F1 in Schools

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F1 in Schools
F1 in Schools logo.jpg

F1 in Schools Logo
Date Founded: 1999
Founder: Denford
Age Range: 11-15

F1 in Schools is an international competition for school children (aged 11–18), 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]

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.


Australia's CARTER Ratio[edit]

The CARTER Ratio (CAR Time Efficiency Ratio) is an annually variable constant in the F1 in Schools time trial scoring formula in Australia. The formula is as follows:

Team Score = (55pts/(CARTER–Fastest Time))x(CARTER–Team's Time)

This formula is used to calculate the points awarded in the time trial races of any state or national final of the Australian F1 In Schools Technology Challenge. The current year's CARTER Ratio is calculated based on the results from the previous years' events.[9]

The formula results are used to calculate the team with the fastest time trial time and they are awarded the maximum mark of 55 points. The slowest time is awarded 0 points using this formula. The CARTER Ratio influences the 'spread' of marks between fastest and slowest. It ensures that a team achieving a very competitive race time, say only a few thousands of a second behind the fastest, scores points that reflect their car's performance. Teams are rewarded for the speed of their car compared to the fastest time set as opposed to scoring points based on their rank.

Example The following table is an example of how points would distributed against a sample set of time trial results:[10]

CARTER Ratio = 1.454 seconds

Race Time Team Score
1.380 20
1.254 32
1.162 46
1.228 36
1.153 47
1.142 49
1.105 55
1.124 52
1.111 54
1.137 50
1.113 54

In practice this formula is used in conjunction with an additional logic expression that resolves the minimum possible score awarded as 20 points.

Name The term "CARTER Ratio" should be written CARTE Ratio but is so called similar to "ATM machine" or "PIN number". This type of unintended error is colloquially referred to as RAS syndrome.

Carter is also the surname the CFO of Re-Engineering Australia Forum (REA), a not-for-profit company. REA runs the F1inSchools Technology Challenge in Australia and New Zealand, and plays a strategic role in the coordination of the F1 in Schools program globally.[citation needed]

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.[11]


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.[12] The interview was recorded at the UK National final in London 2005.


F1 in Schools feature on Sky Sports F1.[13]


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.[14]


F1 in Schools Competition Track

National finals - London, England[15]

(UK National finals only)


National finals - London, England[16]

(UK National finals only)


International finals - Coventry, England[17]

(This was the first F1 in Schools competition to have an international final.)[18]

  • 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[19]

(The season started 2004, the regional and national finals were held in 2005 and the international finals were held in 2006.)[19]

  • 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.[20]

2007 - 2008[edit]

World Finals - Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia[21]

2008 - 2009[edit]

World Finals - London, England[22]

  • 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)

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 - November 2014, Ferrari World Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates

1st Place - Colossus F1 - Charlie Flynn, Dan Warnes, Paul Cumner, Emma Baldry, Rachael Matthews, And Vicky Waterfield - England - Robert May's School, England

2nd place - Gamma Raycing - Australia - Magdalene Catholic High School, Narellan, Australia

3rd place - Boreas Racing - Germany - Gymnasium An der Stenner, Iserlohn, Germany


  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. ^ "Welcome to the UK F1 in Schools Website". F1 in Schools. Retrieved 2014-01-30. 
  10. ^ 2007 National Final Images
  11. ^ "Media Coverage". F1 in Schools. 2012-10-25. Retrieved 2013-08-17. 
  12. ^ "CBBC Newsround | Press Pack Reports | I helped design a model race car". BBC News. Retrieved 2013-08-17. 
  13. ^ http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sUGHQnAZSh
  14. ^ http://www.f1inschools.co.uk/seasons.asp
  15. ^ "National Final @ BETT Show 2002". F1 in Schools. 2012-10-25. Retrieved 2013-08-17. 
  16. ^ "National Final @ BETT Show 2003". F1 in Schools. 2012-10-25. Retrieved 2013-08-17. 
  17. ^ EEF : Wanted - Judge for the International F1 Team in Schools Final!
  18. ^ "icBirmingham - It's no drag for school pupils". Icbirmingham.icnetwork.co.uk. 2004-10-06. Retrieved 2013-08-17. 
  19. ^ a b Denford Website - F1 in Schools International Finals 05/06[dead link]
  20. ^ F1 | Formula 1 - Ulster team takes F1 in Schools crown - ITV Sport
  21. ^ "UK | England | Devon | School races to F1 model car win". BBC News. 2008-03-23. Retrieved 2013-08-17. 
  22. ^ "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)