Getting a job in Formula 1 is not easy. There are however a great deal of things you can do to improve your chances of being one of the lucky ones ! Follow my 5 top tips for how best to increase your chances of making a successful career in Formula 1.
1) Research exactly what it is that you want to do
Many people say “I want to work in Formula 1” but there are so many different jobs within the sport. You need to consider your strengths and experience, work out exactly what you want to do and then focus on developing the knowledge and skills that you need to fit that job role. Understanding the different roles within a team will help you narrow your focus into a specific area, keep you motivated towards that goal and hugely increase your chances of landing your dream job.
2) Learn about and immerse yourself in motor racing
Formula 1 is an entertainment business and the side of F1 that you watch on television is very different to the business that runs behind the scenes. To be successful in any business you need first to understand it. If you arrive at interview with a good understanding of what the team needs and the pressures that it is under then you have a much better chance of offering yourself as a solution to that need. Try reading some books on racing such as the The Piranha Club or The Mechanic’s Tale and build up a background of valuable racing knowledge.
3) Look beyond F1 at back door routes into motorsport
It is not impossible for graduates and school leavers to get a job at an F1 team straight after their studies but if this doesn’t work out there are ways in via the back door. Competition for jobs in other race series is much lower but they still offer valuable experience that would greatly interest F1 teams. Alternatively, working at sub-contractors and suppliers can not only gain you experience but also let you build priceless contacts by letting you work directly with the teams and even designing parts of the car. Successful relationships built this way can provide some of the best routes into Formula 1.
4) Get involved and volunteer
Many successful racing people found their passion and a lot of their knowledge of racing by working on lower formula cars and in club racing. The budgets may be lower but a car is a car and many of the problems you will come across at this level are the same as you might find in Formula 1. The adrenaline of competition and the satisfaction you get from being directly involved is likely to harden your resolve and motivate you to reach Formula 1. F1 teams attach great importance to the practical experience and attitude you develop having been directly involved in racing.
5) Never, ever give up
If you get the first job you apply for then you are the exception and not the rule. Be prepared for setbacks but do not be discouraged. I had 2 separate rejections from the first racing company I worked for before I finally landed my first job in motorsport. Once you have a foot in the door then life becomes much easier but you must stick to your ambition when times are more difficult. The successful people in racing are the ones who work hard and will not accept defeat.
My “Job in F1” blog aims to offer advice, tips and motivation on how best to go about getting a job in Formula 1. If want to make a career in racing you can look at my list of frequently asked questions, follow me or read through my archived posts. This blog is still a work in progress but if there is something I haven’t yet covered or you have a specific question then feel free to add a comment and I will respond personally. Formula 1 is a fantastic career and is not certainly beyond your reach if you are determined to work for it.