1.       Team Name

Mustangs 

2.       Explain how you chose your team name

Our name was inspired by the horse Mustang due to his characteristics: wildness, resistance and strength, which are the elements the team focus on to achieve success. Since then, the symbol of the horse represents the team. The horse has the two front legs up implying that it is confident, fearless and ready to face any obstacle.

3.       Country/s represented

Portugal

4.       School/s represented

Didaxis – Cooperativa de Ensino de Riba de Ave

5.       Town of School(s)

Famalicão

6.       Number of males /  Number of females on team

Mustangs have 2 female and 2 male team members.

7.       Teams Facebook page

Click here

8.   Teams Twitter handle

@f1_mustangs

9.   Teams website

Click here

10.   Briefly outline the history of your team

The team was initially formed on 2014 by three elements: Ana, Rita and a boy from their class. Together they only achieved the National Finals but Ana and Rita were not ready to give up on their F1 in Schools dream. For the 2015 season the girls quickly looked for other members that shared the same passion, enthusiasm and dream of representing Portugal at the World Finals. To join the girls came André and Diogo, the right ones to make a stronger team!

11.   F1 in Schools achievements so far (i.e. Nat champions, other awards etc.)

In their first year participating in F1 in Schools, in 2014, Mustangs became Regional Vice-Champions with the awards for Team Identity and Engineering. We then achieved an 8th place at the National Final 2014. This year the team became Regional Champions with the awards for Team Identity, Engineering and Best Oral Presentation. At the Portuguese National Final, Mustangs were crowned National Vice-Champions, which finally opened up the doors to the F1 in Schools World Final!

12.   Describe your team in three words 

Wildness. Resistance. Strength.

13.   What do you think makes your World Final team unique from other teams?

Mustangs have a very strong connection within the team and the passion for what we do is a common element to all team members. We have so much fun together that sometimes we don’t even realize how much we are learning each day. F1 in Schools has become an intrinsic part of our lives and we work for it 24/7. It is amazing the amount of phone calls we do and the Facebook messages we send to each other per day. We have built this union among us that make us more than a team, more than work colleagues, more than friends. We have become a family.

14.   Magic moment - What has been the most exciting F1 in Schools experience your team has had so far?

We don’t believe it is possible to select a single moment as the most exciting one in our F1 in Schools path. There as so many of them! The little moments are the most exciting ones, the details, the little conquers we make each day. The first time we saw our car come to life in a CNC machine after so many months of researching and designing; the first time our car raced and our eyes could not be deviated from the track even for a fraction of a second and our heart beat was frenetic; the first time we received an award and hugged each other filled with emotion saying silently ‘we did it’. That’s why we can’t name a single magic moment. Ever since the beginning all moments are magical, not because they are exciting but because it is us who make the magic happen.

15.   We can laugh now - Tell us about one of your teams funniest moments, maybe it wasn't so funny at the time!

One day before our National Final the team was testing different kinds of L.E.R.S. We spent the afternoon in the race track and the person responsible for the venue where the race track was assembled, Mr. Amadeu, was there just to watch the tests (because who doesn’t like to see the cars racing? ;) ) After a break to relax a bit, the team got back to testing and Ana set the automatic launch on. No one has noticed but Mr. Amadeu had his hand right in middle of the track, just playing with the theater line. All the team members immediately start screaming ‘’Take your hand off the track!’’ but Mr. Amadeu wasn’t listening properly and couldn’t understand because he was near the end of the track. The team shouted ‘Careful! Take your hand off there! The car is going to be launched!!’’ Finally Mr.Amadeu took his hand off the track, right before the lights went off and the car was launched! You may think it was a close call, but actually… Something went wrong when assembling the car and the L.E.R.S. to the launching system and after the car was launched it took SIX SECONDS to get to the finish line! We were all very confused, but the scenario of adrenaline of a near accident and a slow motion race made the team laugh really hard!

16.   What is the biggest challenge in this competition?

This competition is about teamwork. F1 in Schools covers so many different areas that a team is only excellent when all those areas are very well synchronized. The biggest challenge is therefore working with people with ideas so different from ours and still reach an agreement. We have to learn how to listen. We have to learn when to talk and when not to. We have to understand each other and be there for the hardest moments. It’s easy to lose hope. Things go wrong, unexpected situations can ruin hours of work and we can never predict that. Sometimes we think something is unfair, we think there is no solution and so, we have the temptation of giving up, and we feel powerless and broken apart. The challenge is to be there for each other and believe in ourselves. All the other challenges, raising funds, making a fast car, etc, are only small tests, when the real exam is to become a team. 

17.   What are you most looking forward to at the WFs?

The World Finals have been the goal of the team since it first formed. Now that it is here and that it’s really happening, Mustangs are more excited than ever! Just thinking about it gives us the chills! We look forward to meeting all the incredible teams from around the world, debate ideas, exchange knowledge, having fun and get to know a new culture and everything that Singapore has to offer! Of course that giving our maximum in the competition is a certainty and so, we look forward to represent our country the best way possible and maybe to bring home something, who knows!

18.   What are your expectations for the WFs?

As our team leader put it in our first meeting for the National Final ‘’If we settle for anything less than the maximum, we will never achieve our goals.’’ Having this in mind our expectation is to become World Champions! If it happens or not is not the important thing, what matters the most is our attitude throughout the way, always believing that we can achieve great things, otherwise we would not be here right now.

19.   Do you watch/are you interested in F1?  Who’s your favourite driver(s)? 

Mustangs are divided in this question. Diogo is interested in F1 for a long time and he tries to watch all GP from the entire season! His favorite driver always was and will always be Lewis Hamilton, although he also admires Nico Rosberg. As for the rest of the team, F1 was never a big deal, for instance, Ana didn't find it interesting at all. That has come to a turn once that we started to face the challenge that engineers face every day at F1 - making the fastest car possible. The team now admires the engineers behind a F1 car and finds their work truly amazing!