Formula 1 Chief Engineer Shares His Experiences
RGS Worcester had the pleasure of welcoming Formula 1 Chief Engineer Philip Prew to lead a Careers Seminar on Wednesday this week. Philip’s Seminar entitled ‘Engineered to Win’ was a chance to explain to RGS Worcester pupils the opportunities presented through a career in Engineering and give an in-depth insight into Formula 1.
Philip explained his route into Engineering through his selection of A Level choices studying Maths, Physics and Economics. He then went on to study Mechanical Engineering at the University of Southampton.
He applied and joined the McLaren Formula 1 Racing team in 1997 where he worked with Formula 1 drivers David Coulthard (now a Sky F1 commentator) and Juan Pablo Montoya. He then became the Race Engineer for a young rookie driver, Lewis Hamilton, and guided Lewis to his first World Championship with McLaren. Philip travelled the world, going to all the races and joined Lewis on the podium many times. Philip later moved to Mercedes F1 as a Chief Engineer where he played a crucial role in developing their powertrain and played his part in their success.
Philip emphasised how his career in Engineering required creativity, innovation, a thirst for learning, teamwork and above all hard work. Working in Formula 1 constantly requires innovation and perseverance by pushing the boundaries to the edge to increase the performance of the cars on the track.
The opportunity for pupils to understand the breakdown of the Engineering design cycle was also particularly inspiring; getting to understand how ideas are taken from a concept to simulation, design, planning and production, inspection and assembly, test and development, validation and then to the race and then finally receiving feedback.
Philip also made clear that Formula 1 really does lead and drive innovation in motorsport and the automotive industry by giving examples to pupils to help them understand how what happens in Formula 1 influences the design of every day cars on the road today.
Philip explained that Formula 1 is where sport meets technology for the business of entertainment and is the pinnacle of motorsport. 20 of the best drivers in the world in 10 teams employing around 800 people each, deliver worldwide entertainment while working to a complex set of sporting and financial regulations. Talking more specifically about how to work in Formula 1, Philip said there are no barriers to entry but applicants do need to be the best at what they do and embody the characteristics of innovation and perseverance.
This Careers Seminar was perhaps the most well attended one we have had to date, with pupils from Years Seven to the Upper Sixth eagerly participating and asking excellent questions. We thank Philip for giving up his time to lead this Careers Seminar and we are sure that the pupils left inspired and encouraged to pursue their dreams, in this case in Engineering.