1. Team Name
2. Explain how you chose your team name
After competing in junior levels for a bit, 3 years back we faced a task when we stepped up to the senior level, creating a brand and a fresh identity. Our team name was purely driven by our ambitions and ideas to achieve them. We wanted to be the best at what we did, hence the rising of “Zenith” meaning "the highest point". To reach the zenith of F1 in Schools we needed something, something which we couldn't define as a pure quality but an essence, what we call the X-factor. An infusion of our X-factor + Zenith with a tad bit of racing brilliance gave rise to, Xenith Racing, our team name.
3. Country/s represented
United Arab Emirates
4. School/s represented
Indian High School, Dubai
5. Town of School(s)
6. Number of males / Number of females on team
7. Link to team Facebook page
8. Team Twitter handle
9. Link to team website
10. Briefly outline the history of your team
Xenith has been a part of F1 in Schools for three years now. The journey hasn't been easy: the team has met with challenges and failures throughout. But more importantly, we've learned at every stage, making this experience truly wonderful. Atree and Kabir, who now form the core car designing team for Xenith, had originally started two separate teams which eventually merged.
In 2013, the team qualified to participate in the Nationals. We finished at the 13th position, which we considered a major setback then. In the same year, Kabir's team finished 3rd in the Rookie class. In retrospect, these were the experiences which really gave us a wake-up call to look at what we were doing wrong. Sure enough, in 2014, we did well, finishing 4th overall. We were controversially ruled out from having the fastest car and settled with the second fastest car in the country, clocking a time of 1.076 seconds. We knew, then, that we had what it took to go all the way to the World Finals. Through a continuous evaluation process, we were selected in 2015 to represent UAE at the World Finals. This is going to be our greatest challenge yet, but we've learnt something crucial from our experience -- that in our greatest challenge, lies our greatest opportunity.
11. F1 in Schools achievements so far (i.e. Nat champions, other awards etc.)
3rd Overall at the 2013 National Final, Rookie Category.
2015 Qualified to Represent U.A.E. at the World Finals.
12. Describe your team in three words
Bold, Unscripted and Ingenious.
13. What do you think makes your World Final team unique from other teams?
Our team's uniqueness lies in our adaptability. Our journey so far has been filled with challenges. We've faced intensely stressful situations, but we've adapted well to each of them. Every challenge has only made us stronger. In fact, this versatility is even evident in our sixth member, our car: till the very last moment before a race, we made sure our car had adapted to every obstacle before it, similar to the way actual Formula 1 cars switch between soft and medium tire compounds to maximize performance. This adaptability has helped us to be resilient during tough times, and allowed us to work to our full potential.
14. Magic moment - What has been the most exciting F1 in Schools experience your team has had so far?
A mere one week from the World Finals Registration deadline, we were struggling to raise funds for the registration fee. With our school examinations taking up most of our time, we had little hope of registering on time. Three days prior to the deadline, we lost all hope, and under the maddening pressure, we all actually joked about how great it could have been if we had made it to the World Finals.
Then, almost miraculously, we got an affirmative response from a large sponsor, less than a day and a half from the deadline. We were going to be World Finalists. Words haven't been created yet to express the emotions we felt at that moment; definitely a magical moment for all of us.
15. We can laugh now - Tell us about one of your team’s funniest moments, maybe it wasn't so funny at the time!
The incident occurred at the Nationals in 2014, wasn’t very funny at the time but in hindsight seems hilarious to us. We were prepared to deliver our verbal presentations in our formal attire, yet on the day of the competition we completely forgot to get it there. We ended up presenting in our casuals and tried convincing the judges that the reason behind this decision was that delivering our verbal’s was like telling a good friend a story; an informal thing to do. Needless to say the judges didn’t seem too convinced at the end of it!
16. What is the biggest challenge in this competition?
Living up to expectations back home. This will be the 4th time our school has gone to the World Finals to represent the U.A.E. and we've managed only one podium place finish back in 2009 with a collaboration with Australia in the form of Zer0.9. Well that was the last time the World Finals were held in Singapore so hopefully we have some luck yet again. To overcome this challenge we will have to face plenty of other obstacles such as managing our time and effectively completing tasks. Quite an ask, but an opportunity we will be thoroughly enjoying!
17. What are you most looking forward to at the WFs?
Growing the friendships we’ve formed on our way there. With the advent of social media we’ve made quite a lot of friends from around the world already. Meeting them in person will be the next best thing!
18. What are your expectations for the WFs?
We expect the World Finals to change us as people, in a nice way
19. Do you watch/are you interested in F1? Who’s your favourite driver(s)?
Very much so! Favourite drivers? Definitely Schumacher at the top of the list, unforgettable memories as he won everything in the early 2000s as we grew up, hopefully he recovers soon from his accident. Current drivers? Probably Rosberg, after him driving with Schumacher at Mercedes we see him as a successor to Schumacher, bagging his first World Championship would be a joy to watch.