“There are never any jobs in F1 for inexperienced people” – total nonsense!

Posted on Posted in Understanding the motorsport industry

I get a lot of comments and emails from people asking advice for how to get a job in F1. One recurring complaint that I hear is that there are never any jobs available that don’t require experience. It leaves young and inexperienced people forever on the outside and gives the impression that Formula 1 and motorsport are a closed shop. I know why this appears to be the case but I can tell you 100% that it isn’t true. This post will show you just how wrong that belief can be.

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“Previous experience in a motorsport test or trackside environment is necessary”

These are the words that every aspiring Formula 1 employee hates to see. On the surface, these words accompany almost every F1 vacancy or job advert. Unless someone gives you the chance to get experience how do you ever get past this statement ?

Well the answer is actually quite straightforward. Notice that it DOES NOT say “Previous experience in a Formula 1 test or trackside environment is necessary”. That is a subtle yet crucial difference. If you then ask the question, are there ever any jobs advertised in motorsport that don’t require experience then the answer is a resounding yes.

If any of you have followed my twitter account this past few weeka then you will see exactly what I mean :

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I spent just an hour or so looking through jobs pages of NON-F1 motorsport companies and I managed find an enormous number of graduate, apprentice and junior vacancies being advertised. None of these roles require previous motorsport experience of any kind and yet many of them offered the chance to work in high level global motorsport competitions. The experience and skills that you could gain in these types of roles would be instantly transferrable to a Formula 1 environment and the best thing is, when that next dream job of yours comes up asking for “previous motorsport experience”, guess what. You will have lifted yourself out of the masses and put yourself in that rare and privileged position to be able to say :

“That’s me”

Good luck and keep your eyes open.

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8 thoughts on ““There are never any jobs in F1 for inexperienced people” – total nonsense!

  1. Hi!

    This post made me rethink my situation and maybe a few of us would be happy to see a post about it in the future. I am truly a ‘Powertrain guy’. From the first injector through the dog rings to the driveshafts, with interest in hybrid or electric drives too. I was never a ‘Race Engineer Wannabe’ who gets at least a little fame and glory from F1, however I would like to be a trackside engineer. I am interested in energy-management, engine- and transmission setups, optimising the systems for the upcoming race events etc. Probably not the easiest tasks a Graduate Engineer will be responsible for. From my point of view real engine development and cutting edge technology in the lower categories are not present but the reason is obvious. Personally I chose the company AVL after getting my BSc degree, Formula Student and working with real race teams in the national championship. And I must say my heart was bleeding. The team I was in now compete in TCR and I would probably there if I didn’t leave them. And now comes my question: What is the healthy balance between indispensable (specialised / academic) knowledge and relevant motorsport experience in this case? I see the ideal way through companies like Ricardo, Cosworth, Mahle etc. and after them e.g. AMG HPP. Little race engine or transmission manufactures (like Ilmor, Sadev etc.) could be also an option.

    I would highly appreciate if you could express your opinion. Every advice, correction or approval would be hopeful for us.

    Thank you and I wish all the best
    Robert

    1. Hi Robert

      There is quite a bit more info & opinion in this post here :

      http://jobinf1.com/2013/05/28/stepping-stones-to-formula-1/

      The balance should be exactly that. If you have the best academics but no clue or appreciation of racing you’ll probably be overlooked. If you want to be an engineer in racing you NEED an appropriate qualification. No amount of hands on can give you the credentials.

      If you want to be a mechanic however, experience is much more in demand and the balance changes somewhat.

      Hope that helps

  2. Hi,
    I come from Viet Nam. I studied economics before. I am woman and have no experience on technique or motor ever but i love to work in it. I live in a very beautiful city in Viet Nam that i think it would be extremely wonderful place to celebrate F1 racing line. My city is one of the most Vietnam beautiful beach and be voted is 10 most visited places in Tripadvisor. I think you may know where is it if you ever had a chance to come my country before. I know it’s hard for a woman and inexperient man work in this field but if there is any suitable job for woman in F1 or if you also agree with me about the investment chance in motor industry in Viet Nam, please kindly notice my this contacting.

    One day if F1 can open race in my country, it’s really a huge dream that i’d like to see most.

    Hope can get your feedback.

    Kindest Regards,
    Cio Yan ( Chau Nhan ).

    1. Hi Cio

      Thanks for the comment all the way from Vietnam.

      It is no problem at all for a woman to work in motorsport. There are more and more women in the sport every day and it is really nothing unusual now. There are several high profile campaigns and backing to get more women into racing. This is the latest one :

      https://daretobedifferent.org

      I wrote about the subject several years ago :

      http://jobinf1.com/2013/03/01/more-and-more-women-are-working-in-f1/

      From Vietnam however you are at something of a disadvantage. I dont know Vietnam well but I dont think that there is an established motorsport scene. I think in this case you are best to try and study in Europe to bridge the gap. I am sure I have heard discussions of a Grand Prix in Vietnam before but I dont know of any serious plans at the moment. Perhaps this post could help you ?

      http://jobinf1.com/2015/07/22/how-to-get-a-job-in-f1-when-you-live-outside-europe/

      Best of luck and thanks again for the comment.

  3. Furthermore, i think some field i can work in it : customer service, technique assistant support, officer, call-center, inventory control, purchasing assistant, contract controling, data control etc.

  4. Hello,

    First, I would like to thank you for your work on this website. This is very usefull and everything is very complete and clear.

    I’m currently a student in France at ESTACA in last year. During my 5 years at school, I did most of my internship in motorsport like 3 months as a track engineer in historic formula one championship (BOSS GP) and 1,5 year at AOTech (ART GP simulator) as a simulation engineer. In the same time I was also feelance data engineer for a LMP2 Team in ELMS and 24h of Le Mans.

    Now, as I am in my last year, I have to make a choice, I need to find a job straight after the school or I do a 6 months internship. I want to work in the simulation field on the performance side or on simulator. As I didn’t study in an english university and most of the F1 people come from there, it is difficult for me to judge the level of my profile. Do you think that I should try to find an internship in another category to increase my experience or do I have a chance to get a job (or an internship if that exist) in fomula 1 from now?

    Thank you very much.

    Antoine

    1. Hi Antoine

      Thanks for the comments and I am glad you have found some use out of the site. Please accept my apologies for the delay in replying.

      Firstly I think your experience sounds very impressive. You clearly have made a fantastic start and had a range of experiences at the track and at teams facilities. Well done on that – you are well ahead of the majority if I am honest.

      In terms of job vs internship at your stage of study, I dont think it is likely that you could find temporary work as a graduate, you are much more likely to get involved in a graduate level permanent job. The jobs market in F1 is quite buoyant at the moment with Renault (in particular), Haas & Manor taking on large numbers of people. If I were you I would be looking at those opportunities but importantly also looking at a permanent job in a non-F1 environment, either in the UK or mainland Europe. When looking for an F1 opening, timing it with your graduation seems difficult as the time window is very small. If you are working elsewhere, earning money and gaining further experience then you can be ready to apply and move across whenever the timing suits and an opening arises.

      You are very much on the right track however and I think you should keep going as you are. Very best of luck to you.

      Richard

  5. Thank you sir this website helping me to gain a lot of information about how to get an job in F1. before reading this blog i believed that a degree is required for get a job in f1 now its change , i never give up my dream surely i will land my dream job thanks for your valuable information sir. see you on the grid someday

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