Professional racing represents the pinnacle of automotive engineering. The cars must be built to the highest possible standard, as anything less than the best doesn’t stand a chance of winning.
Formula One teams spend hundreds of millions on research and development, all striving for the slightest edge that could lead them to victory. The right engineer can make all the difference, so it’s not surprising that so many engineers working in the field dream of getting a job for F1 teams, as it would allow them to work at the very highest level of their profession, showing their skill to millions of fans around the world, and ensuring a prestigious engineering career working for only the very best companies.
If you think you’ve got what it takes to work in professional racing, here are six of the best companies you could work for as an automotive engineer.
Possibly the most famous F1 team in the world, with an instantly recognisable logo and legions of fans, Ferrari is one of the best names you could have on your CV as an automotive engineer.
Ferrari has been producing cars since 1947, and racing since Formula One began back in 1950, making it a legacy brand with both style and substance, having won more titles than anyone else.
As with all F1 teams, a huge budget is allocated to research, development, and innovation, so your work as an engineer would be pushing the boundaries of what Formula One cars are capable of.
It’s not a big name, Ferrari also have decades of experience when it comes to being a great company to work for, being certified as a top employer for excellence in employee conditions in 2023 in Italy.
Known as the Silver Arrows, Mercedes has become one of the most successful F1 teams in recent racing history. Lewis Hamilton famously joined in 2013, and has helped the team win seven consecutive Drivers' titles from 2014 to 2020, with the record for the most wins in a season in 2016. Mercedes have also won eight consecutive Constructors' titles from 2014 to 2021.
In the 2023 season, Aston Martin, F1, McLaren, and Williams are all using Mercedes engines, so it’s clear they’re the frontrunner when it comes to technology, thanks to the industry-leading team of engineers they have working for them.
McLaren is another famous name in the world of racing, and another name you’d want on your CV as an automotive engineer.
Founded in 1963, they’ve since gone on to win 20 World Championships, over 180 Formula 1 grand prix, three Indianapolis 500 titles, and the Le Mans 24 Hours on their first attempt.
These impressive wins were only made possible thanks to their fantastic engineering team. According to their website, McLaren Racing develops an upgrade for their cars every 17 minutes. This is achieved through rigorous analysis of around 6.5 billion pieces of data from each race, which shows where improvements can be made
McLaren then goes on to use the new technologies developed for F1 and uses them across other industries, so if you’re an engineer working for McLaren, not only will you be working at the cutting-edge of racing, you’ll also be helping make strides in other industries as well.
McLaren are also a leading team in electric and Indycar racing, meaning there are multiple avenues for automotive engineers looking to take a step up the career ladder and work for McLaren.
McLaren was certified as a top employer for excellence in employee conditions in 2022 in the UK.
Based in Italy, Alpha Tauri is one of two Formula One constructors owned by Austrian beverage company Red Bull, the other being Red Bull Racing.
Alpha Tauri has hundreds of people working for them, from Model Makers to Strategy Engineers. Working at this team will allow you to learn and develop your skills in a relatively less competitive environment than in other F1 teams. The team is funded enough to allow the potential to move the team up the grid, should sufficient progress be made by the engineering team.
Based in Silverstone, Northamptonshire in the UK, Aston Martin’s Formula One team has more than 500 people working and improving their cars.
While Aston Martin didn’t have an auspicious start in F1, debuting in the 1959 season with no points at all, they’ve since come roaring back to the sport, investing millions into the design and launch of their new car: the Aston Martin AMR21.
Beyond this, Aston Martin are building a 400,000 square foot factory set to be operational by May of this year at their Silverstone base. The factory will serve as the team's design, manufacturing, and marketing hub, logistics centre, as well as housing a wellness centre, auditorium, simulator, and wind tunnel.
They’re set on developing themselves as a powerhouse in the sport, and are looking to bring on new engineers hungry to prove what they can do, making them a great company to work for.
Red Bull has been a competitive force in Formula One since 2005, when they purchased Jaguar’s racing team. Since then, the team has exclusively been managed by Christian Horner, making him one of the longest running bosses in the history of the sport.
They’ve gone on the record as looking to ‘put the fun back into racing’, so if you’re looking for a team where you can put your engineering skills to use and have fun while doing it, Red Bull might be the team for you.
Working as an engineer in professional racing isn’t easy, but if you can work for one of these prestigious motorsport companies, your CV will stand out compared to other engineering candidates for the rest of your career.
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