A CASE STUDY
How one engineering graduate is now with the race team
“Ever since I can remember I’ve been interested in putting bits of scrap metal together and loved racing. I started karting, but for me the interest was in the vehicle dynamics of the kart. Why does it understeer? What’s causing it to kick out on the exit of the corners?
“When it came to working in the automotive sector or in motorsport, I chose the latter. It’s so pure: whoever is the fastest wins. It’s also a public showcase, if you’re not performing everyone knows, so the pressure is on.
“I did my work placement at the Renault Sport Formula One Team in vehicle performance, but now I work on overtaking analysis in the race team with the performance engineers.
“With the new specification of F1 car in 2017 and the increase in downforce, the dynamics of overtaking have changed dramatically, so I have been working on a probability model to predict how the races will pan out and that’s important with regards to pitstop strategy.
“For example, at one circuit it might be easy to overtake a slower car, but on another track it might be difficult so you wouldn’t risk pitting. The information I gather from my overtaking analysis during the race goes directly to the pitwall – so there is a lot of responsibility.
“Abu Dhabi was the first grand prix I hadn’t enjoyed for a long time, because it was the final race in 2017 and we were in such a close fight for points with Toro Rosso. A lot was riding on the models we had built for that race and the decisions that would be taken.
“Once the pitstops were over, I was very relieved to see the lap counter go down and you could sense the tension over the team radio communications. It was great for Nico Hülkenberg to get the result we needed to secure sixth place in the constructors’ championship. Everyone played their part.”
“I DID MY WORK PLACEMENT AT THE RENAULT SPORT FORMULA ONE TEAM IN VEHICLE PERFORMANCE, BUT NOW I WORK ON OVERTAKING ANALYSIS IN THE RACE TEAM”