Transmission Design Engineer
Mercedes AMG Petronas F1 Team
Due to the current global uncertainty surrounding Covid-19 and the interruption to studies for so many students, we decided to reach out to the F1 family for some motivation and inspiration.
Here they share their experiences about their own route into the industry, and their life during lockdown.
— What is your name and job title?
My name is Gerard Bori Pont and I am currently a Transmission Design Engineer in Mercedes AMG Petronas F1 Team
— Could you give me a summary of your job role?
My job role consist in various disciplines going from concept, calculation, design and validation of different gearbox internal components.
At the very first stage I would scheme a concept and discuss it with my boss , after that put some maths and physics behind to see if it makes sense and most important if it would work. After the design is completed is send to manufacture. Once the manufacture parts arrives it gets assembled and ready for testing/validation after which we decide if we took the right path or not.
— What did you want to be when you grew up?
While growing up I always wanted to be a Mechanical Engineer. I am fascinated by every aspect of the mechanics. I used to spend hours dismounting and mounting stuff just to see how they are build.
— When did you know you wanted to work in Formula 1?
Since I went to my first F1 GP (the Spanish GP). Hearing the cars (that time were still V8’s) passing by and the engine screaming just made me realise that that is the world I want to be part of.
— What’s the best thing about your job?
One of the things I really like about it is the short timescale in which we can complete a project (from concept to manufacture and testing). That fast pace is something hard to find in any other industries. Another aspect I also love is the fact that we push the physical boundaries of the components we design.
— What subjects and courses did you take?
I have a Bachelor’s Degree in Mechanical Engineering and after that an MSc in Race Engine Design at Oxford Brookes University.
— Did you do any work experience?
Yes I did an internship after my Erasmus year in Germany and that was a key thing for me to get a first feeling of the real industry. During this internship I realised that my path I chose so far was the correct one. Also it helps me to move away a bit from the purely theoretical world that I had been living in before in the University and gain some priceless hands on experience.
— What has been your biggest challenge?
Once I accepted my first job for Porsche Motorsport after the Master at Brookes. After finishing my MSc Degree I returned to Germany for my first full time job. Having spent the last year and a half in the UK I had to retrieve all the previous language knowledge.
— What was the best thing you ever did to help you get to where you are today?
One of the best things I believe was the Master at Oxford Brookes Univesrity. Brookes has an excellent networking with some F1 Teams which is an invaluable bonus to find and open doors to this world.
— Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, many students have had their studies interrupted and are unsure of how it will affect them in the future. Are there any words of advice or inspiration you can share during such a challenging time?
It is unfortunately quite an unprecedented period in which we find ourselves at the moment. However, I would suggest that don’t let the panic and uncertain feelings get to you since they are rarely a good company. I would try to keep my head down and don’t lose focus of the target I had before the pandemic started and use this “on hold” time to ask yourself what can I do to get myself one step closer to the job I really want because the F1/Motorsport industry will get back to business sooner or later and will still need new recruits.
— How are you coping with the lockdown?
I am taking this time to relax a bit and push some personal projects that otherwise I never had the time to do. Also trying to maintain an exercise routing through the week to keep myself healthy and ready to hit the ground running once the lockdown period is over.
Thank you Gerard for taking the time to share your journey with us.