Sixth Degree, a student team from The King’s School, Chester, represented England at the F1 in Schools World Finals 2016 held last month in Austin, Texas, alongside the UNITED STATES FORMULA 1 GRAND PRIX and after an intense three days of competition, the team finished fifth overall. One of their team members, James McDonagh won a coveted place in the Randstad Williams Engineering Academy 

This innovative scheme sees Williams and Randstad mentor students from across the world as they bid to secure a career as a Formula One engineer. The entrants are selected only from the F1 in Schools World Finals teams each year with only nine students accepted for this year’s intake.

Following a series of written submissions and group exercises that were overseen by a joint Williams and Randstad assessment panel, the students chosen for the Randstad Williams Engineering Academy demonstrated the passion, commitment and raw skills needed to join this exclusive programme.

James said after the announcement, “It is an amazing opportunity and after doing F1 in Schools I’m very interested in going into Formula 1. It was nerve racking at the assessment centre with plenty of pressure, but I’m looking forward to working with the Williams F1 engineers to learn more about the engineering side of the sport.” 

F1 in Schools 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 the F1 in Schools model 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 World 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 was won by a student team from Thessaloniki, Greece, with Infinite Racing from Mandoulides School, taking the World Champions crown and lifting the famous Bernie Ecclestone World Champions trophy, the first team from Greece to be on the World Finals podium.  Australian team, Infinitude were runners-up to Infinite Racing, with Endeavour from Germany taking the third place podium spot. A total of 23 awards were presented at the glittering Awards Celebration Gala Dinner with a star-studded audience of Formula 1 team representatives, drivers and paddock personalities. The World Champions win coveted City University London and UCL Engineering scholarships. 

The F1 in Schools World Finals 2016 took place with the assistance of a host of supporters including Formula One Management, Circuit Of The Americas, The Institution of Engineering and Technology, Autodesk, Luke 1977, City University London and UCL Engineering.

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