F1 in Schools

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F1 in Schools
FounderAndrew Denford
Headquarters76 Armytage Rd, ,
Area served
ParentDenford Ltd.
F1 in Schools Competition Track

F1 in Schools is an international STEM (science, technology, engineering, mathematics) competition for school children (aged 11–19), in which groups of 3–6 students have to design and manufacture a miniature car out of the official F1 Model Block 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 extensive regulations, in a similar fashion to Formula 1 (e.g. the wheels of the car must be in contact with the track at all times). The cars are raced on a 20m 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 countries.[4] The competition was first introduced in the UK in 1999.[5] The competition's aim 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: Professional Class aimed at 11- to 19-year-olds; Development Class aimed at 11- to 19-year-olds in their first year; and Entry Class aimed at 11- to 14-year-olds.

As of 2021, the F1 in Schools World Champions are Britannia Red from Robert May's School, in the UK.[7]

The F1 in Schools World Record was set in 2016 by the Australian team Infinitude and is 0.916 seconds.[8]

After safety issues concerning the use of extended canister chambers coupled with the Launch Energy Recovery System (LERS), the controversial device was banned globally from the 2017 World Finals season onwards, after being innovated in 2014 by Colossus F1.

Denford Ltd. unveiled a new track and timing system that debuted at the 2017 World Finals.[9] All components are now manufactured in-house, resulting in a lower overall cost in comparison to the Pitsco produced track that it succeeds. The track's launching mechanism has had numerous reliability issues since its introduction.

In 2018, the competition's logo was updated to incorporate Formula One's updated logo. Consequently, the Bernie Ecclestone World Champions trophy was replaced, with the new World Champions trophy incorporating the new logo and the car of the 2017 World Champions, Hyperdrive.

The 2020 F1 in Schools World Finals has been postponed twice due to the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic. The World Finals 2020/21 was held as a virtual event in the UK in June 2021 with 43 competing teams.[10]

Aspects of the competition[edit]

Specifications judging Specifications 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.[11]

Engineering judging 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

Each team of students is required to produce an enterprise portfolio, engineering portfolio as well as a pit display. The portfolios are A3 size and should contain information about the team, their car design and manufacturing process, marketing techniques, project management, teamwork 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 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.

Defining car features[edit]

Although regulations vary from regional to national to world finals, the basic features, resembling a real F1 car, are consistent.

Front and rear wing

The cars have to include a front wing that does not cover the wheels if seen from the side or the top in the technical drawing. The front wing can not cover the wheels higher than 15mm relative to the track surface. The rear wing cannot cover the rear wheels if seen from above.

Cartridge chamber

The cars feature a chamber to hold the CO2 cartridge. It has to be parallel to the track surface.


The cars have to include four wheels with a given scope of width and radius that are in contact with the surface of the track at all times. The wheels must be entirely visible from the right or left side and from the top. There is a 15mm long exclusion zone behind the width of the front wheels.

Car body

The cars have to incorporate a virtual cargo horizontal to the track surface in between the centre of the axis of the wheels. This renders many "catamaran" designs insufficient. Cars have to be symmetrical to a vertically oriented reference plane. Cars also feature side boxes large enough to hold the F1 in schools decal.

Participating countries[edit]

F1 in Schools is an internationally recognised competition with schools participating from the following countries:[12]

Australia Austria Azerbaijan Bahrain Bermuda
Brazil Brunei Canada China Cyprus
Czech Republic England France Germany Greece
Hong Kong India Italy Japan Jordan
Kazakhstan Kenya Kuwait Malaysia Mexico
Netherlands New Zealand Nigeria Northern Ireland Norway
Oman Peru Portugal Qatar Republic of Ireland
Russia Romania Saudi Arabia Scotland Singapore
Slovakia South Africa South Korea Spain Thailand
United States of America United Arab Emirates Vietnam Wales

F1 in Schools World Final results[edit]

Generally, Regional/State Champions are invited to compete at their country's National Final, with the in-country organising authority inviting other teams to the National Final through the use of wildcards. The National Champions are invited to represent their country at the World Finals. The in-country organiser is permitted to invite up to 3 other teams to the World Final, one of which is generally either an in-country or international collaboration team. The winning team receives the F1 in Schools World Championship Trophy as well as scholarships for engineering degrees at UCL, the University of Huddersfield and City, University of London. The World Final podium places and Best Engineered Car are outlined below.

Host City World Champions Second Place Third Place Best Engineered Car
United Kingdom Coventry[13]
United States Turbo
Bloomsburg High School (PA)
South Africa Flash
St Alban's College
Australia Thunder Down Under
Cheltenham Girls High School (NSW) & Noosa District State High (QLD)
Australia Thunder Down Under
Cheltenham Girls High (NSW) & Noosa District State High School (QLD)
United Kingdom Birmingham[14]
Australia Stingers
Trinity Grammar School (VIC)
South Africa Flash
St Alban's College
United States Turbo
Bloomsburg High School (PA)
Australia Stingers
Trinity Grammar School (VIC)
Australia Melbourne[15]
Northern Ireland FUGA
Coleraine Academical Institution
Scotland Lighting
Blairgowrie High School
Malaysia Mercurial Ace
SMK Convent Bukit Nanas
Australia Race A Roos

Wesley College Perth (WA)

Malaysia Kuala Lumpur[16]
England Pulse
Devonport High School for Boys
Australia Goshawk
Trinity Christian School (ACT)
Australia Impulse F1
Barker College (NSW)
Australia Impulse F1
Barker College (NSW)
United Kingdom London[17]
Republic of Ireland The Koni Kats
St. David's Secondary School
Australia Redline Racing
Trinity Christian School (ACT)
Australia/Canada AC Racing
Noosa District State High School (QLD) & Miles MacDonell (MB)
Australia Redline Racing
Trinity Christian School (ACT)
Singapore Singapore
United States Unitus Racing
Southeast High School (FL) & James Madison Middle School|James Madison Middle School (VA)
Australia/United Arab Emirates Zer0.9
Pine Rivers State High School & The Indian High School, Dubai
Germany Aixtreme Racing
Einhard-Gymnasium Aachen
Australia Basilisk Performance
Sebastopol College (VIC)
Malaysia Kuala Lumpur
Australia PentaGliders
Brooks High School (TAS)
Gymnasium Grootmoor
United States Unitus Racing
Southeast High School (FL) & James Madison Middle School (VA)
Australia PentaGliders
Brooks High School(TAS)
United Arab Emirates Abu Dhabi
Australia Cold Fusion
Brighton Secondary School (SA)
United Kingdom Team Ignite England Rush
Robert May's School
Australia Cold Fusion
Brighton Secondary School (SA)
United States Austin
Australia A1 Racing
Phoenix P-12 Community College (VIC) & Pine Rivers State High School (QLD)
United States Allegiance Racing
Southeast High School (FL)
Germany Unlimited Acceleration
Lessing-Gymnasium Winnenden (BW)
Republic of Ireland Bardahl Racing
St David's Holy Faith Secondary School
United Arab Emirates Abu Dhabi
England Colossus F1
907.7 Points
Robert May's School
Australia Gamma Raycing
844.2 Points
Magdalene Catholic High School (NSW)
Germany Boreas Racing
840.5 Points
Gymnasium An der Stenner Iserlohn (NRW)
England Colossus F1
Robert May's School
Singapore Singapore
Germany/United States Union Racing International
Alexander-von-Humboldt Gymnasium Greifswald (MV) & Lexington High School (MA)
Portugal Mustangs Republic of Ireland Team AIB Racing Canada Laminar Racing
United States Austin
Greece Infinite Racing
852.3 Points
Mandoulides School
Australia Infinitude
837.8 Points
Brighton Secondary School (SA) & St Bede's College (VIC)
Germany Endeavour
770.5 Points
Gymnasium Unterrieden Sindelfingen (BW), Karl-Friedrich-Gymnasium (BW) & Kurfürst-Friedrich-Gymnasium (BW)
United Arab Emirates Knight Hawks
The Indian High School, Dubai
Malaysia Kuala Lumpur
Australia Hyperdrive
906.7 Points
Trinity Grammar School
Australia/Germany Aurora
887.5 Points
Brighton Secondary School (SA) & Fichte-Gymnasium Hagen
Germany Pioneers
873.0 Points
Gymnasium Kronshagen
Australia Hyperdrive
Trinity Grammar School
Singapore Singapore
Australia Horizon
878.4 Points
Brighton Secondary School (SA)
Republic of Ireland CJJ AutoVinco
860.0 Points
St. Brigid's College, Loughrea, Co. Galway
United States Perspective
834.7 Points
Palmetto High School
Australia Horizon
Brighton Secondary School (SA)
United Arab Emirates Abu Dhabi
United Kingdom Evolve UK
855.5 Points
Queen Elizabeth's Grammar School
Germany Fusion
826.8 Points
Gymnasium Unterrieden Sindelfingen
United Kingdom Aflex Hose Centurion Racing
820.2 Points
Rishworth School
Australia Ascension
Mount View High School & Penrith Christian School
United Kingdom United Kingdom
United Kingdom Britannia Red

882.1 Points
Robert May's School

Republic of Ireland Quintolux

834.0 Points
St. Brigid's College, Loughrea, Co. Galway

Australia Nebula

792.9 Points
Wesley College

United Kingdom Britannia Red
Robert May's School

F1 in Schools in UK media[edit]

F1 in Schools has been featured in UK print media and on television.[18]

  • 2001 (2001): F1 in Schools was reported by The Mirror (22 February) and appeared on Blue Peter in June.
  • 2002 (2002): F1 in Schools was reported by The Sun (27 November), RPM Motorsports (November) and appeared on Techno Games on BBC1 in March.
  • 2003 (2003): F1 in Schools appeared on HTV News (11 December), BBC News Wales (11 December) and BBC 1 Newsround (10 January).
  • 2004 (2004): 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).
  • 2005 (2005): 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.[19] The interview was recorded at the UK National final in London 2005.
  • 2012 (2012): F1 in Schools feature on Sky Sports F1.[20]


The challenge has many supporters and sponsors which include the following:


  1. ^ The New Straits Times Online Archived 11 November 2007 at the Wayback Machine
  2. ^ "Pitsco Ideas & Solutions: About Us: F1 in Schools Announces Winners". Catalog.pitsco.com. Archived from the original on 8 July 2012. Retrieved 17 August 2013.
  3. ^ Denford Website - Virtual Wind Tunnel
  4. ^ The F1 in Schools Technology Challenge (20 March 2008). "F1 in Schools International News". F1inschools.blogspot.com. Retrieved 17 August 2013.
  5. ^ "Welcome to F1 in Schools!". F1inschools.us. Retrieved 17 August 2013.
  6. ^ "About". F1 in Schools. 25 October 2012. Archived from the original on 2 February 2014. Retrieved 17 August 2013.
  7. ^ "Britannia Red crowned 2020 F1 in Schools World Champions". Off The Track. Retrieved 30 June 2021.
  8. ^ "Australia set new record at F1 in Schools World Finals".
  9. ^ "ALL NEW FOR 2017! F1 in Schools Race System Powered by Denford".
  10. ^ "2020 F1 in Schools World Finals delayed again and relocated to UK as Australian Grand Prix postponed".
  11. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 5 March 2012. Retrieved 27 April 2011.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  12. ^ "Where to find us". F1 in schools Global. Retrieved 31 December 2019.
  13. ^ EEF : Wanted - Judge for the International F1 Team in Schools Final! Archived 28 September 2007 at the Wayback Machine
  14. ^ Denford Website - F1 in Schools International Finals 05/06
  15. ^ F1 | Formula 1 - Ulster team takes F1 in Schools crown - ITV Sport Archived 24 March 2007 at the Wayback Machine
  16. ^ "UK | England | Devon | School races to F1 model car win". BBC News. 23 March 2008. Retrieved 17 August 2013.
  17. ^ "Recent News". F1inschools.com. 25 October 2012. Archived from the original on 19 March 2012. Retrieved 17 August 2013.
  18. ^ "Media Coverage". F1 in Schools. 25 October 2012. Retrieved 17 August 2013.
  19. ^ "CBBC Newsround | Press Pack Reports | I helped design a model race car". BBC News. Retrieved 17 August 2013.
  20. ^ https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sUGHQnAZSh

External links[edit]