Formula 1 is an exhilarating sport, loved by many across the globe. This includes children and teenagers as well. Across these fans, there could be a few of them who would even want to work in the Formula 1 industry. Fortunately, there is a competition for students that will help fuel their passion and help them chart a path to working in the industry one day. It is called F1 in Schools.
F1 in schools is an international STEM competition for students who love F1. In the competition, students aged 9 to 19 deploy CAD/CAM software to collaborate, design, analyse, manufacture, test, and then race miniature compressed air powered cars made from F1 model block. Teams are made up of 3-6 members. This competition is conducted in many countries. In India it is organised by STEMCLUB India. There is first a qualifiers round and then a national round. The best teams in the National round are selected in the World Finals which is an incredible event. The final takes place at an actual F1 race weekend and competing teams get to interact with the drivers. It is a magical experience for those involved.
From the outset it seems like the competition is purely about making a miniature race car, but there are so many more aspects to it. It is essentially a simulation of being part of an F1 team. Engineers alone don’t make an F1 team. Teams in the competition also need to maintain social media handles and perform marketing functions for their team. Maintaining the brand image is also a responsibility of Formula 1 teams. Furthermore, like Formula 1, teams have to get sponsors for the competition. Getting sponsors will help reduce the financial burden on teams. This requires teams to interact with businesses and pitch to them.
We interacted with a team from Bengaluru, Maple Racing with 4 members Ronav, Aman , Aaryan and Siddhant. Maple Racing is currently participating in the April qualifiers of F1 in schools and this is what they said.
“Our team is called Maple Racing, modelled after the Maple tree leaf. This tree is a symbol of strength, intelligence, endurance and generosity and these ideals inspired us.
We were initially driven to the competition because of our love of Formula 1. We thought it would be interesting to learn how Formula 1 teams function.
The competition was very useful as we learned a lot of things. We learned practical skills like utilising CAD software to design things, we learnt how to handle social media pages and interacting with businesses. It also taught us a lot of values like teamwork, coordination and commitment.
The tricky part of the competition for us was getting sponsors. We were told by others that getting sponsors would be difficult for a team starting out in the competition. We contacted a lot of businesses for this but we very few of them actually responded to our sponsorship proposal. The ones that replied, did not really understand the competition well enough to support us. Luckily after all our hardwork we found 2 businesses who were willing to support us.
Addere Creations was one of those businesses. Addere creations is a renowned 3d printer in Bengaluru. They gave us inputs on our car design and helped us manufacture the parts for it. They were very helpful and supported us every step of the way. They also helped reduce the financial burden for our team.
The other one is is Threadworks a uniform manufacturer in Bengaluru. They helped in supplying our uniforms for the competition. It also helped to know that all their uniforms were sustainable and made with organic materials. This was a huge boost for the team as sustainability Is one of our main ideals.
The qualifier round begins on April 22nd for our team. Our car is ready and the only thing left to do is race it. We hope we can do well.
This way F1 in schools could be a tool to help formula 1 fans fuel their passion for the game.