Feature series on the inner workings of Formula One

Formula One is an industry with companies that compete for position in the market. As it happens these companies are teams and the market is the grid, the race and the championships. So, is a Formula One team different from any other manufacturing business on the inside? If so, what are the differences?

Anyone on the outside of Formula One that has a keen interest will have a vision of mystique when it comes to the inner workings of the teams. I hate to break it to you, it is not like Willy Wonka is to candy lovers, there are no grid girls on roller skates serving you refreshments nor does the day consist of tinkering on and test driving the car. It is a hard-core seriously scientific business. Think about it, you have 250 to 500 people employed to (simply put) manufacture two cars that go racing a 20 odd times per year! Every one of them fulfill an integral part in making these teams work and succeed. Now it is true that teams more often than not are suppliers of technology or manufacturing to other teams or businesses as well, so it was truly ‘simply put’. However, you will see that it is true that it is an exciting and invigorating environment that challenges you to be the best every day you show up for work. As a matter of fact most of this is true for any seriously committed race team, whatever format they may be engaged in.

Each team have departments to develop various aspects of the car from concept design, through testing to manufacturing to running the car in competition. During the next few weeks we will take a look at these different departments, their structures and functions to give anyone with a desire to get in to the sport an idea of how it works and how you can set up a strategy to build a career in Formula One. If we are lucky we will hear from insiders as well.

Along with these installments we can recommend that you catch up with Peter Windsor on ‘The Racer’s Edge” (www.youtube.com/peterwindsor) to get further in-depth information about Formula One and the science behind it. It is a show that has run since the Australian GP this year, so it will give you a library to go through when the abstinence sets in after Interlagos.

Good luck to everybody for the last GP of the 2013 season and bon voyage to the V8, you will be missed.


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