The role of engineer is a key position in the world of F1, without a dedicated team of engineers no driver could hope to win a single race. The role is one that demands total commitment, with F1 engineers often working long hours to ensure their cars are in perfect condition.
How the car handles can change based on the track, the weather, and the temperature, so the engineers must carefully consider every variable to ensure the car maintains top performance. Everything has to be right for that specific race on that specific day and the engineer is the one who oversees it all.
Engineering in Formula One requires some of the highest levels of precision and understanding an engineer can possess. F1 cars are some of the highest performing machines we’re capable of building, any error, however small, can spell disaster on the track.
After a race the first thing the engineer must do is to analyse all the data captured and generated by the car. Modern F1 cars generate terabytes of data as they race around a track, everything from the speed to the grip to the internal temperature of the car can be tracked, measured, and improved.
Sometimes, not everything goes as planned. In that case, the engineer will need to understand what went wrong, and how to stop it from going wrong again.
All data collected at the circuit is analysed for testing, often improving the car’s performance by just a fraction of a second, which can make all the difference.
You won’t be the only engineer on the team. Normally engineers are given a section of the car to work on, working in tandem with the others to ensure complete cohesion and efficiency. This requires you to know your section perfectly, and understand how it fits into the larger overall strategy for the race.
F1 is both a job and a passion. The teams spend two thirds of the year on tour. Despite the excitement of all the races, the most important thing is to remain calm, be precise, and work effectively. Engineers will simulate hundreds of different car builds and race strategies, weighing up the options, and planning intricate contingencies for different scenarios. This takes time, effort, and energy, but its necessary to have a chance at winning.
If you want to be a F1 engineer, you’ll need to be committed to delivering nothing but your best, all the time.
Being an F1 engineer is hard.
The target is meeting your competitors’ standards, and then doing better than them. Every morning starts with thinking about what has already been done, and how to do it better.
It is not a 9 to 5 job, but those engineers who are passionate about what they do understand that it’s more than that.
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