Aerodynamics Placement Student
Formula Careers takes a look behind the scenes of Aston Martin Racing and their Industrial Placement programme and meets the inspirational students carving a path to a successful career in Formula 1.
Tell us about yourself and how your passion for F1 began
My name is Octavian, I am 22 years old and I am now on student placement with Aston Martin F1 in the aerodynamics department. I am on this placement as part of my Aerospace Engineering MSc programme, which I am attending at the TU Delft, in the Netherlands.
I have been extremely passionate about F1 ever since I was a kid watching Sebastian Vettel earn his championships. As a result I have also studied Aerospace engineering at the TU Delft for my bachelor’s degree, in order to have an opening into the world of aerodynamics and advanced engineering.
Was the interview process for your placement as you expected it to be?
Yes and no: it was definitely very difficult, which I had expected, but it also tested some fundamental knowledge with questions that really challenged whether my understanding of aerodynamic phenomena was sound.
How did you ensure your application stood out from the rest?
I do not really believe there exists a “silver bullet” in terms of writing applications. It is all based on being honest about your experience and hence you have to have gathered relevant and meaningful experiences. In my opinion, if you want a strong CV and application, the best way to go about it is to study relevant courses/programmes and try working in teams such as Formula Student ones. The
real experiences you will have gathered will make your application noteworthy.
How did you feel when you found out your application was successful?
To be honest extremely relieved and happy, after all a childhood dream was basically fulfilled.
What was your first day like?
The first day was somewhat overwhelming, but in a good way. Finally stepping into an F1 design office and even more so as an actual employee was tremendous. That being said, I got stuck in with training right from the first day and this is how a typical day has looked for me in the past 3 weeks since I have started: mostly CAD training, which is essential for an aerodynamicist, but also other types of training about CFD and aerodynamics.
I believe the past 3 weeks have been the steepest learning curve of my life so far, but I can assure it is extremely fulfilling to notice how quite literally everyday you can do more than the previous.
Any particular extra curricular activities you’d recommend to students wanting to work in F1?
Yes, for sure: working in a Formula Student team during your university time. They are extremely useful and practical learning experiences, but you will also develop contacts with other people who are aiming to work in F1 as well as get a first contact with the motorsport world.
What role would you like to do after finishing university?
I would love to be able to work as an aerodynamicist after finishing my MSc, but I would not limit that to F1. This discipline has applications in many fields of industry and engineering.
Any other advice you’d like to share?
Find what kind of work/activity gives you satisfaction and pursue it. One day it could turn into a tremendous job.