Colossus F1, a team of six students from Robert May’s School, Odiham, won a place at the 2014 F1 in Schools World Finals at Ferrari World Abu Dhabi being held in November this year.  This team’s success came just a day after the younger teams from the school had been on the podium for the Bloodhound SSC category of the competition, with Ignition placed second and Team Venom in third place.

The Colossus F1 team with team members Victoria Waterfield, 16, Team Manager; Dan Warnes, 16, Manufacturing Engineer; Charlie Flynn, 16, Design Engineer; Emma Baldry, 15, Graphic Designer; Rachael Matthews, 14, Resources Manager and Paul Cumner, 14, Design Engineer were runners-up in the F1 in Schools UK National Finals. With this success came an invitation to represent England at the prestigious World Finals event which offers City University London scholarships and the coveted Bernie Ecclestone F1 in Schools World Champions trophy for the winners.

Colossus F1 not only took second place overall, with this award supported by The IET, they also won the Verbal Presentation award supported by Crest Awards and the knockout racing competition at the F1 in Schools event.

Team Manager, Victoria, said of the team’s fortunes, “We really didn't expect to do so well and it feels amazing. It was hard work, but worth it to be going to Abu Dhabi, it's a fantastic reward. It's what we've all aimed for and can't quite believe it's actually come true. Standing on the podium seeing all the proud faces of our friends, teachers and family was quite emotional, but it made everyone's work worth it. I think we had quite a few innovative ideas which gave us the edge on the other teams, including our acceleration cushion, which no one else has done, and our sheer determination helped us through too.”

Winning the knockout racing competition gave the team a big buzz before the main awards ceremony. Charlie Flynn was tasked with triggering the launch mechanism and it was all down to his quick reactions that the team won the competition.

He said afterwards, “It was amazing to have won the knockout competition. We put trust in our car which we weren't sure was going to be fast enough and it's fantastic to have beaten everyone. The acceleration cushion is an innovation we introduced which gives us a 200th of a second advantage. I was selected to 'fire' the car off the line as we tested all our reaction times and I was fastest. We also found that I had an even better reaction time if I went for a 10 minute run in a jacket, so that's what I did today and it obviously paid off”.

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