F1 in Schools National Finals 2016 award winners were treated to a trip to this year’s FORMULA 1 BRITISH GRAND PRIX, courtesy of Silverstone circuit and were given coveted behind-the-scenes paddock access, with the support of Formula One Management’s assistance.  The Formula 1 teams also gave the teams an experience to remember with guided tours of their pit garages and hospitalities. 

Friday’s practice day gave three teams the chance to watch Formula 1 cars on track in wet and dry weather and they also visited the paddock for an insight into the inner workings of the sport. Second placed Rookie Class team, Invictus, from Valley Gardens Middle School, Whitley Bay, enjoyed a tour of the Sauber F1 Team’s garage. Storm Racing from Sandbach High School and Sixth Form, winners of the Women in Motorsport Award visited the Red Bull Racing garage and Sixth Degree, Second placed F1 Class winners from The King’s School, Chester were guided around the Sahara Force India Team’s garage.

Three teams watched final practice and qualifying on Saturday, as well as being given their priority access to the Formula 1 paddock. Academy Racing, Fastest Car Award and Innovative Thinking Award winners from WMG Academy for Young Engineers, Coventry had a tour of the McLaren Honda garage. Third placed team, Turbocharged from Wilmington Grammar School for Boys, Dartford, were given an insight into the Scuderia Ferrari team and the Shell trackside laboratory, while Rookie champions Team United from Kenton School, Newcastle upon Tyne and Endeavour from Carrickfergus Grammar School were shown around the Renault F1 Team trackside setup.

Race day was the turn of Enigma UK, the current F1 in Schools UK National Champions from Robert May’s School in Odiham.  Three of the team members visited the McLaren paddock hospitality and the team’s garage, while the other three were shown the Scuderia Ferrari team garage and the Shell trackside laboratory.

Andrew Denford, Founder and Chairman, F1 in Schools said of the students’ visits to Silverstone circuit, “We are indebted to Silverstone circuits for providing the valuable prizes of tickets for the Formula 1 British Grand Prix, and to FOM for granting us paddock passes for the students. This privilege is one that we cherish as our F1 in Schools winners are all passionate about the sport and keen to take up careers in the industry, so having the chance to meet key people and influencers is so valuable to them. Watching Lewis Hamilton winning the race was the icing on the cake!”

F1 in Schools aims to help change perceptions of Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) by creating a fun and exciting learning environment for young people to develop an informed view about careers in engineering, Formula One, Science, marketing and technology. 

The competition challenges students to create their own Formula One team which is commissioned to design, construct and race the fastest miniature Formula One Car of the Future; a 21cm long scale model built from a modelling block and powered by a compressed air cylinder. Each team of between three and six students creates a ‘pit’ display and showcases their work in developing their race car. At the National Finals each team brings along a pit display, their cars and portfolio, as well as having prepared a verbal presentation for the judges. The cars race on a 20 metre track, with the cars covering the distance in around one second.  The F1 in Schools World Finals 2016 takes place in Austin, Texas, later this year, alongside the FORMULA 1 UNITED STATES GRAND PRIX.

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