F1 in Schools

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F1 in Schools
F1 in Schools logo 480.jpg

F1 in Schools Logo
Date Founded: 1999
Founder: Andrew Denford
Age Range: 9-19

F1 in Schools is an international competition for school children (aged 9–19), in which groups of 3 - 6 students have to design and manufacture a miniature "car" out of balsa wood using CAD/CAM design tools. The cars are powered by CO2 cartridges and are attached to a track by a nylon wire. They are timed from the moment they are launched to when they pass the finish line by a computer. [1] The cars have to follow specific guidelines (e.g. the wheels of the car must be in contact the track at all times). The cars are raced on an 80-foot (24 m) long track with two lanes, to allow two cars to be raced simultaneously.[2] Software called F1 Virtual Wind Tunnel was designed specifically for the challenge. F1 Virtual Wind Tunnel or F1 VWT uses computational fluid dynamics (CFD) to simulate air resistance on the "cars" made in the CAD.[3] The competition is currently operational in over 40 different countries.[4] The competition was first introduced in the UK in 1999.[5] The competition's aim was, and still is, to introduce younger people to engineering in a more fun environment.[6] The competition is held annually, with Regional and National Finals. The overall winners of the National Finals are invited to compete at the World Finals, which are held at a different location each year, usually held in conjunction with a Formula One Grand Prix. In the UK competition; there are 3 classes of entry. Formula One Class aimed at 11-19 year olds, Bloodhound SSC Class aimed at 11-14 year olds and The Jaguar Primary School Challenge aimed at 5-11 year olds.

The current F1 in Schools World Champions (as of November 2013) are A1 Racing from Australia. Team Fuga, 2007 World Champions hold the world record time of 1.020 seconds.[7] However, as the World Record can only be set at the World Finals, held annually, this record does not take into account individual country records.

Aspects of the competition[edit]

Specification judging[edit]

Scrutineering Judging

Specification judging is a detailed inspection process where the race car is assessed for compliance with the F1 in Schools Technical Regulations. Scrutineering is conducted within the confines of parc fermé where judges use a series of specially manufactured gauges and accurate measuring tools to check the car's compliance.

All of the rules and regulations season can be found at F1 in Schools website.[8]

Engineering judging[edit]

The scheduled engineering judging interview session focuses on the application of CAD CAM, analysis, CAD data organisation, orthographic drawing, 3D render and use of CNC machining. This is an informal interview where judges ask the team to demonstrate their CAD / CAM work and query teams on what they have done.

Portfolio & pit display judging[edit]

Winner of Best Pit Display 2011 - Octane

Each team of students is required to produce a 20 page design portfolio as well as a pit display. The design portfolio is A3 size and should contain information about the team, their car design and manufacturing process, marketing techniques, project management, team work and team identity. Teams are given an area to set up a pit display which is judged alongside their design portfolio by a panel of judges.

Verbal presentation judging[edit]

In advance of the competition, teams prepare a timed verbal presentation to present to a panel of judges, outlining their project. Teams usually use a PowerPoint presentation as a visual aid when presenting to the judges. The length of the verbal presentation varies depending on the level of the competition. At World Finals Level teams are required to prepare a 10 minute presentation.


Teams race their cars against each other on the official 20 metre F1 in Schools competition track. Points are awarded for reaction time racing as well as manual launch racing.

Countries currently involved[edit]

F1 in Schools is an internationally recognised competition.

Australia Austria Bahrain Brunei Canada
China Cyprus Czech Republic England France
Germany Greece Hong Kong India Ireland
Jordan Korea Kuwait Malaysia Nigeria
Northern Ireland Oman Portugal Qatar Saudi Arabia
Scotland Singapore South Africa Spain Thailand
United States of America United Arab Emirates Wales

F1 in Schools in the media[edit]

F1 in Schools has featured in UK print media and on television.[9]

2012 World Champions Car


F1 in Schools was reported by The Mirror (22 February) and appeared on Blue Peter in June.


F1 in Schools was reported by The Sun (27 November), RPM Motorsports (November) and appeared on Techno Games on BBC1 in March.


F1 in Schools appeared on HTV News[disambiguation needed] (11 December), BBC News Wales (11 December) and BBC 1 Newsround (10 January).


F1 in Schools appeared on the BBC Politics Show (10 October), BBC Central News (3 October) and BBC Northern Ireland TV (7 January). An article on F1 in Schools was in the Education Guardian (6 January).


F1 in Schools appeared in Newsround (13 January). The programme featured Mathew Hughes, from Welsh team "Atomic Jo's", explaining the F1 in Schools scheme.[10] The interview was recorded at the UK National final in London 2005.


F1 in Schools feature on Sky Sports F1.[11]


The challenge has many supporters and sponsors.

Bloodhound SSC City University London
CREST Awards Denford Ltd.
Department for Business, Innovation & Skills Edge Foundation
FIA Women in Motorsport Commission Formula Student
Jaguar The Institution of Engineering and Technology
Tomorrow's Engineers Silverstone Circuit


The winners and runners-up from each region are invited to compete at the National Final. The National Champions are invited to compete and represent their country at the World Finals and the 2nd and 3rd placed teams are invited to create an international collaboration team and compete at the World Finals. The World Final podium places are outlined below, however, the full results of each season can be found on the Schools website.[12]


F1 in Schools Competition Track

National finals - London, England[13]

(UK National finals only)


National finals - London, England[14]

(UK National finals only)


International finals - Coventry, England[15]

(This was the first F1 in Schools competition to have an international final.)[16]

  • 1st Place - Team Turbo, Bloomsburg Highschool, USA.
  • 2nd Place - Team Flash, St Alban's College, South Africa.
  • 3rd Place - Team Thunder Down Under, Collaboration between Cheltenham Girls High and Noosa District State High School, Australia.

2005 - 2006[edit]

International finals - Birmingham, England[17]

(The season started 2004, the regional and national finals were held in 2005 and the international finals were held in 2006.)[17]

  • 1st Place - Team Stingers, Trinity Grammar School, Australia.
  • 2nd Place - Team Flash, St Alban's College, South Africa.
  • 3rd Place - Team Turbo, Bloomsburg Highschool, USA.

2006 - 2007[edit]

International finals - Melbourne, Australia.[18]

2007 - 2008[edit]

World Finals - Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia[19]

2009 World Finals

2008 - 2009[edit]

World Finals - London, England[20]

  • 1st Place - The Koni Kats - St. David’s Secondary School, Greystones, County Wicklow, Ireland (Sean Clery, Conor Daly, Adam Gammell, Eoin O'Connell)
  • 2nd place - Redline Racing - Trinity Christian School, ACT, Australia (Daniel Boucher, Annie Harper, Chris Law, James Mazengarb, Alistair Smith)
  • 3rd place - AC Racing - (Collaboration Team), Australia and Canada

2009 - 2010[edit]

World Finals - Singapore

1st Place - Unitus Racing - USA - Southeast High School (Florida) and James Madison Middle School (Amanda Clark, Mark Nanney, Tony Griffin II, Brandon Miranda, Yatrik Solanki, Niemann Pest)

2nd Place - Zer0.9 - Australia/UAE - The Indian High School, Dubai and Pine Rivers State High School (Vivian Anthony Britto, Sidhant Shetty, Prateek Mahindra, Josh McClennan, Alysha Limmer, Gregory Mills)

3rd Place - Aixtreme Racing - Germany Einhard-Gymnasium Aachen (North Rhine-Westphalia) (Niklas Bünning, Clemens Cremer, Niklas Hönmann, Leonard Tusch)

2010 - 2011[edit]

World Finals- 19 September 2011 - 21 September 2011, Double Tree by Hilton, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia

1st Place - PentaGliders - Australia - Brooks High School (Launceston, Tasmania) (Jack Ball, Nathan Clark, Tristan McCarthy, Amy Winter)

2nd Place - BETAGREEN - Germany - Gymnasium Grootmoor (Hamburg) (Team: Niklas Hagenow, Fabian Bode, Arved Bruns, Johannes Rohwer)

3rd Place - Unitus Racing - USA - Southeast High School (Florida) and James Madison Middle School (Amanda Clark, Mark Nanney, Tony Griffin, Niemann Pest)

2013 Abu Dhabi World Finals

2011 - 2012[edit]

World Finals - Ferrari World Abu Dhabi

1st Place - Cold Fusion - Australia - (Jane Burton, Thomas Agars, Jake Grant, Michelle Lennon, Henry Lynch, Spencer Olds)

2nd Place - Team Ignite - UK - (Rebecca Simpson, Jon Perrett, James Linwood)

3rd Place - Rush - England- (Joe Edwards, Katy Edwards, Rachel Pluthero, James Blackmore, Charlie Flynn, Steph Carter)

2012 - 2013[edit]

World Finals - 9 November 2013 - 13 November 2013, Circuit of the Americas, Texas, USA

1st Place - A1 Racing - Australia - (Beau Gieskens, Luke Meredith, Jacqui Cunninghame, Dylan Sexton, Sam Young, Ben Marshall)

2nd place - Allegiance Racing - USA - (Aly Cote, Merritt Kendzior, Joey Komor, Sean Martin, Sheel Patel)

3rd place - Unlimited Acceleration - Germany - (Steffi Weng, Patrick Metz, Thilo Hahn, Niklas Metz)

2013 - 2014[edit]

World Finals - Ferrari World Abu Dhabi

Results Released Mid-November 2014


  1. ^ The New Straits Times Online[dead link]
  2. ^ "Pitsco Ideas & Solutions: About Us: F1 in Schools Announces Winners". Catalog.pitsco.com. Retrieved 2013-08-17. 
  3. ^ Denford Website - Virtual Wind Tunnel[dead link]
  4. ^ The F1 In Schools Technology Challenge (2008-03-20). "F1 In Schools International News". F1inschools.blogspot.com. Retrieved 2013-08-17. 
  5. ^ "Welcome to F1 in Schools!". F1inschools.us. Retrieved 2013-08-17. 
  6. ^ "About". F1 in Schools. 2012-10-25. Retrieved 2013-08-17. 
  7. ^ http://www.f1inschools.co.uk/news-article.asp?ID=71
  8. ^ http://www.f1inschools.co.uk/download--13.html
  9. ^ "Media Coverage". F1 in Schools. 2012-10-25. Retrieved 2013-08-17. 
  10. ^ "CBBC Newsround | Press Pack Reports | I helped design a model race car". BBC News. Retrieved 2013-08-17. 
  11. ^ http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sUGHQnAZSh
  12. ^ http://www.f1inschools.co.uk/seasons.asp
  13. ^ "National Final @ BETT Show 2002". F1 in Schools. 2012-10-25. Retrieved 2013-08-17. 
  14. ^ "National Final @ BETT Show 2003". F1 in Schools. 2012-10-25. Retrieved 2013-08-17. 
  15. ^ EEF : Wanted - Judge for the International F1 Team in Schools Final!
  16. ^ "icBirmingham - It's no drag for school pupils". Icbirmingham.icnetwork.co.uk. 2004-10-06. Retrieved 2013-08-17. 
  17. ^ a b Denford Website - F1 in Schools International Finals 05/06[dead link]
  18. ^ F1 | Formula 1 - Ulster team takes F1 in Schools crown - ITV Sport
  19. ^ "UK | England | Devon | School races to F1 model car win". BBC News. 2008-03-23. Retrieved 2013-08-17. 
  20. ^ "Recent News". F1inschools.com. 2012-10-25. Retrieved 2013-08-17. 

External links[edit]

Preceded by
2008 Singapore Grand Prix
Pioneering and Innovation Award

Succeeded by
McLaren (F-duct)