There are just a few days to go before this year’s F1 in Schools World Finals are held in Singapore, and as the event draws closer more members of the paddock have joined the growing band of famous names to back the educational initiative.
Open to children between the ages of nine and 19, the challenge sees teams of students researching, designing, testing, manufacturing and racing miniature Formula One cars. Those competing will have spent hundreds of hours producing their models in their pursuit of beating their rivals to claim the world championship crown.
Race car designer and motorsport pundit, Gary Anderson, is set to lead the judging panel at the event. With over 30 years’ experience in motorsport, Anderson has all the necessary credentials to oversee the judging process.
“I’m keen to have a hands-on role in this F1 in Schools World Finals and to see for myself the quality of work which these students are producing and the efforts that they are all putting into designing and building their own miniature race cars,” said Anderson. “I’m sure that it will be no different to the real world of Formula One, with teams looking closely at the interpretation of the rules to find any competitive advantage. We just need to make sure they stay within the boundaries that are set!”
With 18 countries represented by 26 teams at this year’s event, Anderson and his judging colleagues will have an intensive two days, scrutinising all the competitors’ entries and ensuring that the competition is judged professionally and accurately.
His fellow judges have been drawn from the national F1 in Schools challenges around the world, with representatives from China, Portugal, USA, UAE, Ireland, South Africa and Canada.
The panel will also welcome Group Captain Brian Edwards from the Australian High Commission in Singapore and Roger Valsler and Nanette Strong from City University, London, which offers automotive and motorsport Eengineering scholarships to the world champions.
“City University London is very proud to be associated with F1 in Schools and we are delighted to be able to extend our support to the judging panel,” said Valsler. “First-hand experience of the entrants’ abilities, their passion and determination to succeed ensures that we are helping to select the best candidates for receiving our scholarship prize.”
Winners in each of the 17 categories will be presented with trophies provided by many of the current Formula One teams including McLaren, Ferrari, Toro Rosso, Red Bull Racing, Mercedes GP, Lotus Racing, Virgin Racing, Force India, Williams and BMW Sauber. The event venue, Singapore’s Ngee Ann Polytechnic, will also have a Lotus Racing show car on display.
LG, Global and Technological Partner of Formula 1, is an avid supporter of the F1 in Schools cause too and will present a specially commissioned trophy for the LG Moment of the Week award, designed by a former F1 chief mechanic, as well as LG PC monitors for each member of the World Finals winning team.
The world champions will also be presented with the Bernie Ecclestone World Champions trophy, a beautiful glass sculpture given by the Formula One Group CEO to F1 in Schools.
“We are very privileged to have the support of the Formula One industry,” said Andrew Denford, Founder and Chairman of F1 in Schools. “As we have grown as a global educational initiative the F1 teams, sponsors and personalities have become more involved with us and embraced our goals of promoting engineering as a career and inspiring students to study through the popularity of the sport.
"We are very grateful for the support that they give us, welcoming students to their garages at races, giving students the opportunity to experience work at their factories and providing us with trophies and merchandise for the award winners.”
Following the competition, a glittering awards ceremony will be held at the Conrad Centennial Singapore and is expected to be attended by luminaries from Formula One racing as well as local dignitaries and VIP guests. F1 commentator and leading blogger, James Allen, will host the event, which is also due to be attended by many industry personnel, including Formula One senior management and drivers.