With the new 2018 F1 cars now running in Barcelona, the sport entering its second year of new ownership and the era of cockpit head protection being rushed in, there is plenty of change in the air at the top of end professional motorsport.
What is new for motorsport recruitment though ? Well, I can’t promise that getting a job in F1 is any less competitive but the past 12 months has seen a wave of new websites start up offering not only F1 vacancies but right across the motorsport world. Motorsport has been typically slow to take up digital media offerings but in 2017 at least, recruitment seemed to catch up a little bit and that should make it a lot easier for many of you to keep informed about vacancies that are out there.
The back pages of Autosport magazine have traditionally been the go to place for the industry when searching for new employment. More recently the magazine website at autosport.com published those same listings but it was a small offering and came with no kind of search or category functionality.
With the take over of Autosport by the Motorsport Network, a new dedicated website at motorsportjobs.com has been created which now has a huge selection of mainly motorsport related vacancies listed. As I write this, there are no fewer than 659 vacancies posted which is about the size of a modern F1 team in itself !
Pitlane Industries is another new site which popped up in 2018, this time focussing on freelance motorsport people and offering temporary as well as permanent positions across the industry. You are unlikely to find F1 Team Technical Director vacancies on here but more a broad spectrum of supporting series and even weekend warrior work.
For those looking to broaden their experience and get involved, it could be a happy hunting ground.
Even the F1 teams themselves seem to be organising and promoting their own vacancies in a clearer and more publicly accessible fashion. McLaren is a very big group now, when including not just their racing team but also the Automotive and Applied Technologies arms. A dedicated twitter account @MclarenCareers has appeared which posts vacancies from across the group, direct to your Twitter feed. Useful when you don’t get the time to search via their normal careers pages.
As far as the strength of the industry goes, things look reasonable with most F1 teams either maintaining size or expanding. Renault F1 continue to recruit heavily with large numbers of vacancies across the team. New funding at Sauber will surely mean more recruitment there after number of lean years when numbers dwindled. Haas F1 are also still steadily building up but at a more controlled rate now that they have a couple of seasons under their belts.
Both Red Bull and Mercedes AMG High Performance Powertrains recruited heavily for their respective hyper car programmes in 2018 and those kinds of sister projects can be ideal for getting a foot in the door of the racing companies. Likewise, Formula E shows no signs of failing at this point and a number of new manufacturers are poised to enter, which will require new recruits as well as old hands to make them competitive. If the series does step up a gear, most teams will be recruiting to keep up with the big manufacturer entries and opportunities are likely to increase.
Two weeks of testing will start to show where everybody is with their new 2018 machinery but it will only be in Melbourne where we truly know the running order. Pre-season in F1 is traditionally time for unproven and over-confident optimism but for you the aspiring motorsport employee there are plenty of reasons for be hopeful for the coming year.
Best of luck and keep checking those job pages !