Imagine you work in a dead end job. You work in a dull office full of boring people and spend most of the day wishing it was 5pm so that you could go home and do something more fulfilling with your life. You really wish instead that you could work in F1.

F1 must be full of excitement, glamour and could not possibly get boring, dull or uninteresting. Could it? Well I’m afraid to say that it can and it does. It’s just like any other job. There you go I’ve said it. You don’t believe me do you?

Too much F1

F1 is a lot of things. People talk about it on the internet, on TV and amongst their friends. I can talk with the best of them and generally have an opinion about whatever F1 related scandal or incident might be the talking point of the day. They say that F1 is never dull but after a while you can have too much of a good thing. At the end of the day F1 is work and sometimes everybody has had enough of work. There is more to life.

I must sound to many of you like I am extremely ungrateful. Here I am with a job in one of the world’s most exciting and technologically advanced sports and I’m telling you that it is dull?! What is wrong with me?

I’ve worked in F1 and other racing series for many, many years now. Racing is in my blood, it always has been. This past year, developing the new 2014 turbo car has been very, very difficult and has taken a huge commitment from everyone involved. I was super excited to see the red lights go out in Melbourne on Sunday and watch the first race of the year but I was also very relieved. That period of relentless effort was over and I needed a break. So do a lot of F1 people.

I’ve longed to spend more time at home over the past few weeks. I love F1 but there is more to life and even for super enthusiasts there comes a point where you can have too much of a good thing. F1 morning til night can get a little tedious. A harsh truth.

There is more work to be done though

What I am saying here is that just like any other job, working in F1 can be repetitive and a bit boring. Some days you’d just rather be doing something else. I don’t want you to think that F1 is a perfect world and wall to wall excitement. It isn’t!

There is however a critical difference between F1 and most other jobs though and that is that it doesn’t stay dull for long. For every bad day I have, I must have 4 or 5 good days. If I get bored of my work, it isn’t for long. If I have a holiday or some time away I’ll enjoy it and make the most of it but I’ll be itching to get back to the track. Once F1 gets inside you, it’s difficult to shake off and this is why working in F1 is so rewarding. This is what makes it so different. When things are going well, F1 isn’t a job at all it’s a playground. A place for grown up boys to play racing cars. How bad can life be?

I was tired before Melbourne but seeing the car out on track and racing again has renewed by energy, got my competitive spirit up and galvanised my determination to win. I don’t think any team had an easy time in Melbourne and everyone wants to improve. There are fierce competitors snapping at our heels and I for one am not about to let them gain any ground on us. Formula 1 is about competition and it is this that drives someone to work at their best. If F1 was dull and boring for a while, there is nothing like the sight of a grid full of powerful Grand Prix cars to remind you why you work in this sport and why it is anything but an ordinary job.

On those bad days at the office, I often just have to pinch myself and it reminds me how lucky I am to have a career in Formula 1. Just thinking about any other job makes me realise that there is nothing I’d rather do than work in F1.

I hope that you get the opportunity to do the same some day.

17 Comments

  1. Hello!
    I have a question you probably don’t expect: how much a F1 engineer can actually sleep? I suppose there’s a normal routine on normal weeks and you get a few free hours a day, but is it different in race weekends?

    Thanks for the blog! It is amazing.

    Sam

    Sam
    1. I sleep most of the weekend 🙂 I’m not involved in race weekends (generally) and neither are most f1 engineers.

      work_in_f1
  2. Hi sir, I am 16 yrs old and i am going to try hard to make my way to F1,
    being from india i know it’s just impossible to become a driver (no resources in India). but I’m thinking of B.tech (automobile) and M.B.A (international buisness) , is it good enough to get me into formula 1 and at higher positions,
    thank you.

    sukhad
    1. It’s perfectly possible yes . 2 Indian drivers have already driven and raced in F1. Several Indians now work in the sport too

      work_in_f1
  3. Hi Mr.,

    I am a prospective graduate and currently applying for a graduate scheme in F1. Do you know what do they usually ask on the interviews? Do these graduates remain on the company tipically?

    I have also been involved in Formula Student. Is this discipline popular within F1 teams?

    Thanks for your time

    cglock
    1. Formula student is popular but not a much as many people think now . So many students do it that it’s not really so special anymore . Questions depend on the team and I have not worked at every team in the grid (yet!)

      work_in_f1
  4. This is a great post with a lot of truth. Really appreciate the time you’ve taken to write up about your experiences.

    I’m an Aussie living and working in Sydney and have just experienced my 10th visit to the Grand Prix in Melbourne. Every year is even more exciting than the last! With each year I become even more curious as to what it would be like on the other side of that paddock entrance.

    My career background is in Business Delivery Operations & Resource Management, and have most recently been working with a fairly well known “IT as a Service” company for the past three years. How would one go about getting his/her name onto the radar of Formula 1 Teams or Management (FIA, FOM etc) for jobs in that business operations category?

    If you could point me in the right direction that would be fantastic.

    Mat
  5. Hi

    At first I would like to thank you for your great blog and apologize for my bad English.
    I am 18 years old and attend a secondary technical college with the focus on automation. My dream is to work in formual1. When I have finished school I want to study. Therefore my question is if I want to work in aerodynamics you have written a study in aeronautical engineering would be the best choice. But I have read that Pat Symonds has studied Aerodynamics. So my question is it the best to study aeronautical engineering and specialize on Aerodynamics or do you know a studies about aerodynamics.

    alonsofan

    alonsofan
    1. Aeronautics and aerodynamics are much the same subject

      work_in_f1
  6. Hi, I’m polish and I’m studying English Philology as I want my English to be good enough to work in F1, I’m planing to take additional course in the future, what do you think would be suitable in range of humanities courses. What jobs can F1 offer for people like me (I’ve found so far position of person responsible for relations with media)? Thank you in advance.

    S.
    1. Tough 1. Marketing, media(pr) and team coordinators spring to mind but the opportunities are much less plentiful than those for engineers unfortunately.

      work_in_f1
  7. I am currently doing a Mechanical Engineering Degree. I plan to do my masters thereafter. I wanted to know if a degree in Aerodynamics is essential/beneficial for getting into F1(as an engineer ofcourse). Also is there any difference between Aerodynamics and Aeronautical/ Aerospace , in terms of the courses covered. Are masters from UK more preffered over masters in US in terms of F1 only. If I get into a top school in US for doing masters in Aerospace will it be considered when I apply for my F1 Job? What are the other specializations that can be considered for doing masters in .. and from where US/ UK (as in which one is more preferred).

    Akshay
    1. I don’t have any aerodynamics quslifications. It’s not necessary unless you wish specifically to be an Aerodynamicist. UK courses are preferred simply because most teams are based in the UK and therefore they will be more familiar with those universities.

      work_in_f1
  8. hi sr, i’m of 18yrs n i want to get admission in’ NK amaron f1 academy’ as i want to be an f1 racer.So could u please suggest me some initial requirements n qualities nd also abnut where this academy is situated n the cost at which i can the admission.

    rohit
    1. Hi

      I’m afraid I don’t know what the NK amaron f1 academy is. There is no admission to being an f1 driver except for building up a successful career in lower formula categories over a number of years.

      work_in_f1
  9. I’m an 18 year old kart racer with an extreme passion for racing. My family and I race every weekend, and we have our own kart racing business. I’ve been around racing all of my life and have been driving since I was 4. My dad has also. We race the fastest and most innovating class in dirt oval karting in the US. My dad raced on asphalt for many years and won many championships. He switched to dirt in the early 90’s. I was wondering if you had any tips or could give any advice to someone looking for a career in racing coming from a dirt karting background. I love formula 1. It seems to me like a super expensive go kart. It would be amazing to someday get to drive one! But i honestly have no certain form of racing I yearn for. Formula 1 or Rally, I just want to drive.

    Austin Seay
    1. You need to get into European Tarmac single seaters before you could be considered for f1

      work_in_f1

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