James Allen says of F1 in Schools, “I’ve been proud to serve as a patron of F1 in Schools since the very early days and what Andrew and the team have done in growing the programme is remarkable. F1 today under Liberty Media promotes a ‘purpose driven’ agenda, but for many years F1 in Schools was the sport’s only real CSR programme, doing so much for diversity in engineering and for promoting STEM. As the sport shapes for the future, F1 in Schools is a fundamental part of assuring it retains its relevance.”
Mercedes-AMG Petronas Formula One Team
“We are delighted to be supporting F1 in Schools and the valuable work that they do to encourage children to engage with our sport and with STEM subjects from a very young age. Formula One is very much about team work and F1 in Schools enables students to experience all of the skills required to work successfully together on a project. We are always so impressed with the commitment, innovation and enthusiasm shown by both the students and schools, and hope some of those participants go on to become the innovators of Formula One and motorsport of the future. Keep up the good work and everyone at Mercedes-AMG Petronas looks forward to seeing your latest designs.”
Director of Data Systems
Formula One Management Ltd.
Smedley, a native of Middlesborough, England, studied mathematics and mechanical engineering at Loughborough University and after completing a Master’s degree started work in the motorsport industry, initially joining Peugeot as a suspension design engineer for the French manufacturer’s touring car team. His Formula 1 career began with the Jordan Grand Prix team and from there he moved to Ferrari, where he has achieved considerable success, and forming probably the most noted engineer-driver partnership in F1, working with Felipe Massa for over five years. He then moved to Williams F1 as Head of Vehicle Performance and more recently has become Director of Data Systems for Formula One Management Ltd.
Smedley says of becoming a patron for F1 in Schools, “I'm extremely proud to have been given this opportunity to support such a great initiative as F1 in Schools. As the current crop of engineers working in Grand Prix motor racing we should all be aware of the responsibility that we have in nurturing the future of our sport that rests in the hands of the young enthusiasts who aspire to one day occupy senior engineering positions within the teams. This talent needs to be supported and guided at such a crucial stage to ensure the correct development and F1 in Schools is doing just that. It is no surprise to see that all the major teams in Formula 1 are involved in this excellent programme.
“We all want F1 to be more accessible and diverse and a crucial way to achieve that is by giving everyone the chance to get involved with our sport. F1 in Schools gives students a real chance to learn and grow in a way that mirrors a real Formula 1 team. If something like this was around when I was young, I would have jumped at the chance to get involved and would strongly encourage our young talent of the future to do the same. The skills you will learn, the team building you will experience and the fun you will have will only further your passion and help build the platform you need for the future.”
Adrian Newey OBE
Chief Technical Officer -
Red Bull Technology
Adrian Newey says of being an F1 in Schools Patron, “It would have been relatively easy to have created a competition that appeals simply to the racing aspect of motorsport. However, that is only a part of the F1 in Schools competition. As a Patron, I am extremely encouraged to see how well these young people rise to the challenges of working, design, engineering analysis, manufacturing, testing and marketing, in addition to having to develop a variety of presentation skills. They are all to be congratulated and heartily encouraged to progress along the technology path. It’s comforting to know that our engineering and manufacturing future is in safe hands.”
Ex-Deputy Principal of Williams Racing
Claire Williams, previously Deputy Team Principal of Williams Racing and a Patron of F1 in Schools says, "F1 in Schools is a global educational programme that raises awareness of STEM and Formula One among students and school children in every region, in every country, on every continent. The programme exposes them to the work that is required for creating, producing and running a team such as Williams, but also equips them with a variety of life skills. It is a unique scheme that is dedicated to recognising and supporting a new generation of designers, engineers and marketeers, and we look forward to seeing what they come up with year after year.”
Growing up in Formula One, Claire unsurprisingly had a passion for the sport from an early age, but it wasn’t a foregone conclusion that she would follow a career at Williams. She entered the sport after graduating from Newcastle University in 1999 with a degree in Politics and joined Silverstone Circuit as a press officer in 2000.
Working in the Race Office during school holidays, Claire was a regular behind the scenes at Williams from an early age before joining the team full time in 2002 in the role of Communications Officer. On the 1st April 2012 Claire was appointed Commercial Director, taking the lead on partner acquisitions, marketing, brand and communications. At the same time, Claire was appointed a member of the Board.
In March 2013, Claire stepped up to the position of Deputy Team Principal for Williams. In this role Claire has full responsibility for the day to day running and long-term development of the race team while also representing the Williams family’s majority and controlling shareholding of the Williams Group of companies on the Board.
Claire was appointed an Officer of the Order of the British Empire (OBE) in the Queen’s 2016 Birthday Honours List in recognition of her services to Formula One.