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Madeleine Gibbs

Maddie83

People & Careers Channel

Discuss your career progression, seek advice on your next steps and how to make the most of opportunities. Just started a job? Share your pride with the network!

People & Careers Channel

Discuss your career progression, seek advice on your next steps and how to make the most of opportunities. Just started a job? Share your pride with the network!

Work Experience + Tips

Posted by: Maddie83 - Posted: April 26, 2021

Hi,

I’m currently studying my A-levels and am looking for some work experience or volunteering opportunities I can do.
I am studying Design and Technology, Physics and Maths. I’m aiming to study engineering (mechanical) at university and then complete the MIA school of race engineering as I am fascinated by motorsport and how things work.
In the end I’d love to work for Formula 1 but I understand how challenging this career path is and how much experience I’d need beforehand.
I was wondering if anyone had any tips on how to get into F1 or any work experience that could help me.

Thanks

Comments

Good Morning Madaline,

Welcome to Student Motorsport! Thanks for becoming an important part of our community! We look forward to seeing you in and amongst the forums and supporting your career aims.

We’re seeing an increasing number of students from schools registering on our network, this speaks volumes about you and younger people taking control of their careers from an ever earlier age, well done you!

I too studied A’levels and Technology was one of my choices, you seem to have a great fit there with physics and maths ‘in the bag’, you’ll find they serve you well when looking to make the move to university, so a great start by you.

In terms of ‘getting into F1 or any form of ‘higher-end motorsport’, it’s about the ‘ingredients to success’ as I refer to them.

1. Education
2. Experience
3. Networking and…finally a healthy interest in the sport we love!

Making sense so far?

So let’s get started in some steps to help you:

1. It’s great that you have chosen to study mechanical engineering as this is a transferrable and highly valuable skill set in the motorsport industry, and as you rightly pointed out gives you options. Have you also taken a look at the motorsport courses out there?

2. What engineering area(s) interest you? Are you more about the technical/analytical side of how a vehicle performs in racing for example a data engineer, or perhaps engineering in terms of vehicle build/design engineering?

3. What (other than F1) fields/areas of motorsport interest you, in this industry and job types are far and wide-ranging? Are you interested in a more hands-on role, a data/research-based role or have you considered a management area in the future?

4. Which sectors of the industry interest you, are you swayed towards land, water or air racing, 2 or 4 wheels, is it more formula-based or saloon, for example, the ‘world is your oyster as they say!

5. Have you checked out our resources on ‘volunteering in motorsport’? So top tips on getting your ‘foot in the door and how to approach employers for the experience you need.

Finally, well done for starting to complete a Student Motorsport profile, that will help you get the most out of our network. It’s also nice to be able to ‘put a face to your name’. We’d interested in taking a look at your educational background, and career timeline as future employers out there looking to do the same. If you complete more information in these areas profile it does speak volumes about you, it’s not just about the posts you create or questions you ask, people want to see who and what type of person creates them.

I look forward to hearing back from you.

Hi,

Thank you so much for your reply!

1. I have looked into motorsport engineering but didn’t know if this was as highly regarded as mechanical engineering. I will also look into automotive engineering.

2. I’m interested in both sides but I think the data analysis side in how to make the car faster is more interesting. But would love to design.

3. Either a data role or management. I’m unsure on what the difference in roles are, I would like to be able to analyse a competitor compared to their rivals and see where they’re behind and what needs to change on the vehicle to increase their speed.

4. Either land 4 wheels or water racing.

5. Will check this now, thank you.

Thank you so much!

Good Morning Maddie,

I hope all is well, how’s the return to studying going?

1. If you look at some of the unis incorporated into some of the motorsport engineering degrees you’ll be surprised at the technical content and aspect and that much of it is transferrable to general mechanical engineering.

2. So design and data, what a mix…you’ll have some great experiences in both areas of motorsport!

3. Well look at it this way, data engineers manage facts, figures and analysis, management manages processes and people.

4. Water racing! Think you are the first member here to say so, anything in particular?

Look forward to continuing the conversation.

Hi,

Studying is going well thank you.

1. Is it better to study motorsport engineering or mechanical engineering? There’s very few unis that do motorsport engineering, but it does look like fun.

2. Are there any set paths to get into either data or design? Or is it just fate?

3. Thank you, I think I’d rather do data than management. I’d like to analyse the car and driver, to help them improve. I think that’s the performance engineers role?

4. I’ve grown up around water and sailing, so I’m interested in water racing, but am not too knowledgeable on that area so am not sure.

Thank you

Good Morning Maddie,

Great to hear that thing are going well.

1. There is no right or wrong answer as both can lead to a good career in the industry, the choice is done to you so make sure you check those module areas in a course you intend to enrol on in the future. Remember of the 40 or so universities offering mechanical engineering there are 14 that offer a motorsport degree so you do have some choice.

2. There are no specific or course data or design course in motorsport but there are elements of both incorporated into a degree so be sure to check out the course content. It is certainly not down to fate, it is down to you and the steps you put into place now. Check out this book which will give you a good idea of the design elements for cars in motorsport:

Race Car Design – Derek Seward
https://www.amazon.co.uk/Race-Car-Design-Derek-Seward/dp/1137030143

Ensure you look out for subjects such as automotive or engineering design, material analysis (supports design), CAD (computer-aided design) and design modelling for example.

3. Well data engineering is something of a science and you’re sure to go far in the industry if you study hard and start now, even before you start at university, get ahead now, beat the competition! It is indeed the analysis of a race vehicle and driver/operator, and thus a study of performance. Another book suggestion on the data side:

Competition Car Data Logging – Simon McBeath (High priced at the moment)
https://www.amazon.co.uk/Competition-Car-Data-Logging-Practical/dp/1859606539/ref=sr_1_1?dchild=1&keywords=competition+car+data+logging&qid=1621247750&s=books&sr=1-1

4. What a great way to incorporate your love of sailing and motorsport, a great path to take and if you are passionate about something you’re more likely to excel!

JP

Thank you!

Thank you for the book recommendations, I’ll give it a read.

Good Morning Maddie,

I hope all is well, and I hope my reply and the link was useful?

Have there been any developments you can share with your career drive?

JP

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