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F1 in Schools gears up for 2011 World Finals 13 Sep 2011

F1 in Schools World Finals, Ngee Ann Polytechnic, Singapore, 22 September 2010. © F1 in Schools Bernie Ecclestone (GBR) CEO Formula One Group (FOM) presents the F1 in Schools trophy.
Formula One World Championship, Rd 15, Singapore Grand Prix, Preparations, Marina Bay Street Circuit, Singapore, Thursday, 23 September 2010 F1 in Schools World Finals, Ngee Ann Polytechnic, Singapore, 22 September 2010. © F1 in Schools Andrew Denford (GBR) Chairman and founder of the F1 in Schools Challenge. (left)
Formula One World Championship, Rd 9, British Grand Prix, Preparations, Silverstone, England, Thursday, 7 July 2011 The F1 in Schools champions.
Formula One World Championship, Rd 15, Singapore Grand Prix, Preparations, Marina Bay Street Circuit, Singapore, Thursday, 23 September 2010 F1 in Schools World Finals, Ngee Ann Polytechnic, Singapore, 22 September 2010. © F1 in Schools F1 in Schools teams, Ngee Ann Polytechnic, Singapore, 21 September 2010. © F1 in Schools

Students from around the world are putting the finishing touches to their model Formula One cars ahead of the 2011 F1 in Schools World Finals, which will be held in Malaysia next week. Twenty three teams from 17 countries will journey to Kuala Lumpur to take part in the prestigious annual event.

The global educational challenge, which is privileged to have the support of the Formula One fraternity, draws together the best young engineers, business minds and designers, as they compete for the coveted Bernie Ecclestone World Champions trophy as well as Motorsport and Automotive Engineering scholarships to City University London.

With category awards and prizes provided by each of the Formula One teams and suppliers such as Pirelli, it is a hotly contested competition to design, build and manufacture a Formula One car of the future. It may sound simple, but the time, effort, creativity and engineering skills of the student teams produces intricate and innovative race car designs which have been developed using CAD/CAM software, then tested with CFD programmes and in wind tunnels.

Linking with specialist suppliers, components such as wheels and bearings are produced specifically for these model cars, while the teams often link with industry for the livery of the car to be painted professionally to produce a sleek, low-drag finish to the model.

The similarities to the world of Formula One racing continue through to the branding, graphics, marketing and sponsorship. Each team develops its own identity which runs through their pit display with graphic boards presenting their team and the car, team uniform and merchandising materials. With funding an important part of any team, the F1 in Schools students engage the support of local businesses and big brand names using highly professional presentations.

“As a starting point for F1 in Schools, we’re using the popularity of Formula One to engage with students and spark their interest in learning more about engineering, which is the backbone of so many industries and is an area of employment which needs more skilled workers,” said Andrew Denford, founder and chairman of F1 in Schools.

“It also extends to other core areas, particularly in science, technology, and mathematics, which together with engineering form the STEM subjects which are central in education today. Design, marketing and business management skills are also key elements which work well with the Formula One theme.

“We’re very fortunate to have the support of the Formula One industry and Formula One Management, which enables us to bring many of the successful students closer to the sport, with visits to Grands Prix and team headquarters, as well as helping students to secure placements and even full time employment, with companies involved at the sharp end, from engine suppliers to Formula One teams.

“As an aside to this, we’re finding that students who came into the initiative without any knowledge or interest of Formula One are now avid viewers and spectators, with their F1 in Schools experience drawing them into it, and an appreciation of just what it takes to be creating a passion for this global sport."

The 23 teams competing at the 2011 F1 in Schools World Finals have won through regional and national finals to represent their country at the event, with collaborations formed from second-placed teams at national events, linking students from different countries to compete together.

The event itself is a high pressured three days of judging and racing, with every element of the team’s operation carefully scrutinised, including the engineering of the car, a written portfolio about the team, a verbal presentation by the team of their work, and, of course, racing of the car to determine its speed.

The event will take place from September 19-21.

For more information on F1 in Schools, see www.f1inschools.com.