Model Shop Team Leader, Formula 1 Team
What is your name and job title?
My name is Matthew Loveridge, and my job title is model shop team leader
What is a summary of your job role?
This entails overseeing the running of the modelshop. We build the 60% scale wind tunnel model for aerodynamic development. In our department, we have around 30 staff across multiple shifts 24/7. Another team leader and I manage this department on a four days on four days off rota, under my modelshop manager.
What did you study at school/college/university?
I studied advanced motorsport engineering at college (BTEC) after my GCSE’S. At the end of my two year course, I was picked for an apprenticeship at Jordan F1 in model making.
What did you want to be when you grew up?
To be honest when I grew up, I wanted to dig up dinosaurs!! After Jurassic park! Perhaps don’t mention that to your audience!
When did you know you wanted to work in F1?
I enjoyed working with my hands and love cars so engineering suited me, I went to college on a course that covered all aspects of motorsport, but a lot of jobs within F1 are so unique to it, I didn’t really know a lot about it. I was picked by my college tutor to go to an interview for the apprenticeship (at Jordan F1), had a week’s trial there, and was offered the job.
What was your biggest challenge?
I found at the start, F1 isn’t really like a normal 9-5 job, it’s something you commit to, working to the job not a clock, it’s hard but is immensely rewarding, from making the smallest parts for the car to overseeing the wind tunnel model build, and to be truthful, it is a very well paid sector, which helps!
What other jobs did you have before your current role?
I did seven and a half years at Jordan through to Force India, then left to join Williams. An opportunity to work closer to home and move up the ladder towards management.
Whilst at college I did work experience at Renault F1 for a few weeks in 2003. This was massive for me, and what I’d impress on anyone wanting to get into the game. It becomes something on your CV to make you very attractive to employers and gets the candidates a real look at what F1 is really about, not like the TV/media show it.
What advice would you give to young people wanting to work in F1?
We have a lot of youngsters through on work experience, many of them school kids (15ish) but many from uni age too. It really does help with a foot in the door, as we have them for a week and the ones that show an interest really make a mark, and come apprenticeship in-take or job opportunities, they get remembered. I’d say now, email every HR department asking for work experience, and off your own back too. You’d be amazed how many young people I’ve met that their parents have got them the opportunity to come see what we do and don’t really show an interest. And that does get remembered should you ever see them again.
The other side of that is the keen ones, I met a lad last year that came over from America for two weeks work experience with us, all arranged by himself, got accommodation and flights sorted on his own, bloody brilliant lad. That attitude alone opens up doors. We do also have an intern programme, like most other teams. Students have their gap year from Uni with us, then go back for their final year. This is another good way in, as for twelve months we work with them and they usually get offered a job the other end of it.
Any other comments or advice?
It’s a funny industry for getting in, but once you’re in, you’re set. Like getting a mortgage really!! I do love my job, getting to work with a large group of people to meet deadlines and ultimately make a faster car. I’m just becoming an assessor on the apprenticeship program here, to help with the selection and mentoring of these young people in our company. I remember how hard it was to get in and come up through this to get here, so to help the next generation out is massive for us, bringing on new talent. I just can’t stress enough, work experience and the impression you make during it, an eager attitude and always ask questions.
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