Over the past few months I’ve been offering my advice on what the best universities are for getting into F1. It’s a common question but a difficult one to answer.

AUTOSPORT magazine and the Williams F1 team have now launched an engineering award where a nominated student is fast tracked through various roles at Williams. The full article is as below but it’s interesting that they have limited their search to what they consider to be “top universities”. Those universities are :

Imperial College London
Oxford Brookes
Queens University, Belfast

As is clear, all of those are in the UK which is not necessarily to say that universities outside of the UK do not meet F1 standards but these ones are a known quantity and both Williams and AUTOSPORT are UK based.

I am sure that many successful F1 people have studied from outside of that group but I can’t disagree with any of those institutions put forward as I rate them all very highly. I may even have attended one of them myself..,

Full details of the scheme below and at :


AUTOSPORT and the Williams Formula 1 team have launched a new award that will fast-track an engineering student into F1.

The AUTOSPORT Williams Engineer of the Future Award will be presented at the annual AUTOSPORT Awards each December from 2015.

A joint Williams and AUTOSPORT judging panel will select the winner from a list of engineering student nominees provided by leading universities Oxford, Cambridge, Imperial, Loughborough, Bath, Southampton, Oxford Brookes and Queens University, Belfast, with the contenders undergoing an assessment process at the Williams factory.

The award recipient will go onto a two-year accelerated development programme with Williams, which will include experience with the F1 race team and at a grand prix, rotating through various roles in the company and receiving mentorship from senior engineers before they find their specialism.

“We’re looking for the next Ross Brawn or Adrian Newey – someone way above average,” said Williams chief technical officer Pat Symonds.

“The winner will be under my direct supervision, and I’ll be taking a very close interest in what they’re doing.”

The new scheme was launched on stage at the 2014 AUTOSPORT Awards by Williams deputy team principal Claire Williams and race driver Valtteri Bottas.


  1. The scheme relates to undergraduate provision. As has been stated it is not exclusive. Cranfield University is postgraduate only and therefore not included. Pat Symonds (a Cranfield alumnus) is on the Cranfield Advisory Board and regularly contributes to the Cranfield Advanced Motorsport Engineering MSc programme. When applying for jobs in motorsport (not just F1) remember this…demonstrate differentiation. What have you actually done that sets you apart and makes you potentially appointable. Simply going to university or having Formula Student on your CV is not enough. Bring to the fore relevant experience such as working in a race team, restoring a car, projects undertaken at school and university that are relevant. When you are invited to interview tell the interviewer what you did and why. Demonstrate your engineering decisions.

    Clive Temple
  2. What’s your view on Swansea/cardiff university?Swansea uni has been a part of the Bloodhourd SSC car. Would F1 team highly rate Swansea or Cardiff uni?

    1. Hi David

      I think it’s a good university, I am sure that with a complementary range of skills and other experiences you could work in Motorsport. The thing to remember is that nobody is going to look at your CV and say “he has gone to ‘X’ university, I must give him a job”. It’s only s small part of what you do and not a deal maker.

  3. Hello work_in_f1

    Thanks for your time. This is my second question. I’d like to be a Junior Designer in F1. If you had to employ a new junior designer, which would be the main qualitys that the candidade would need to have? What do you would want to see in his CV?

    1. Tough one to answer here. I’d like to see strong qualifications but also demonstration that you are self motivated, inventive and driven to suceed

  4. Is this scholarship only for students pursuing a beng or meng course, or is it for anyone doing, say a PhD or dPhil as well?

    red foreman
    1. Im not sure. The universities in the scheme nominate students who they think are worthy, there does not seem to be any specification on what stage the nominee is at.

      Full details at :


      But its probably worth contacting tge individual uni’s for their policy.

  5. Would University of Leeds comparable to the above listed one?

    1. Its all a matter of opinion and not everyone’s opinion is the same but yes i would say so.

      Read my other posts on university here to read what i think :


  6. “We’re looking for the next Ross Brawn”

    We all know Ross Brawn went to a ‘leading university’!!! -_-

  7. I suppose this would only refer to undergrad courses as that’s what is relevant to the Williams scholarship.

    Would Cranfield be rated similar to these universities from a postgraduate point of view ?


    1. I would rate Cranfield very highly for post grad courses yes. Its arguably the best one out there.


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