Race Team

ROLES IN F1

The track-side race team is typically made up of a wide range of different disciplines including engineering, aerodynamics, media and PR, data analysis, strategy, management and hospitality to name just a few. Most of these disciplines are covered in their own specific areas of our website, so for this section we are going to focus on engineering and mechanics.

INTRO

You will see many race team engineers and mechanics on the television on a race weekend. They have many roles and a variety of responsibilities at the track.  They build the cars up when they arrive at the circuit and ensure they are performing correctly during a race weekend, then deconstruct them at the end to ensure they are shipped correctly to the next circuit. They analyse data, develop strategies, perform awe-inspiring pit stops, and so much more.

Race team engineers and mechanics can be away from home for long periods of the year, and must be willing to and enjoy working odd and unsociable hours due to the various time-zones and day/night shifts.

Disclaimer – the information below is not intended to be a replacement for professional careers advice.

TRAITS

If you are interested in working as part of the trackside race team, there are a few traits that will be familiar to you:

  • You will have good communication skills, and enjoy being organised
  • You will enjoy problem solving
  • Being able to work quickly and effectively, and excel in pressured situations
  • Being able to work to strict deadlines and thrive in working as part of a team
  • Being flexible in terms of working hours and approach
  • Being organised and able to follow process and guidelines
  • You are competitive and want to be the best you can be, you will enjoy winning!
  • You will most likely have superb attention to detail and work to the highest standard
  • Able to adapt quickly to changing situations
  • Enjoy keeping up to date with the latest advances in technology
  • Will be curious about the world, how things work, will enjoy taking things apart to understand them better, and re-building them afterwards
  • You will enjoy preparing yourself for this rewarding future career from an early age by getting hands-on experience in your spare time, alongside your academic studies

TYPICAL ROLES

There are a variety of roles available within the Race Team.  These might include:

  • Race Engineer This type of role will typically involve being the link between driver and the rest of the garage, and you will normally hear them communicating over the team radio during races. The role of a race engineer is quite vast and will include organising things like tyre choices, fuel amounts and car set-up.  It also involves pre-race planning and post-race de-brief sessions.  The race engineer will also be in communication with the factory to discuss any new developments to the car.  The race engineer will normally have a very close and trusted relationship with the driver.
  • Race Team Mechanic This type of role will typically involve but not limited to – keeping the car running smoothly, repairing any damage that might happen to the car, making any necessary tweaks and adjustments to improve the performance of the car, stripping the car down at the end of the race and building it back up again before a race.  They will be responsible for quickly dealing with any issues as they arise, and they will also take part in the pit stops.

WHAT TO STUDY

Listed below are some study paths you could consider.  However please make sure you also speak with your school/college/University careers advisor who will be able to provide help and support to you during this important time.


GCSE’s to consider:

Maths
English
Physics
Chemistry
Design & Technology
Resistant Materials

Other subjects that would be of benefit include:
Engineering (if available)
This would prepare you for taking some kind of engineering course at A Level.
Modern Foreign Languages
The Formula 1 industry is very multi-cultural and many of the teams are non-UK owned, therefore a foreign language would always be beneficial, in particular German or Italian.
IT
F1 teams are highly technological, so good IT knowledge is a must.
Further Maths
This will give you a ‘head start’ to maths and further maths A Level.


A Levels to consider:

*Maths
*Physics
Design and Technology
Engineering
Further Maths
Chemistry
Computing

*Maths and Physics are usually a minimum requirement for most University automotive and mechanical engineering courses if this is the path you choose, but please check and discuss with the University admissions department before making your final decision.

Other subjects that would be of benefit include:

Modern Foreign Languages
The Formula 1 industry is very multi-cultural and many of the teams are non-UK owned, therefore a foreign language would always be beneficial, in particular German or Italian.

Remember:  It’s important to get lots of hands-on work experience during your studies.  For example, weekend jobs at local karting or race tracks, volunteering for a role in a support series, or your own home project like stripping down an old car engine!

If you intend to go to University, please check with the admissions department of your preferred University to ensure that the A Level subjects you choose are acceptable for the course you wish to take, before you choose which A Levels you’d like to do. 

Further information on choosing the right A Levels for your future aspirations can be found here: https://www.russellgroup.ac.uk/for-students/school-and-college-in-the-uk/subject-choices-at-school-and-college/

UNIVERSITY

INTERESTING WEBSITES

BOOKS

CASE STUDY:

Michael Beard
No.2 Race Mechanic
Formula 1 Team

What do you do in your job?
Trackside sub assembly; building wings, brakes and dampers for the cars. Also work all round the car during running sessions and flap adjust in pit stops.

Keep reading…

RACE TEAM INSPIRATION:

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