How to Become an F1 Race Engineer?

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F1 Race Engineer

Does just hearing the words F1 (Formula 1) racing gives you a sense of thrill and adventure? Do you also wish to be a part of the action-packed world of F1 racing but don’t know how to make it there? Then this blog is just for you. Some people have a knack for racing and speed excites them. But to some others, the sound of engines and understanding the twisted mechanics behind the working of machines gives an adrenaline rush. To them what’s more exciting than riding a motorcycle or a motorcar is understanding how they work. Read this blog to know all about what an F1 Race Engineer does, how to become one as well as the salary, qualification, and job perks you must know about!

What Does an F1 Race Engineer Do?

Most of you have undoubtedly heard of Formula 1 and the names Lewis Hamilton and Valtteri Bottas, who has taken the racing world by storm. But have you ever pondered what goes on behind the scenes at a racetrack? Or who trains these racers and their vehicles to put on the finest show possible every time they hit the track? The crew led by the F1 Race Engineers is the solution to this query. Organizing a show of this size, especially in a sport like racing that entails an extraordinary amount of danger, necessitates a high level of organization and preparation, which falls within the purview of the F1 Race Engineer.

To put it simply, an F1 Race Engineer is in charge of guaranteeing many aspects of safety, legality, and performance both on and off the track. An F1 Race Engineer’s tasks range from managing vehicle mechanics to reviewing past race data to enhance the performance of both the driver and the car before the race and collaborating with the entire team during the race. So, if you’re looking for a job that will allow you to fully utilise your technical and social skills, the role of F1 Race Engineer might be right for you.

What’s The Difference Between Race Mechanic And Race Engineer?

To the uninitiated, the two concepts are synonymous. Both are jobs in racing engineering, however, the two job duties are completely distinct. In the same way that you wouldn’t expect a builder to be in charge of the planning and structural design of a complicated structure, an architect, although understanding the fundamentals of the building trade, would most likely be worthless during the hands-on construction stage.

Whereas a Race Mechanic is a highly skilled occupation requiring a lot of physical energy, a Race Engineer’s work is highly analytical – cause and effect data processing. Race Engineers are required to multitask, whereas mechanics in most elite teams specialize in one aspect of the vehicle or bike. A Race Engineer will never get their hands filthy on race day. They’ll be glued to a screen with their eyes on the live data feeds.

Roles And Responsibilities

When it comes to roles and responsibilities, we can say that an F1 race engineer is a Jack of all trades. To put it in one word, they are the backbones of Formula 1 racing. So, if you are wondering what makes an F1 race engineer the most important and indispensable part of the crew then here is a list of responsibilities that they undertake. 

  • Managing the mechanics of the vehicle in order to ensure that it’s working in its best condition. 
  • Evaluating the data acquired during the races and from the driver’s feedback to design a plan which will ensure better performance in the next race.
  • With this information, they also approach the design and management team to figure out where improvements could be made in terms of car development. 
  • Technical errors could be fatal in this field. Therefore, they conduct trials and practical sessions to eliminate that possibility during the race. 
  • They act as a link between the entire crew during the race. To make communication between the crew possible during the race all the members are connected through an intercom device. The F1 Race Engineer is supposed to collect all the information, filter them and deliver significant information to the racer. For example, if the racer is due to encounter some traffic ahead of him or if there is a risk of death on the course, the race engineer will tell the racer to minimise the risk.They also have the responsibility of keeping the racer’s spirit high even if things are not going according to the plan. And also come up with immediate solutions in case any obstacles arise. 
  • They often have to act as the “face of the team” in case the racer is not available or if some technical questions need to be answered. 

So, in short, behind the glamour of the F1 race events that you see on television go in an awful amount of work and the responsibility of most of it falls on the shoulders of the F1 race engineers. 

What Does an F1 Race Engineer Actually Do?

Credits – Mercedes-AMG Petronas Formula One Team

Qualifications to Become an F1 Race Engineer

If you want to become an F1 race engineer, you must have been waiting for this thinking I already know what an F1 race engineer is, just tell me how to become one. So, here’s a list of all that you need. 

  • This needs no saying but we will start with the basics.
  • First of all, you need to have a degree in Mechanical Engineering or Automotive Engineering to get the necessary knowledge of automotive engineering as well as race engineering.
  • Graduates with possible internship and apprenticeship experience will be given more preference as apprentices acquire a lot of practical knowledge and experience during their study. 
  • Prior experience of working with other Motorsport teams is mandatory. F1 comes at the top of the racing sports hierarchy and therefore the team is made up of the best. 
  • Such a high position calls for experience. So, you must have a strong resume. Experience of volunteering for race events or in undertaking projects for Motorsport teams could increase your probability of getting selected.
  • Becoming an F1 race engineer could be your goal but it can never be the starting point of your career. You have to work your way up. So, hard work and persistence is the key and that calls for a strong passion. 

In short, the dream of becoming an F1 race engineer is a long and tough journey to make but at the end of this journey awaits something worth all the efforts. 

Salary and Job Perks

Here are the salary details and job perks of being an F1 Race Engineer:

  • Being a part of a crew which receives such huge worldwide coverage you are going to get a lot of attention. Popularity is something which comes with this job.
  • Who doesn’t like to travel? F1 races happen all around the world. So, you will get to travel and see the world while working. Just how cool is that!
  • As per Morson, UK, the salary range starts from £450,000(INR 4,54,19,357) per year and goes up depending on your experience and qualifications. 

What Happens at The Engineering Station in an F1 Garage?

Credits – Mercedes-AMG Petronas Formula One Team

FAQs

Will you go to the races?

Yes, you are permitted to attend all races.

Do you have a role in pitstops?

Yes, call in the driver over the radio and highlight the pair of tires the crew should use on the tire racks. Also, notify the pit wall – who controls the radio to the crew – if we want any changes made to the front wing, which they will then forward.

What additional abilities are beneficial?

You must be calm and capable under pressure, but the experience is the most important factor. Experience working on a high-level race team is essential to understanding how the operations side operates.

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5 comments
  1. I need a course in which i can join f1 engineering team. at lowest cost as possible with all he scholarship as i am not financially stable i need your help to figure these things out.

  2. What would you suggest I do as a first job to work my way up until I have the qualifications of a race engineer?

    1. You need to have a good strong mechanical engineering understanding. Most people these days have degrees in mechanical engineering or something similar with some engineering background. That’s the academic qualification but you need a lot of track-side experience to do the job too. As this job is not just engineering, there are a lot of judgement calls you need to make quickly. To know about mechanical engineering as a source to become a race engineer you can refer to this article Job Oriented Courses for Mechanical Engineers.
      Hope this helps! 🙂

      1. I’m from electronics engineering background and i want to pursue race engineering as my career can i still do it?

  1. I need a course in which i can join f1 engineering team. at lowest cost as possible with all he scholarship as i am not financially stable i need your help to figure these things out.

  2. What would you suggest I do as a first job to work my way up until I have the qualifications of a race engineer?

    1. You need to have a good strong mechanical engineering understanding. Most people these days have degrees in mechanical engineering or something similar with some engineering background. That’s the academic qualification but you need a lot of track-side experience to do the job too. As this job is not just engineering, there are a lot of judgement calls you need to make quickly. To know about mechanical engineering as a source to become a race engineer you can refer to this article Job Oriented Courses for Mechanical Engineers.
      Hope this helps! 🙂

      1. I’m from electronics engineering background and i want to pursue race engineering as my career can i still do it?

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