You are on page 1of 3

Careers in Formula 1

Formula 1 or F1 can be seen as either a motorsport or a business, both of which cannot


function without proper human capital. An F1 pilot and his pit crew are always surrounded by a
team of highly trained and committed professionals who represent the part that doesnt get
too much media attention, but thrive and take pride in their work. Some F1 teams such as
Williams, have employed up to 600 staff that have to cover a multitude of tasks and meet tight
deadlines. Some of them work in the design and manufacture of the race cars themselves,
while most take part in the logistical struggle of transporting the team from campus to the
Grand Prix location each season. The success of such a vast and intricate human value
management system depends largely on promoting not only a fast-paced, friendly
environment, but also on adhering to strong core values and a winning philosophy.
Engineering is the backbone of a successful racing team
The role of a Formula 1 engineer revolves around pushing the envelope and taking car
and engine design to the absolute boundaries of rules and regulations. F1s cutting-edge
technology is at the forefront of automotive design and testing, where innovation and
manufacturing play a crucial part in a teams rate of success. Specialists are entrusted with
handling sensitive tasks such as providing top-tier systems solutions and verifying
aerodynamics, chassis dynamics as well as checking for holistic integration. This is the main
reason why engineers pursue a career in F1 and take it upon themselves to further their
knowledge in working with advanced lightweight materials, high-end electronics and last but
not least, hybrid power systems.
A systems engineer is responsible with setting up the cars electrical wiring and
electronic systems. It goes without saying that an expert hand is required to work with a myriad
of sensors in order to calibrate a cars engine and throttle/brake response. There are gigabytes
of data at a time to be analysed and translated into a course of action that will further improve
the cars track performance and the drivers ability to handle all that power. System engineers
are required to have solid knowledge in software such as Atlas and System Monitor as well as
working with simulators (Simuling, VBA). Another aspect of this job is the ability and freedom to
travel long distances in order to provide expert advice on the spot.
Vehicle technicians get up close and dangerous
Among the most coveted careers in Formula 1 that require a more hands-on approach is
the vehicle dynamicist. This position entails honing the racing cars performance through indepth analysis of its tests and track performance. Although vehicle technicians are led by
engineers, their input is considered valuable when it comes to problem solving and developing
new concepts in predicting car performance. Vehicle technicians need to work closely with
designers and engineers in order to augment older concepts and evaluating newer ones. Even
though they are focused more on mechanics (suspension, springs, dampers and even the

braking system), oftentimes their concern focuses more on computer simulation, running tests
and tweaking dyno rigs in order to provide regular feedback and support.
Inside an F1 team
An F1 team requires people who have a broad range of skills (a mathematical
background included) and extensive experience in mechanics and medium to high computer
literacy. The broader the education the better since Engineering Science does not limit itself
only to the theoretical branch. Working in a racing environment requires having real life
problems using the information from a wide range of disciplines such as mechanics, electronics
and dynamics. It goes without saying that the technician must also have good interpersonal
skills to help him or her communicate their views decisively among the other technicians or
leading engineers. Some technicians focus mostly on mathematical problems and algorithms,
while other focus on opportunities that never cease to arise (tyre modeling, tweaking systems
and software).
The aerodynamics branch of engineers require experts in the area of wind tunneling,
design and testing who are comfortable in defining concepts and creating development
programs for the team. These experts are achievers who use not only CFD, but also wind tunnel
testing programs in order to demonstrate viability and efficiency with a high level of discipline.
Wind tunnel testing offers a sizeable advantage over regular testing when meeting and
exceeding operational needs present themselves as job prerequisites. The teams own initiative
is highly regarded as the ability to work well independently and under pressure without having
to worry about program constraints.
Inspection and quality control
Engineers who take the role of inspectors are usually overseeing all the areas that
require strict quality control. This usually involves servicing, conformity in terms of sketches and
calibration, information storage and sensitive components checking. Inspectors are
coordinating with other engineers to measure devices and data with the sole purpose of
calibrating and recording performance in the workplace.
Pursuing a career in motorsport Formula 1 drivers
Those who wish to become a pilot/race car driver go through rigorous physical testing
and have a track record of successfully racing F3 ad F2 cars prior to getting an F1 car. Its
certainly not a nine-to-five job and requires putting excess hours only to cut down times and
increase performance behind the wheel. Experts describe Formula 1 racing drivers as people
with a sixth sense, mostly because of their innate ability to push boundaries only to become the
fastest. These drivers are actually conditioned athletes who are adapted or are devoted enough

to sacrifice stamina and endurance in order to sustain hours of 3-4 G cornering for the sake of
winning. They undergo heavy cardio-vascular training with the help of cardio sports such as
running and swimming to develop muscle memory and mass that aids the body in sustaining
intense strain during longer races. Without these exercises, they cannot sustain the burder of
driving hundreds of miles on a track. Drivers usually practice all the time or as often they can in
order to meet the qualifying rounds and get the best possible position prior to the race without
incurring penalties.