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F1 in Schools winners sample life in the fast lane 25 Jun 2009

Team Tigerzz arrive in the Paddock, British Grand Prix, Silverstone, Wednesday 17 June 2009. © F1 in Schools St Bede's Babes join Toro Rosso in the paddock, British Grand Prix, Silverstone, Wednesday 17 June 2009. © F1 in Schools Team Tigerzz enjoy lunch at Toyota, British Grand Prix, Silverstone, Wednesday 17 June 2009. © F1 in Schools

Andrew Denford, Founder and Chairman, F1 in Schools, addresses delegates at the Motor Sport Business Forum Middle East in Bahrain. © F1 in Schools

Winning teams from the F1 in Schools Technology Challenge enjoyed a taste of the high life at last week’s British Grand Prix. The ‘once in a lifetime’ experience of the Silverstone event was organised as a prize for the young members of the six squads, which clinched victory at the UK’s F1 in Schools national finals earlier in the year.

Team Tigerzz from Ridgewood School in Doncaster joined Toyota on Wednesday in their motor home for a VIP lunch, before touring the Japanese squad’s garage. St Bede’s Babes from Peterlee’s St Bede’s School, joined up with Italian outfit Toro Rosso for a separate tour. On Friday the Comets from Carlisle’s Caldew Lea Primary School watched both practice sessions as guests of Renault.

On race day, national champions Velocity from Chelmsford’s St. John Payne Catholic Comprehensive School were joined by Dash from Cardiff’s Fitzalan High School and Shooting Starz from Carlisle’s Richard Rose Central Academy as guests of McLaren. After touring the McLaren garage and brand centre, the three teams met reigning world champion Lewis Hamilton.

“The students had an amazing few days in the Silverstone paddock,” commented F1 in Schools founder, Andrew Denford. “They really had a full day of activities and the F1 teams we visited were so hospitable. We’ve taken teams to Silverstone over the years and they have always really enjoyed it, this year even more so. The atmosphere at Silverstone is second to none and our student teams had an unrivalled experience because they were able to get so close to the action.

“I’d like to thank Silverstone Circuit, Formula One Management and the Formula One teams for giving the students such an amazing experience. F1 in Schools is designed to encourage students to a career in engineering and what better way for us to demonstrate this than to see the inner sanctum of engineering excellence in F1 during the biggest racing weekend for British motorsport.”

The UK 2009/2010 F1 in Schools Technology Challenge begins later this year with students from across the country designing and building scale model Formula One cars. They will compete in a series of regional events during autumn, ahead of the national finals, which will be held in January 2010.