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F1 in Schools™ 2014 World Finals - team profiles (updated)

14 Nov 2014

The tenth F1 in Schools™ World Finals will be held at Ferrari World in Abu Dhabi from November 16-19, coinciding with the build-up to the 2014 Formula 1 Etihad Airways Abu Dhabi Grand Prix, with 38 teams from around the globe expected to attend after winning their respective National Finals.

The educational initiative sees students use CAD/CAM software to design, build and test a balsawood model F1 car of the future, powered by compressed air. Here we bring you self-penned profiles of the teams involved…

Austria/Czech Republic - AC Racing

This collaborative team was formed at the end of July, bringing together members of the Austrian Falcons team, three boys, and ST Racing from Czech Republic, two boys and one girl. The team is fortunate to have met prior to the World Finals in Abu Dhabi as both teams competed in Germany, with podium success for each giving them a chance to collaborate for the World Finals. The team say that they are ambitious, creative and rapid. The team is sporting an impressive tri-lingual Facebook page too.

Ireland - Autolaunch Racing

Autolaunch Racing is a team of four 17- and 18-year old boys from Presentation College, Carlow. The team members have been involved in a number of F1 in Schools competitions, with the boys boasting combined experience of over ten years. The team is a big fan of Daniel Ricciardo, as they say, “much like us he is able to have fun but is also able to focus and get the job done when necessary.” They sum themselves up as experienced, passionate and skilful.

Germany - Boreas

The team of five from Gymnasium An der Stenner, Iserlohn, three boys and two girls, has called themselves Boreas, the Grecian god of the north wind. The team, and the school, took part in F1 in Schools Germany for the first time in 2013, then winning their National Finals earlier this year. The team says, “We are looking forward to meeting all the other teams in Abu Dhabi and having a lot of fun together. We want to have a lifetime experience and wish for a fair competition.” Describing themselves, Boreas say they are ‘an upcoming storm’.

Cyprus - Fire Racing

Representing Pascal English School Lefkosia, the team is a mix of three boys and three girls, aged from 16 to 18 years old. The team says that this mix “provides us with a storm of different ideas and opinions which have been proven really useful in most of the aspects of the competition and despite the age difference everyone is really close and work perfectly as a team. This is what makes us one of a kind.” One of the biggest challenges for the team is having two team members now in the navy, who are constantly on duty and only have time to work in their free time. Describing themselves, the team say they are ‘focused, fast and innovating’.

Australia and Scotland - Impact

Newington College, Stanmore, New South Wales in Australia and Dunfermline High School in Scotland are represented by team Impact, with three boys and three girls linking up from across the world to compete as a collaboration team. The Australian half of the team, originally Quantum, won the Development Class category at the 2014 Australian National Finals and Rapid Input, the Scottish team, are Scottish National Champions.

The team describe themselves as ‘innovative, intelligent and inspirational’. The team members have only met ‘virtually’ on Skype, with communication across two continents in two very different time zones being the biggest challenge for thee students. The team’s favourite F1 driver is Daniel Ricciardo.

Germany - Javelin Racing

Javelin Racing is a team of four boys and one girl from Erlangen in Germany. They are representing Marie-Therese-Gymnasium Erlangen in this year’s World Finals, winning the Bavarian Championship on their way to Abu Dhabi. The team has been collaborating with various universities, colleges and global corporations, which the team reckon will give them an edge on their rivals. The team is looking forward to meeting the teams from around the world, having an amazing week and hoping for a top three for Germany in the F1 in Schools World Finals and the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix. Of course all the team members are supporters of Nico Rosberg and Sebastien Vettel.

Canada - Phronesis Group

Phronesis is ‘wisdom in determining ends and means to attain them,’ something which the team feels is very apt for this competition. Comprising six boys from SATEC @ W.A Porter Collegiate Institute, Toronto, the team only competed for the first time this year. The team is most looking forward to meeting all the other teams from around the world and taking part in this once in a lifetime opportunity. They say, “We are expecting to have a fun yet challenging week at the World Finals. We expect to learn very much from the other teams and from the overall competition.” They sum themselves up as ‘determined, ambitious and prepared’.

Malaysia - Proton Elitus

Proton Elitus is an all-girl team from SMK USJ 13, a secondary school in Subang Jaya, Selangor, Malaysia. Four of the girls are 16 years old and one is 18 and formed the team in June 2014 with Susie Wolff as their inspiration. The team has collaborated with various companies especially PROTON, the national car company, and met many inspirational people such as Tun Dr Mahathir (4th Prime Minister of Malaysia), Tan Sri Muhyiddin (Malaysia's Minister of Education) and Malaysia’s national rally driver, Mr Karamjit Singh. The team’s ambition is to be the first all-girl team to be crowned F1 in Schools World Champion and to meet Susie Wolff. The girls are all keen on watching Formula One racing and their favourite drivers are Michael Schumacher, Lewis Hamilton and Sebastian Vettel.

USA - SLIPSTREAM

SLIPSTREAM is a team of four girls and one boy aged from 14 - 17 years from two schools, Southeast High School, Manatee and Braden River High School, Florida. The team’s manager put the team together, selecting members for the different skills needed. Most of the team has never been involved with racing, let alone creating their own team from scratch. They aim to reimagine the competition and define their own limitations, bringing their unique skills from other competitions and applying it to F1 in Schools. The team says that they are looking forward to “Gaining insight into F1 in Schools internationally: differences in graphic styles, car designs, pit displays, and marketing strategies. It will be great to see a global perspective on such a complex and innovative competition!”

Australia - Southern Cross F1

Southern Cross F1 is an in-country collaboration team with team members from Barker College, Sydney and Merewether High School, Newcastle. An all-boy team of 16- and 17-year olds is made up of two Australian National Final teams, Celeritas and Super Sonic Speed.

The team has overcome a number of challenges during their preparations for the World Finals. They say, “Merging to form one cohesive collaboration team, combined with added pressures brought upon by the communication heavy, time intensive and sponsor driven nature of the World Finals competition, has been one of the biggest challenges SCF1 faces.”

The team has high expectations for the World Finals. They say, “Given that we’re representing a country that has taken the title three years in a row, we certainly hope to glean a fifth victory. Ultimately, our performance will come down to our team’s diverse knowledge and skills, unique collaboration abilities, and the true ‘X-Factor’ of any truly successful team that will quite literally get us over the line!”

Portugal - Spectrum

Five 16- and 17-year old boys from Escola Secndaria Alves Martins in Viseu, Portugal will be representing their country in Abu Dhabi. The team was formed at the end of 2012 and at the 2013 regional finals were placed second. The next year they won their regional final and took second place at the National Finals.

The team comes from a country with a large economic crisis, and faced the “impossible” task to gather sponsorship when even the major enterprises and institutions wouldn’t support them. Yet, they say, “We stand as one after sacrificing our vacations and nights of sleep accomplishing what has never been accomplished in our country.”

The team has had some very memorable highlights on their journey to the World Finals. They say, “The most magical moment was when it was announced that we placed second in the National Finals, thus granting us a place in the World Finals. It was absolutely breath taking to see our work recognized by everyone as one of the best teams nationwide. Representing Portugal was a dream we all had even from before knowing the project, and now F1 in Schools has given us an opportunity to fulfil that dream.”

The team add, “We really look forward to meeting new people from all over the globe, which is one of the magnificent aspects this project encompasses. We also like the idea of being immersed in the Formula One world - the possibility of watching full-scale F1 cars in action, as well as being in Ferrari World.”

Of their expectations for the World Finals they say, “We expect a really competitive World Finals, with very strong teams seeking new ways of innovating, which will be interesting. We also look forward to lots of excitement and an excellent opportunity to display our work.”

Hong Kong and Portugal - SpeedForce Racers

SpeedForce Racers is a collaboration team of four 14 to 16-year old boys. The team links together Sha Tin College from Hong Kong and Escola Tecnico - Profissional de Cantanhede from Portugal.

“The combination of two teams, both in different parts of the world makes us unique,” says the team. “This gives us access to far more material that may not be available to a team in a single country. Working together allows us to share ideas and strengthen our team further.”

The seven-hour time difference is just one of the many challenges faced by the team, but they have enjoyed the experience and are looking forward to meeting new people and teams from around the world. Their expectations for the World Finals are high: “We want to win of course. However, we also see the World Finals as an opportunity to try our best and improve ourselves by learning new skills. We want to come away from the World Finals pleased with what we have achieved and what we have learned.”

India - Acero

Representing the British School, New Delhi, India is Team Acero. With four boys and two girls, aged between 14 and 16 years, the team has been together for over a year. The team has earned itself a number of trophies at its national event and has been unique in its approach to the competition.

The team has initiated many different campaigns that have been far different than any other F1 in Schools team. One of them is the “Racing for a Cause Policy.” When the team had excess sponsorship money, they donated it to a charity called the Al Noor Society created by the ex-Vice President of India’s wife. They also donated mugs to help the children go through the bitter winter. They also started a lucky draw initiative to provide awareness for their sponsors, giving away tickets to PVR Cinemas in New Delhi/NCR.

Qatar - Vortex Racing

Five 16-year-old students, four boys and one girl, from Doha British School in Qatar will be travelling to Abu Dhabi for the World Finals. The team were crowned Qatar National Champions earlier this year and have been working hard to be ready for the World Finals event.

The team say that they are unique because “Although we are very dedicated to our work, we have very amusing members who never fail to make the people around them smile. The connection between our members is very encouraging and therefore we believe our companionship, passion for the competition, our gentle humour and our willpower will be reflected at the World Finals”.

Vortex Racing are all big F1 fans. They say, “We cannot wait to be sitting at the Grand Prix, cheering on the racers. Each of our members personally likes different drivers, although we all have to agree that Michael Schumacher is one of the most talented F1 drivers in history. After all, he is a seven-time F1 world champion with the most victories, fastest laps, and most races won in a single season.”

UK - Whittle Wonders

Four 16-year-old boys from North Leamington School, Leamington Spa will be representing the UK at this year’s World Finals. The school has been competing in F1 in Schools since 2012, competing at the Regional Finals in the first year, then achieving fourth place in the National Finals the following year. This year the team topped this by being crowned UK National Champions to secure their place in Abu Dhabi.

The team’s success has brought them many unique opportunities, they say. “There have been so many special moments, but if we have to pick just one it would be race week at the Silverstone Grand Prix, in the McLaren Garage, sharing the experience of prepping the McLaren F1 car for its race at our home Grand Prix. We still just look at each other, grin like Cheshire Cats and feel the hairs stand up on the back of our necks every time we talk about it.”

The team’s expectations for the World Finals are, “to feel an unmatchable pride as we represent our nation at such a prestigious event. We are expecting the week to challenge us as we’ve never been challenged before, to expose us to unique opportunities allowing us to grow and develop academically and emotionally and to assist us in our futures, irrespective of our individual paths. We’re also expecting the competition to provide us with memories that we will share with others for years to come and hold within ourselves forever.”

The team is based at the heart of the UK’s motor industry. Are they F1 fans? They answer, “With Jaguar, Land Rover, Aston Martin, F1 teams and world-class race tracks surrounding us, and top ranking drivers Lewis Hamilton and Jenson Button to cheer on at every race, who wouldn’t be interested in F1?”

England - Colossus F1

Representing England will be Colossus F1, a team of 15- and 16-year-old boys and girls from Robert Mays School, Odiham in Hampshire. Innovative, determined and dedicated are the three words they use to describe themselves. They say that their innovations, collaborations and partnerships set them apart from the other teams, but they are expecting the competition to be tough.

The team is looking forward to meeting all the other teams and seeing their F1 in Schools cars as well as the engineering that goes into them. It’s no surprise perhaps that the team’s favourite drivers are Jenson Button and Lewis Hamilton. And they might be lucky enough to witness Lewis winning the title in Abu Dhabi!

Greece and Cyprus - Absolute Accelero

An all-boys team of 17 and 18 year-olds, Absolute Accelero is a collaborative team representing Scuola Italiana Di Atene in Athens, Greece and Archangewlos Lyceum Apostolos Markos, from Nicosia in Cyprus. Both teams won third place at their National Finals and took the Fastest Car award. The two teams have won ten awards between them and say, “What makes us unique is that we have amalgamated two great teams and as power is in unity, we believe that we will be able to gain more by functioning together.” The team is looking forward to the event, saying: “We are looking forward to meeting the scientists of tomorrow from all over the world, making new friends, having fun and enjoying every moment of the competition by observing and learning from everyone.”

Canada - Aurora

Crocus Plains Regional Secondary School from Brandon, Manitoba took the Canadian National Champions title earlier this year. Aurora consists of two 16-year-old forward thinking ladies, and four driven young men, one 16- and three 17-year-olds. The name of the team, Aurora, is derived from one of Canada’s natural wonders, the Aurora Borealis. The team chose this name alongside with their slogan, “Light up the Track,” to project the identity of our country and its beauty. Aurora is honoured to take the spirit of the Great White North to represent Canada in the deserts of Abu Dhabi.

Describing themselves as ambitious, divergent, and ethical, the team has a close-knit friendship and a dedication towards a common goal. Time has been the biggest challenge for the team. They say, “With everyone being so active in the school and community, finding time outside of school to meet was quite difficult. We were able to create a time management plan in order to ensure all aspects of competition would be completed well in advance of the World Finals event.” The team is looking forward to experiencing a country whose land is such a stark contrast to Canada, to see a whole new culture and way of life, and to meeting new people from across the globe. The team are all F1 fans and their favourite driver is Fernando Alonso.

USA - Affinity F1

A team of 16 to 18-year-olds, with four boys and two girls from Granbury High School, Texas will represent the USA at the World Finals. The team name was chosen to reflect the team being formed from the best of the best of the school, with the team members all having a love of engineering, science, maths and race cars.

The team describe themselves as fun, intelligent and diligent and with two members of the team now working, preparing for the competition has been a challenge for the team. The team reckons that time management and getting everyone together to work at the same time are the biggest challenges for them. They are all looking forward to travelling to a country with a completely different culture and for some of the team it will be their first trip outside of the USA.

Malaysia - Cratalyx F1 Team

Cratalyx F1 Team is a team of six 16-year-old boys from Sekolah Menengah Sains Hulu Selangor (SEMASHUR), a school in Hulu Yam Bharu, Selangor. The team has been working with a number of universities to prepare for the World Finals, including Universiti Teknologi Melaka Malaysia (UTeM), University Teknologi Petronas (U.T.P) and Universiti Teknologi Mara (UITM).

One of the highlights for the team on their journey to the World Finals was a trip to Singapore. The team says: “One of the most exciting moments was when we were given the honour and opportunity to present our sponsorship and social media marketing packages to Captains of Industry, senior officials and Ministers including at an international conference in Singapore. We never expected a group of teenager students like us from a school in a tiny hamlet of Hulu Yam in the district of Hulu Selangor Malaysia. We were initially overawed as we had never paid attention to the ‘Who is Who’ before this let alone meet the persons in flesh.”

The team are all big F1 fans. They say: “If our friends are obsessed with their football then we are the total opposite of that - we are obsessed with Formula One and our favourite driver is Lewis Hamilton.”

China - Eastern Fire

Eastern Fire from China is an energetic team made up of five 17-year-old students who are talented in different areas.

They sum themselves up saying: “Yifei Xu is the team manager. His outstanding organizational and leadership abilities make him the core of our team. With eyes of an artist, he is also the chief car designer. Justin Boxuan Zhang, who is experienced in model making and has a dream of becoming an automobile engineer, is responsible for the car manufacturing. Yueqing Jia, the silver medal winner of Chinese National Informatics Olympic, is the testing manager. The business manager, Mengyan Li, is a charming girl who is very good at communicating and is also a famous writer in our school. She is in charge of finance and seeking sponsorships. Junyu Ji, our identity manager, is quiet, but she always brings us great ideas and impressive multimedia designs. Her efficiency in completing tasks impressed everyone.

They add: “For two years we have been fighting together all the way through varieties of difficulties to complete the project from scratch, with our ethos ‘learning, progress and efficiency’. We all enjoy the constant process of acquiring knowledge and experience as well as working as a team. We are looking forward to realizing our dream in Abu Dhabi.”

Mexico - Escuderia Charro

Three boys from Cedros Norte School, Mexico City will be competing at the World Finals. The 17- and 18-year-olds have been together for a year and have been preparing for the event since this time, as they are the only F1 in Schools team in the country at the moment.

The team has been attracting plenty of media interest with appearances on TV and radio, as well as achieving coverage in the newspapers. They have also presented to some of the biggest companies in Mexico in pursuit of sponsorship. Also, it was really exciting when strangers became interested in our project and began supporting us as a result of our appearances in radio, TV and newspaper articles. The team say they are looking forward to representing their country in a worldwide forum and learning from all of their partners.

They say: “We want to show our country and ourselves that there are no impossible goals if you fight for them. We hope to get some awards as well as establishing friendships with many new people.” All the team members have watched F1 since they were children and their favourite drivers are Fernando Alonso and Lewis Hamilton.

Brazil - Forca Caninde

A team of 15 to 17-year-old boys and girls have the honour of being the first team to represent Brazil at the F1 in Schools World Finals. The students from Colegio Bandeirantes, Sao Paulo have had a tough time in the lead up to the Finals, but have a solid team.

The team is very aware of the challenge ahead, with the experienced competition of other World Finalists teams being tough opposition. The team are looking forward to meeting new people, learning about a completely different culture and competing side to side with experienced international schools.

Ireland and UAE - Fusion F1

A team of six boys and two supporting team members will meet up for the first time at the World Finals. Competing as a collaboration team, the students are from Presentation College, Carlow and Dubai College

Fusion F1 are the first ever collaboration team between the United Arab Emirates and Ireland. The Irish half of Fusion F1 are also the first ever group of Irish First Year’s (School class) to reach the World Finals and are therefore the youngest ever Irish representatives. The team ranges in age from 13 to 17 with diverse ethnicities including Emirati, Irish, Indian, Australian and British.

The team are looking forward to meeting students from all over the world. They say: “All these students are amongst the smartest in the world and it will be a great experience to interact with them, especially as we all already have one common passion - F1. The World Finals themselves will be a truly memorable and unique opportunity and a first for us. Members of our team are also looking forward to their first ever experience of a Grand Prix.”

They add: “We are all big F1 fanatics and this has had a great impact on us taking up F1 in Schools as an extra-curricular subject and we would all be honoured if later in life we could manage to get a job on an F1 team.”

Australia - Gamma Raycing

Gamma Raycing from Magdalene Catholic High School, Narellan, Australia, comprises four boys and two girls, aged 16 to 17.

Saying they are ‘ready for anything’, the team say that they haven’t been together for very long and all have very different personalities and ideas, but that they have all come together to form one team with one goal. They add that they never turn down an idea and always aim to do the impossible first!

The biggest challenge for the team has been balancing school, work, Gamma and life throughout the competition. They are all looking forward to meeting all the other teams from all over the world and sharing our experiences with everyone. They expect to meet a lot of talented and creative young people from lots of different countries and cultures who have all created incredible projects. Unsurprisingly the team are fans of Daniel Ricciardo.

Bahrain - Gulf Speed Racing

Gulf Speed Racing will be representing the Kingdom of Bahrain at the 2014 World Finals. They aim to beat our school record 0f 1.065 seconds, that was recorded this year. They are looking forward to competing at Ferrari World, Abu Dhabi and learning from the whole Formula 1 in Schools experience.

Germany and Malaysia - HighEnd Racing

A mix of boys and girls from Lessing-Gymnasium Winnenden, Germany and Sekolah Menengah Kebangsaan Johor Bahru aged from 14 to 18 have collaborated to form HighEnd Racing.

The team is hoping that a unique partnership will help them to achieve success. The team says: “The outstanding collaboration with the HWA AG, a German motorsport company differentiates our team from the others.”

The team reckons that the biggest challenge of the competition is certainly time management. They add: “Equally challenging is our collaboration with a new and unknown country with a different culture and mentality.”

Of competing in Abu Dhabi they say: “We are looking forward to exploring a new continent and culture and the exciting venue Ferrari World. Likewise, we are full of anticipation before the Formula One Grand Prix and looking forward to meeting new people from all over the world, socializing and having fun. We are expecting tough competition at an even higher level than last year in Austin, Texas and hopefully some special celebrations for the 10th F1 in Schools World Finals.”

Singapore - Phoenix Legacy

Four girls from Raffles Girls’ School (Secondary) aged 14 and 15 will represent Singapore. Formed in January 2013, the team entered the field of F1 in Schools as part of a school Research Studies project. After much learning and hard work, they emerged as overall champions of the Bloodhound category in the Singapore Nationals 2013 and were given the chance to participate in World Finals 2014. In 2014, they competed in the F1 Class category of Singapore Nationals 2014 to gain greater exposure and experience in terms of car designing, knockout racing and verbal presentations.

As an all-girl team, they firmly believe that women have a distinctive and essential place in the field of engineering. They say: “Being an all-girls team from an all-girls school, we are empowered to advocate bringing new perspectives into STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics) fields. People may question our abilities and ‘real interest’ in F1, but this only spurs us on to disprove these preconceived notions - we want to promote the idea that women are equally capable, and traditional gender stereotypes should be redefined.”

Resource constraints has been the biggest challenge the team has faced in this competition They explain: “We lacked technological resources, such as more advanced 4-axis CAM Milling Machines or 3D printers of high resolution in our school. Hence, we had to learn to work within constraints to design cars that are achievable based on available technology, yet able to perform up to standard. We also learnt to work with external companies and outsource tasks such as the 3D printing of aerofoils to better optimize the quality of our products.”

And of their expectations for the trip to Abu Dhabi, they say: “During the World Finals we hope to learn and gain experience from other teams’ F1 in Schools journeys. We believe that World Finals will be a humbling and eye-opening experience for our team as we gain a deeper insight into more advanced engineering, innovations and technology. We also hope to forge friendships and bonds with members from other teams. Ultimately, we simply hope that at World Finals, we will be able to witness the culmination of all our hard work!”

Ireland - Photon Racing

Four boys aged 16 to 18 from Presentation College Headford, Count Galway represent Ireland at the World Finals. They say they are ‘Ambitious, Innovative and Determined’.

The team believes that they set themselves apart from the others by having outsourced as little work as possible, and from their limited experience of F1 in Schools which has led them to value the power of research. They have studied other winning F1 teams, finding out how they achieved and how they could beat this. They say: “Above all, we are a team that also seeks to innovate in every area, think outside the box, and do things that have never been done before!”

Greece - Pole Position

Representing American College of Greece in Athens are four boys aged 16 to 19, all with a love of cars and a passion for Formula One. The team says of the World Finals: “The biggest challenge in this competition is to combine several areas of interest, such as technical knowledge, marketing, promotion, communication and financial management. This requires people who can cooperate very well and are skilful, each in a different sector. “

Of their expectations for the event, they say: “We want to compete honourably and make the people that supported us happy with our performance. We’ll try to have a challenging car and be as prepared for the competition as possible. We’ll do our best to achieve our biggest goal, which is the Pole Position.”

They add: “We are looking forward to living in the F1 world, even if it will be only for a few days, and to meeting the other teams. We are all interested in F1 and try to watch the races as often as possible. We admire all F1 drivers for their skills and driving ability. We would all want to follow their trail and have such success.”

UAE - Project Speed

Repton School, Dubai will be one of the teams representing UAE at the World Finals. The youngest team in the competition - and the youngest ever team to qualify for the World Finals - with all the students aged just 12 years, the four boys and two girls have already had strong National success, taking the Bloodhound crown in 2013 and winning the Rookie Class in 2014.

The biggest challenge for the team is the opposition. They say: “We find that the hardest part of the competition is that we are going up against much older students and team. As we are only 12 it is quite nerve-racking, but we have bundles of energy and enthusiasm to rival anyone!”

Portugal - Racing Art

Five students from Escola Secundaria de Fafe represent Portugal in Abu Dhabi. The 18- and 19-year-old students have been together since 2011.

The team is small, with big aspirations, saying: “Since the beginning we never expected that we could represent our country in the World Finals because we came from a small city compared to the others that we faced in the competitions. Being able to fulfil our dream made us very confident of ourselves and proud of our hard work. So we think that our tenacity can make us unique.”

Of the team’s thoughts on the World Finals they say: “First of all we know that we have some years’ experience and we hope that we’ll face a good competitive Final. Obviously we’re looking forward to having a great experience at the Ferrari World as it is a life changing project. We’re expecting a huge competition. Every team wants to win and so do we. We know that a lot of work is needed but the sky is the limit!”

Wales - Red Dragon Racing

Taking their name from the symbol of Wales, Red Dragon Racing is a team of three 17- and 18-year-old boys from Connah’s Quay High School. In their own words, the students say that Red Dragon Racing is, in three words, innovative, dynamic and determined.

They say that what makes Red Dragon Racing unique is the amount of experience within the team. “Every single member of our team has competed in this competition since Year 9. This means that from an early age we have been involved with F1 in Schools giving us all prior knowledge within the competition. It also gives us a great advantage that our Team Manager has competed at the World Finals before meaning that he knows already what type of things are likely to happen and has seen the standard of competition already. Every single member of this team is driven individually but when combined we work as a single unit that is determined to be the best there is.”

As a team they are most looking forward to visiting Ferrari World, “as it is a once in a lifetime opportunity for most people and also we are looking forward to spending our time with all of the other competitors and getting to know each other rather than just being racing rivals. We as a team are also excited about potentially being able to meet F1 drivers but set aside from all this we are looking forward to representing Wales in Abu Dhabi.”

They add: “All three of us are interested in the F1 industry so we are constantly checking online for updates about what is happening leading up to races. Our favourite drivers are Lewis Hamilton, Jenson Button and Nico Rosberg.”

UAE - Safire Racing

Five students from German International School Dubai - three boys and two girls - will represent UAE, with not too far to travel for this year’s World Finals. The Safire Racing team was founded in 2011. With dedication, innovation, passion and a lot of hard work the team was able to successfully go through the UAE Nationals 2012, 2013 and 2014 and got the chance to represent the UAE three consecutive times in the World Finals and win several other awards during the competitions.

Dedication, innovation, passion are the three words used by the team to describe themselves. The team pinpoint three factors which set them apart from others. They say: “Firstly, the diversity of our team members, with each one from a different background and culture, benefits the team by the unique input and innovation each team member provides. Secondly, through participating in several other competitions, such as the two World Finals and three nationals, we have gained invaluable experience to the technique needed to compete in such F1 events and are hoping to use this to our team’s advantage. Thirdly, and most importantly, we are the team representing the World Finals host country and this adds pressure on us to make our country proud.”

Of their expectations for the World Finals they add: “We expect this to be an experience of a lifetime! We hope it will be a great competition with many talented and ambitious teams. Furthermore, we are looking forward to welcoming all teams to this exciting and fascinating country, which will be the host for the 10th anniversary of F1 in Schools.”

And the team are interested in F1 racing, as they explain: “We are interested in Formula One and try to watch it regularly. However, this isn’t easy because Sunday is a week day in the Arab countries.”

Greece - Sapphire Racing Team

Four boys and one girl from The Italian School of Athens will represent Greece at the World Finals. The team was formed in September 2013 by a group of 11th grade students. Although there was already a team representing the Greek section of the school, these students were the first to represent the Italian section. The members of the team have all been classmates for a number of years, so they know each other well and are used to working together. Each member was drawn to this project for a different reason; it might have been the love for racing, an interest in the field of aerodynamics, or a general interest in the experience.

“The biggest challenge for us in this competition,” say the team, “is to compete with professional teams who in contrast with us are supplied with many years of experience.

“We are looking forward to meeting every F1 in Schools participant - judges included - and to live this amazing experience all together, because at the end of the day we are all passionate about the same thing. At the World Finals our greatest goal is to earn one of the top spots. We believe and hope that our efforts and hard work will be rewarded. However, no matter what happens, we are ready to overcome every difficulty and face every challenge with strength and unity.”

Cyprus - Team Six and Plus

Team Six and Plus was created in October 2012 in order to participate to the first pan-Cyprian F1 in Schools competition. After a lot of hard work the team managed to gain second position and with that the right to represent Cyprus at the 2013 F1 in Schools World Finals in Austin. In November 2013 the team worthily represented Cyprus, achieving 13th place at time trials and 27th place overall.

After a successful first year, the team reorganized and returned to the competition. They were crowned 2014 Nationals champions and will be representing Cyprus for the second consecutive year at the 2014 World Finals in Abu Dhabi.

They say: “Our goal for this year is to overcome last year’s successes and gain as many experiences as possible by presenting a professional stage team.”

Northern Ireland - Team Nero

Three boys and three girls from Regent House Grammar School, Newtownards represent Northern Ireland this year, with five of the six travelling to Abu Dhabi.

The team say they are fast, fun and fierce. The team are looking forward to the World Finals, saying in traditional Irish style: “Really though in general it will be such good craic. With all our hard work we deserve the trip, so all of it!

“We’ll make the most of it whether we come first or last to be honest - it’s not every day you get to spend 10 days in Abu Dhabi. Not that we’ll be coming last of course.”

Of Formula One racing they say: “Our favourite drivers are Lewis Hamilton of Mercedes and Felipe Massa of Williams. Some of us visited Silverstone during the Grand Prix and had a great time, with paddock tours and Sophie and Maeve getting to talk to Claire Williams about the FIA and Women in Motorsport.”

Scotland - ROBUS

All of the members of team ROBUS attend Deans Community High School in Livingston, Scotland. There are three male members and two female members in the team, aged 15 and 16.

ROBUS in three words from the team: Dynamic, quirky and resourceful. They say that they are unique because, “we are a team in and outside of the challenge. We were all friends before the challenge, we have stayed friends during and we will be friends after. We don't only work as a team in taking part in the challenge, but we work together outside of the competition as well. During the sitting of eight national exams each in May 2014, we all worked together and revised together as we have understanding into how we all work and how we learn. This meant we could support each other throughout the exam period. We also enjoy time together outside of school work or otherwise, as we are all friends as previously noted.”

Public speaking has been the biggest challenge for this team which they have successfully mastered, as they explain: “So far the biggest challenge in this competition has been getting up and pitching or presenting to groups that ranges from a few people to a few hundred people. At the start of the competition the group as a whole would barely be able to talk to their English class. However, throughout the year we had improved our confidence enough to allow us to pitch to an executive board at DHL and even an assembly hall filled with 300 of our fellow students.”