Ferrari World Abu Dhabi and Yas Marina Circuit will host 33 teams of F1 in Schools World Finalists from 22 countries next month when they congregate in Abu Dhabi for the eighth F1 in Schools World Finals. One of these teams will be Team Fast Lane Racing from Ysgol Friars in Bangor. The students are putting the final touches to their F1 scale model cars, rehearsing their presentations and finishing their portfolios ready for three days of intense competition in the pursuit of the Bernie Ecclestone F1 in Schools World Champions trophy and City University, London scholarships.  

Aron Griffith, Team Manager for Team Fast Lane Racing, says of their preparations, “We've had ups and downs, setbacks and moments of frustration, but we are confident that we are doing all we can to be competitive and will be going to Abu Dhabi to win.”

“It's been an incredible experience so far and we are all looking forward so much to the competition, meeting people from across the globe, and our once in a lifetime trip to Abu Dhabi and the F1 Grand Prix. Since being selected to represent Wales after the National Finals we have been very busy. It hasn't been easy though with Easter, GCSE revision/exams and then summer holidays all getting in the way. We were lucky though as John and myself were able to spend a week at Bangor University as part of our year 10 work placement. The week was used to good effect prototyping and testing our new design.”

The biggest obstacle by far though has been raising the funds required. We have been very successful and owe a great deal of thanks to many companies and organisations. Our biggest thanks by far though must go to our teacher Mr Holdsworth who has worked so hard with us giving up his lunch times every day and most of his summer holidays (this is on top of all the work he has to do as part of his new appointment as faculty head).”

The annual F1 in Schools World Finals, this year being held from 29th to 31st October to coincide with the 2012 FORMULA 1 ETIHAD AIRWAYS ABU DHABI GRAND PRIX, will be a life-changing experience for all the students and for many it will be their first overseas trip.  Countries competing at the World Finals for the first time include Greece, Austria,  Mexico and  Jordan. 

F1 in Schools is the largest, and most successful, educational initiative in the world, with 40 countries operating the programme, from Kenya to Oman, Kazakhstan to Vietnam and many more. The power of Formula 1 and the challenge of designing, building, testing, and racing a miniature F1 car of the future has reached over 20 million students, with over one million involved each year from over 20,000 schools.  

Andrew Denford, Founder and Chairman, F1 in Schools, looks ahead saying, “We're just over a month away from staging our eighth F1 in Schools World Finals and I'm sure all the teams are getting very excited and nervous about their trip to Abu Dhabi. The goal for every team competing will be to lift the Bernie Ecclestone World Champions trophy above their heads and I know it will be the toughest race to the chequered flag for all these students.  Their journey, whether they win or lose, will be an enriching experience, with the peers they will meet from different cultures, religions, and lifestyles, as well as the life skills they will acquire from working closely in a team and pushing themselves to the limit in their efforts to win.”

“F1 in Schools at its heart is designed to engage students in the key learning areas of Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) which are valuable assets for future careers in many sectors of industry. The World Finals deliver so much more than this for students and although they will have excelled with their commitment and dedication to producing the best model F1 car possible, they will also be amazing ambassadors for their country and take home one of the most unique, and special memories, of their life.  Abu Dhabi is set to change the lives of all of these young people and we look forward to a great week there.”

The F1 in Schools World Finals teams, with three to six members in each, have won through from their National Final and in many countries, they will have had to win a Regional Final along the way, to represent their county at this international event.  6 of the teams will be collaborations, with two teams from different countries combining their skills and presenting themselves as one team to compete with other collaborations and national champions, an opportunity offered to each National Finals' runners-up team. The collaboration teams communicate by virtual technologies such as CISCO WebEx before finally meeting each other for the first time when they arrive in Abu Dhabi.

The F1 in Schools World Finals take place with the assistance of a host of sponsors and supporters including Yas Marina Circuit, Ferrari World, Etihad Airways, Pirelli, Hexagon Metrology, The IET, and City University London.



About F1 in Schools

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.  Students are given a brief to design a model compressed air powered F1 Car of the future using CAD/CAM Engineering techniques. Cars are then manufactured on a CNC machine. Each team of between three and six students brings together their portfolio of work to present to a judging panel with a verbal and written presentation to support their model car, which is raced on a specially designed test track. At the World Finals each team will bring 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 just over one second, a speed barrier which is yet to be broken by any student team since it was set by Team FUGA from Northern Ireland at the 2007 World Finals with a time of 1.020 seconds.

Ferrari World Abu Dhabi and Yas Marina Circuit will host 33 teams of F1 in Schools World Finalists from 22 countries next month when they congregate in Abu Dhabi...

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