How to become a Formula 1 engineer: Amy's story
In my job
I am a CFD engineer, which stands for Computational Fluid Dynamics. I help the team in Racing Point Force India F1 develop ways to make our racing cars go faster by running digital experiments on a computer. Most of my work is computer based. Day to day I might be reviewing or setting up simulations (computer-based experiments).
Formula 1 is such an exciting world because you are involved in the development process, and then you get to see the car for real on the track!
At first I struggled with Maths and used to get kept behind in class, but then something clicked! From then on Maths was my favourite subject. In Scotland we do exams called Highers, so I did Higher and Advanced Maths. I also learnt about Physics and how when air or water hit a solid object, they will pass a force on to it. Something I later needed to know about, because a Formula 1 car can take a corner at over two hundred kilometres an hour!
I applied to do International Relations and French, but in my second year I picked up a Maths module, and found I was more interested in Maths and Engineering, so I went on to do a Master's degree in CFD.
Most schools have a careers advisor; interrogate them a bit! Look for a job that you want to do and think about how your skills could apply to it.
A similar role to Amy's is a motorsport engineer. They design, build and test racing cars and bikes.
What to expect if you want to become a motorsport engineer
- Motorsport engineer salary: Widely variable ranging from £18,000 to £60,000
- Motorsport engineer working hours: On average 35-40 hours per week
What qualifications do you need to be a motorsport engineer?
- Entry requirements: You’ll usually need to complete a university degree or a degree apprenticeship. At university you could study an Engineering Foundation degree, Higher National Diploma (HND) or relevant Engineering degree. You’ll usually need one or two A-levels or equivalent qualifications for a foundation degree or HND, or two or three A-levels for a degree. To train through a degree apprenticeship, you will usually need four or five GCSEs at grades 9 to 4, and A-levels or equivalent.
This information is a guide (sources: LMI for All, National Careers Service)
Discover more on the Prospects website about working as an automotive engineer.