F1 in schools

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Whilst we’re on the theme, the F1 in Schools World Finals 2016 was won by a student team from Athens, Greece with Infinite Racing from Mandoulides School taking the World Champions crown and lifting the Bernie Ecclestone World Champions trophy – the first team from Greece to be on the World Finals podium.

The team won an impressive haul of trophies, with the Pressure Challenge Award, the Knockout Competition Award and Team Website Award.

Australian team, Infinitude were runners-up to Infinite Racing, with Endeavour from Germany taking the third place podium spot. A total of 23 awards were presented at the glittering Awards Celebration Gala Dinner with a star-studded audience of Formula 1 team representatives, drivers and paddock personalities. The World Champions win coveted City University London and UCL Engineering scholarships.

F1 in Schools challenges students to create their own Formula One team which is commissioned to design, construct and race the fastest miniature Formula One Car of the Future; a 21cm long scale model built from the F1 in Schools model block and powered by a compressed air cylinder. Each team of between three and six students creates a ‘pit’ display and showcases their work in developing their race car. At the World Finals each team brings along a pit display, their cars and portfolio, as well as having prepared a verbal presentation for the judges. The cars race on a 20 metre track, with the cars covering the distance in around one second.

The 2016 World Finals was held this week at the Hyatt Regency Hotel in Austin, Texas with three days of intense competition between 39 teams from 23 countries.

Full list of award winners:

World Champions supported by Formula One Management, City University London, UCL Engineering
INFINITE RACING -Mandoulides Schools – Greece

2nd Place supported by Circuit of the Americas
Infinitude – Brighton Secondary School & St Bede’s College – Australia

3rd Place supported by The IET
Endeavour – Gymnasium Unterrieden Sindelfingen, Karl-Friedrich-Gymnasium Mannheim, Kurfürst-Friedrich-Gymnasium Heidelberg – Germany

Best Engineered Car Award supported by Williams Racing
Knight Hawks – The Indian High School, Dubai – United Arab Emirates

Research and Development Award supported by McLaren Honda
Knight Hawks – The Indian High School, Dubai – United Arab Emirates

The Best International Collaboration Team Award supported by Shell
Fusion Racing – Pelizaeus Gymnasium Paderborn & Wilmington Grammar School for Boys – Germany & UK

Innovative Thinking Award supported by Renault Sport F1 Team
Panteras Racing – Universidad Panamericana Preparatoria – Mexico

Team Sponsorship and Marketing Award supported by Manor Racing
Tachyon – Denbigh High School – Wales

Women in Motorsport Award supported by The FIA Women in Motorsport Commission
Tachyon – Denbigh High School – Wales

Team Website Award supported by Fantastic Media
INFINITE RACING, Mandoulides Schools – Greece

Image of the Week Award supported by Sutton Images
Fast Tech Crew – Alexander-von-Humboldt-Gymnasium – Germany

Knockout Competition Winners supported by Haas F1 Team
INFINITE RACING – Mandoulides Schools – Greece

Social Media Award supported by ID PR & Marketing
Fast Tech Crew – Alexander-von-Humboldt-Gymnasium – Germany

Enterprise Portfolio Award supported by F1 in Schools
Enigma UK – Robert May’s School – UK

Verbal Presentation Award supported by Pirelli
Tachyon – Denbigh High School – Wales

Pit Display Award supported by Scuderia Toro Rosso
Kinetikos Racing – Inveralmond Community High School – Scotland

Pressure Challenge Award supported by Autodesk
INFINITE RACING, Mandoulides Schools – Greece

Outstanding Sportsmanship Award supported by Sahara Force India Formula One Team
Airy Eagles – HTBLA Steyr & Vienna International School – Austria

Team Identity Award supported by Scuderia Ferrari
Kinetikos Racing – Inveralmond Community High School – Scotland

Fastest Car Award supported by Mercedes AMG Petronas Formula One Team Infinitude – Brighton Secondary School & St Bede’s College -Australia

Chair of Judges Recognition of Achievement Award supported by Red Bull Racing
Harlem United – Harlem High School – US

Scrutineering Award supported by F1 in Schools
Supermac’s Racing – St. Brigid’s College, Ireland

Best Newcomer Award supported by Sauber F1 Team
Finkas -Markham College – Peru


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New generation of F1 engineers



Williams and Randstad have announced the students selected to join the Randstad Williams Engineering Academy’s “Class of 2016” – the second intake of students to join this innovative scheme that sees Williams and Randstad mentor students from across the world as they bid to secure a career as a Formula One engineer.

Nine students were selected from a pool of candidates competing in the 2016 F1 in Schools World Finals competition held in Austin, Texas from 16-18 October. F1 in Schools is a global not for profit STEM competition that sees students design, build and race miniature racing cars.

Following a series of written submissions and group exercises the students were informed of their selection at last night’s F1 in School’s World Finals Gala Dinner in Austin, with Williams’ Chief Technical Officer Pat Symonds, and Randstad’s Chief Innovation Officer in the US, Graig Paglieri making the announcement. The Class of 2016 are based in five different countries and comprises;

Nathan Bryce, UK
Katelyn Chelberg, UK
Michael Chellappah, Sri Lanka
Youngil Ko, South Korea
Amy Martin, UK
James McDonagh, UK
Cora Morrow, UK
Ajinkya Sawant, US
Jesse Stevens, Australia

Year One of the programme sees the students complete a series of motorsport themed e-learning modules that have been developed by Williams in partnership with Cambridge University Press. Each student has a Williams engineer as a tutor to guide them through the e-learning activities and provide advice on a motorsport career. This is complemented by a number of practical experiences.

Academies designed to identify and train future racing drivers have existed in Formula One for a number of years, but this is the first scheme of its kind dedicated to identifying and supporting a new generation of Formula One engineering stars.

This is a competitive scheme, with each cohort of students gradually whittled down in numbers based on performance criteria. The goal is for successful graduates of the Academy to join Williams upon completion of their university studies.

The Academy officially began in September 2015 and the first intake of eleven students have now completed their first year, with eight students successfully making it through to Year Two which kicks off on 1 November.

Welcome to #Haastin



Ever since the notion of an American Formula One team started getting bandied about in January 2014 when Gene Haas responded to the FIA’s “Call for Expression of Interest” regarding a Formula One entry, the names Haas and Circuit of the Americas have been inexorably linked.

Prior to Gene Haas forming Haas F1, there hadn’t been an American Formula One team since 1986. And prior to Circuit of the Americas, or COTA as it is better known, there hadn’t been a Formula One race on American soil since the 2007 United States Grand Prix at Indianapolis Motor Speedway.

COTA put Formula One back on America’s map when it became the country’s first purpose-built Formula One facility. Constructed in 2011 and hosting its first Formula One race in 2012, COTA and its residency of Austin, Texas, have become a destination venue for the Formula One industry which has descended upon the Violet Crown for the fifth time as the United States Grand Prix gets underway tomorrow.

Coincidentally, Gene Haas secured his first NASCAR Sprint Cup Series championship in 2011 as his driver and co-owner, Tony Stewart won the series title in epic fashion by beating Carl Edwards in a tiebreaker. The two ended the season tied in points, but Stewart’s five-win tally trumped Edwards’ lone victory.

That championship put Stewart-Haas Racing (SHR) into the elite rank of championship-winning NASCAR teams. Three years later and six removed from its inception in 2009, SHR won its second title with driver Kevin Harvick in 2014. After finishing second in the championship in 2015, SHR is again driving toward the series title, emphasised by Harvick’s win this past Sunday at Kansas Speedway in Kansas City.

It was an impressive start to what will be an impressive week for Gene Haas. The man who founded Haas Automation in 1983 and has since turned the Oxnard, California-based company into the largest CNC machine tool builder in North America has made motorsports more than just a passion play. It’s a cornerstone of his company’s growth and part of Haas Automation’s DNA. Gene Haas’ involvement in Formula One is partly about the challenge of competing, but it is also about growing Haas Automation beyond North America.

“As an American team, having an F1 race on American soil is incredibly important,” Haas says. “We come to COTA having scored some points and proving that we can hold our own with the established teams of Formula One. We’re looking forward to our first home race.”

Instead of Austin, perhaps it should be #Haastin. Haas F1 Team comes into the fourth to last race of the 2016 season as the most successful new Formula One team in recent memory. The 28 points Haas F1 Team has earned so far this season are the most of any new team in this millennium. When Jaguar debuted in 2000 and when Toyota came on the scene in 2002, each entity managed only two point-paying finishes in their entire first seasons for a combined total of six points.

Delivering those points to Haas F1 Team has been Romain Grosjean. The veteran Formula One driver will make his 100th career start in Sunday’s United States Grand Prix, and in COTA’s second Formula One race, Grosjean finished a career-best second to the dominant Red Bull of Sebastian Vettel.

Grosjean’s teammate, Esteban Gutierrez has been knocking on the door of a points-paying finish all season long with five 11th-place results, each one spot shy of a coveted Formula One point. The affable Mexican looks to break that streak at COTA before heading to his own homecoming a week later – the Mexican Grand Prix at the Autódromo Hermanos Rodríguez in Mexico City.

This week and next, the spotlight will shine brightly on Haas F1 Team. But first, the 5.513-kilometre (3.426-mile), 20-turn Circuit of the Americas beckons, and America’s Formula One team plans to make the most of its time on American soil.

Nico Hulkenberg to leave Sahara Force India

Nico Hulkenberg will leave the team at the end of the season to pursue other opportunities within Formula One. His last race with Force India will be in Abu Dhabi next month.

Vijay Mallya, Team Principal and Managing Director: “Everybody at Sahara Force India wishes Nico well as he embarks upon a different path in Formula One.

“Having spent five years with us, Nico has become a great friend and contributed a huge amount to the team’s success. He’s an outstanding driver, who has scored more points for this team than anybody else.

“While it’s true we will miss Nico, we respect his decision to explore fresh opportunities and it would be wrong to stand in his way.”

Fabulous Brackley

Lewis Hamilton and Nico Rosberg joined the team’s senior management at Brixworth and Brackley for a day of celebration across both sites. Last time I was at Brackley I was interviewing BAR and Jock Clear was Jacques Villeneuve’s race engineer (actually formerly Lewis Hamilton’s senior engineer as well a mere two years ago before Ferrari).

But a great sight to see the Mercedes team in all its glory. Well done!


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