F1 in Schools champions visit McLaren factory 21 Jul 2008
An invitation to take a look at the winning secrets behind Lewis Hamilton and Heikki Kovalainens success was an offer that couldnt be turned down by 2008 F1 in Schools world champions, Team Pulse. And last week the group of students from the UKs Devonport High School were given an exclusive tour of McLaren's headquarters.
From the moment they arrived, the students were given VIP treatment, with a chauffeur-driven bus collecting them and driving them around the outside of the facilitys lake to give them a full 360-degree view of the building.
When we got on the coach, the driver said to us that only really important guests get treated that well, and from that moment on we knew it was going to be a pretty amazing day, said John Ware, Pulse team manager.
Each Pulse member then received a rocket red McLaren victory t-shirt, before they toured the factory, visiting different departments. They then met up with Jonathan Neale, managing director at McLaren Racing, to find out a little more about the British team, before looking around the state of the art Fitness Zone, where they were given the opportunity to test their fitness and try on a race helmet.
One of the highlights of the day was getting the chance to take a closer look at Hamilton and Kovalainens Formula One cars as they were being prepared for the Hockenheim.
It was a fantastic day out for us, a real once in a lifetime opportunity, added Ware. We had the chance to talk to different people from both the technical and the marketing departments, which was helpful as were all interested in different aspects of Formula One. We were given a tour of some of the most top secret areas of the facility - we werent even allowed our cameras!
We cant thank everyone at Vodafone McLaren Mercedes enough, they gave us so much of their time and let us see their really impressive facility. It was flattering that they were really interested in what we were doing with F1 in Schools and they even wanted to look at our car too!
F1 in Schools is a global multi-disciplinary challenge for students aged from 9-18 to use CAD/CAM software to design, analyse, manufacture, test and race their miniature F1 car made from balsa wood and powered by compressed air cylinders. Working in teams of between three and six, the students prepare a business plan, develop a budget and raise sponsorship as well as designing and racing their car.The challenge inspires students to learn about science, maths, aerodynamics, design, manufacture, branding, graphics, sponsorship, marketing, leadership, teamwork, media skills and financial strategy, and apply them in a practical, imaginative, competitive and exciting way.
For further information on the F1 in Schools Technology Challenge visit www.f1inschools.co.uk