get into motorsport from here in Denmark. But I am sure I want to get master degree at something at least. Jacob Andreasen (dane) is a race/performance engineer for Williams I think.

    Maybe the best way forward is to study mechanical engineering (but that will be in danish) and get an internship at local motorsport teams in Denmark? Cause the language will be a hurdle to get an internship in UK I think. What other master degrees is relevant in motorsport?

    Thanks for your time and I quite like this blog as it’s very informative and interesting. I will keep reading!

    Note: Don’t know if the degrees etc. are different from country to country but master degrees in Denmark is just below phd. Diploma and bachelor is under graduates and educations you take after high school.

    /Peter

    Peter
    1. Hi Peter

      Lots of questions, I’ll try and answer.

      Degree choice is a tough one but ultimately it doesn’t matter that much. I have a very plain and ordinary degree in mechanical engineering. Most F1 people do . Aeros tend to have aeronautical engineering degrees or mech degrees and then masters in aero.

      ‘Specialist’ degrees or obscure subjects are generally not looked upon too favourably . If you add that it is from a country not in the UK then person interviewing is not likely to understand your background and you may not be attractive prospect for them.

      Lots of foreigners in UK F1 teams. I know Jacob, he is a good guy. I work with a experienced guy from Norway too so it’s not impossible for you, far from it.

      Masters degree in the UK might be an option, Canfield & Oxford Brookes do well regarded courses here in Motorsport which give you good industrial links.

      Internship or volunteer work with local Motorsport would be excellent. Put to this way, if you have a decent degree in a normal engineering subject BUT you have gone out and learnt about racing in your free time and made the effort and made some relationships you will go straight to the top of the pile. So many people don’t bother. They think that if they go to school , do exams and then look for a job then they can walk into F1. They can’t. They will look exactly the same as thousands and thousands of other people who do that and so how am I meant to pick them out of the crowd?

      You need to do something more, something different. You don’t need to win Le Mans single handedly you just need to show you can think for yourself, go out into the world and find out about racing. That’s the biggest skill you need in F1. When I employ someone I need to be able to say to them, “We need to look into this, or I need to know more about this. Can we think of a way of doing X?” I need someone to away and come back with answers, ideas and solutions, be creative and pro-active. Go out and find out yourself and not wait to be shown. The things you do beyond your normal education are the things that make you stand out.

      I’ve said a lot there , probably enough for a blog post in itself but I just wanted to emphasise that need to go that bit further. 99% of people don’t go any further at all so you can stand out with relatively little and get yourself away from the crowd.

      Hope that helps!!!!

      work_in_f1
  4. Hi,
    I am 16 years old and living in the USA, I am very interested in F1 racing and was hoping you could answer my questions. I would like to be able to go to a four year college and earn a degree as a mechanical engineer, but my dream job is being an F1 driver/test driver. Is there any way other making this a possibility without skipping college as I would want something to fall back on in case becoming a driver does not work out.

    Also, Karting is how most F1 drivers start out their driving careers, right? Is there any way to get my self into karting without it costing a fortune? I will have to pay for a car pretty soon, and will be in college soon after that, so most of my money is being saved at the moment. I am very determined to get a job in F1 whether it be an engineer or a driver (preferabley the latter) and I hope you can help answer my questions.

    Thanks,
    Conor

    Conor McDonnell
    1. Hi Conor

      You don’t need to study to be an F1 driver but it isn’t a full time job early on as you climb the racing ladder.

      Karting costs something but not a fortune. You can buy secondhand equipment (I did) and run comparatively cheaply.

      As far as college vs racing is concerned, it’s good to have something to fall back on but you have to ask yourself how much you want it if you are more concerned about what to do when you fail rather than succeed . I know that sounds harsh but you need to be super committed to have any chance of getting there.

      work_in_f1
  5. Hi, I think this blog is awesome, it helpped me a lot!

    I’m from Brazil and I’m studiyng Chemical Engineer in one of the bests universitys from Latina America. I dream about an internship job in F1, or a job after I graduate.

    What advices do you have for me? Are there many roles for a chemical engineer in F1? Thanks

    Luca Gouvea
    1. Hi

      Main role for chemical engineer would be fuels & oils. Perhaps also now in battery development but both these with supplier companies rather than direct with F1 teams

      Hope that helps

      work_in_f1
  6. Hi,
    I study mechanical engineering in Germany. At the beginning of our third year we are allowed to do kind of an internship. My idea was that I could try to do that in Formula 1. Do you know if there is the possiblity to do that? Have you ever heard of people doing something similar? How do you think it is best to apply for that (calling, writing an email)?

    Markos
  7. Sounds hectic and I can only imagine the pressure…
    Can’t help to say it, but it still sounds like a dream of a life!

    Zak
  8. Thank you for the info and insight from your perspective. I look forward to reading and learning more.

    Horatio Brown
  9. do you work for Mclaren?
    I am from India and want to enter in formula 1
    but I’m very confused as hell right now I’m in 11th class.
    I was intrested in doing B.Tech in automobile and M.B.A in International buisness.
    Would that work here.

    sukhad
    1. Hi

      I don’t reveal my team, it’s a rule I have.

      If you want a technical job, an MBA is probably the wrong route. Automobile tech probably more suited but I would recommend a plain mechanical engineering degree from a reputable university. This in my view is the best qualification.

      work_in_f1
      1. Hi there work_in_f1! Awesome blog BTW.

        I am looking at going back to University as mature age applicant to study an Engineering degree, mechanical or mechatronic or aeronautical.

        Which discipline dominates F1 today?

        Also i am in Australia, i will be studying at one of Sydney’s major universities.
        Will that matter if i apply for jobs with F1 teams in the future?

        Thanks.

        F1-Career
        1. Hi Simon

          I would say that aerodynamics dominate F1 performance wise and increasingly so in the number of employees but it’s quite even still between mechanical and aero. The emphasis of the latest rules is attempting to shift that bias back towards mechanical (and electrical to a small degree ) with the new engines. It would largely depend on your personal preference between mechanical & aero work which to choose. Mechatronics is a possibility but probably not the best choice.

          University choice doesn’t matter a great deal in truth but if you are from overseas then a well known institution from a large city is a better choice. This is largely because the average F1 team interviewer is unlikely to have have heard of obscure uni’s even if there local reputation was very good. It could count against you or there is a risk that it could.

          Hope thT helps! Good luck!

          work_in_f1

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