The life of an F1 mechanic

What could be more glamourous than having a job where you get to fly around the World with all expenses paid, get to work with cutting edge technology, and produce some of the latest and greatest technological innovations? The best drivers, brains and marketing gurus are all drawn to the Formula 1 world, often gaining huge publicity and credit. And then there are the mechanics.

Mechanics as a rule don’t come into Formula 1 looking for their fame and fortune – they often work incredibly long hours with little recognition. Countries are often seen from inside the airport, the hotels and the transportation – nothing glamourous about that! However all mechanics have the passion and enthusiasm for some of the World’s greatest cars and that’s where the motivation lies.

Many of us would love to work with such objects of beauty. But how do you become a Formula 1 mechanic? There is no one path – as with most things, it’s a case of working hard in the right subjects, and being in the right place at the right time.

Most mechanics speak English, and English is the most common communication medium in teams, so a good grasp of English is essential. Natuarally, technical know-how is also important, so taking some sort of technical course and then gaining some hands-on experience in the field will help. Amateur rallying, helping out at go-kart tracks or entering your car into a junior race series are some of the options to consider. It’s not just about being the top rung of the ladder – a good garage mechanic will also probably be a good race mechanic as the basic principles between road cars and F1 cars are virtually the same.

Races can be won or lost by the mechanics – they can change an engine within half an hour if they spot something is wrong. Mechanics will spend a lot of time checking and examining the engine to ensure everything is perfect. A nightmare scenario would be having a breakdwon that could have been prevented with a little more care or attention.

Mechanics are normally in their 30s – they still have the drive and passion, but also the experience and technical know-how. There are older mechanics but they tend to a rarer breed – being an F1 mechanic isn’t just a job – it’s a way of life, and it tends to play havoc with family life. There will come a time when your family will outweight your racing passion and this is when mechanics will retire from the greatest circus on Earth.

18 thoughts on “The life of an F1 mechanic”

  1. I really want to be a mechanic in f1 and am doing my gcse’s in june
    What A levels will I need or is college and apprentership better?

    Thanks

    Aaron

  2. i am a honda motor car mechanic and to work as a f1 mechanic would be a dream come true what steps do i have to follow to make it a reality?

  3. i would love to work as a F1 mechanic. im 23 and been a mechanic since i was 13. does anybody know how to get to the next stage?

    thanks

  4. im 20 and worked on car since i was about 13 , im in motorsport college at the mo in silverstone and im working with fortec motorsport and have work experiance with force india next year 😀 so best bet is to get mechanic engineering qualifications / car mechanics and try race teams but never stop keep bugging them ..thats what i did 🙂

  5. I am 16 and am intersted in doing F1 motor mechanics at Silverstone like you when I finish school. Please can you supply a website. I am living in SA but have a British passport. I have recently been on the Roof of Africa enduro in Lesotho as the only mechanic and our rider came in second in Silver class. I am VERY KEEN. Please can you help me. Thankyou! Devon van Heerden

  6. I have already decided that being a F1 mechanic is all i want to do, but i don’t know how. Is it bad being a girl-mechanic?

  7. hi im 15 and i love formula 1, and cars in general, its my dream to become a f1 mechanic working with the drivers and cars around the world, iv got work experience with Jaguar in Gaydon Im doing my gcse’s this year and next, im taking all sciences, pe, spanish, maths, english, geography. What would i need to take for sixth form and when i go to university??? and after what should i do to become a f1 mechanic
    Thanks alot
    James

  8. i am starting silverstone college this september and they have told me to find a race team to help out. how did you find your team?

  9. sir, i studing final year mech engg
    so want ideas for final project and some topics send to me please.

  10. Hello
    I would love to be an F1 mechanic and im thinking of completing my level 3 course at collge and maybe going to university, what advise would you give on subjects to take and the path i take after uni?

  11. I have always been intrested in mechanics and f1 i am in year 10 and i want to know what grades i need in which subjects.

  12. Hi. I just became an F1 in the 2011 season and I have already decided to pursue this field and become an F1 mechanic. Could anyone please tell me the basic qualifications required and the work experience needed before joining Formula One.

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