F1 supremo Bernie Ecclestone and Red Bull Racing driver David Coulthard have given their support to the F1 in Schools initiative ahead of next month’s world championships in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.
The competition sees school children, aged 11 to 18, from all over the world use CAD/CAM software to design, analyse, manufacture, test and race their miniature F1 car made from balsa wood and powered by CO2 cylinders.
“Formula One brings together a range of nationalities and cultures who work together to achieve a common goal and so replicating this in the F1 in Schools initiative will prove invaluable both personally and professionally for all the students taking part,” said Bernie Ecclestone.
The 2008 championships are taking place at Kuala Lumpur’s Sunway Lagoon Resort and Spa Hotel from March18-20, during the build up to the Malaysian Grand Prix. Over three days of enthralling competition, 25 teams will pit their miniature Formula One cars against each other along a 20-metre two lane track at a scale speed of over 220mph.
“F1 in Schools offers young people aspiring to work in F1 a great opportunity to experience the demands of designing, engineering and manufacturing a racing car while contributing enormously to their education and enjoyment,” said Coulthard. “It’s inspirational to see them channelling their enthusiasm into engineering and Formula One.”
Ecclestone and Coulthard join F1 in Schools patrons – including Honda team principal, Ross Brawn; Red Bull’s chief technical officer, Adrian Newey; Force India’s chief technical officer, Mike Gascoyne; Renault’s engineering director, Pat Symonds and Sam Michael, Williams’ technical director – as key supporters of the F1 in Schools Technology Challenge.
“My career in engineering started as a youngster because of an enthusiastic father and a Meccano set,” explained Brawn, the engineering brains behind Michael Schumacher’s seven Formula One titles. “F1 in Schools takes the idea to another level and contributes enormously to the education and enjoyment of these young people.
“There is such a broad range of disciplines along with the need to be part of a team within a competitive environment. You can see the sheer enthusiasm they have and it is great that all this enthusiasm is channelled into engineering and Formula One. These are our engineers of the future and our future is engineering.”
School children from 15 countries across the globe have won their way through regional and national finals, and competed against a global reach of seven million students, to win the chance to represent their countries in the fourth annual world championships. Teams will compete to win the Bernie Ecclestone World Championship Trophy and BEng Automotive and Motor Sport Engineering scholarships at City University, London.