Ricard Aiguabella

Senior Aerodynamics Engineer - Tesla

What do you do in your job?

As a Senior Aerodynamics Engineer, my main role is to create new concepts to improve the aerodynamic performance of the car. This means surfacing new ideas, evaluating them in CFD, plan and run wind tunnel testing – and when the new components make it into the actual production car, analyse and monitor their performance.

When did you know you wanted to work in Formula 1?

I wanted to become an Aerodynamicist for the automotive/ motorsport industries. I think I was probably around 13 years old, when watching Pedro De La Rosa’s first season in Formula 1 – the first Spanish driver in Formula 1 in a very long time.

What’s the best thing about your job?

The creative side of engineering – not many engineers have the opportunity to create entirely new concepts from scratch.

What subjects and courses did you take?

I studied Mechanical Engineering at Barcelona – UPC University, followed by a MSc in Motorsport at Epsilon Euskadi / Mondragon University, and a MSc in Motorsport at Oxford Brookes after receiving the “Fernando Alonso Scholarship”.

Did you do any work experience? 

Yes, I did work for Seat Sport in the World Touring Car aerodynamics while I was studying my Mechanical Engineering degree. I did enjoy the experience very much, and I also learnt a lot about the automotive industry.

What has been your biggest challenge?

To work in Formula 1 for many years (at Force India F1, currently Racing Point), in such a fast-paced environment, and having to communicate in a foreign language in an industry dominated by native English speakers!

What was the best thing you ever did to help you get to where you are today?

Probably Formula Student, it helped so much to bridge the gap between University and the real world — and also to learn teamwork in a high pressure environment. Highly recommended for any engineering student, no matter if looking for a job in the automotive industry or not.

What would you say to inspire someone to follow their dreams?

To work very hard every single day, and to use every opportunity you have to learn new skills — if you work hard enough, you can achieve the unimaginable.

Any other comments or advice you can offer?

Motivation and hard work are the keys to success – but also, creating your own path to achieve your goals and to stand out from the crowd – “he who follows another is always behind” is my favorite quote, I read it for the first time in a very famous vehicle dynamics book, “Race car Vehicle Dynamics” by W. Milliken and D. Milliken, and always stayed with me.

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