At the recent conclusion of the F1 in Schools World Finals 2017, Australian students claimed this year’s title. The winning team was Hyperdrive, which was made up of four 15-17 year old boys from Trinity Grammar School in Kew, Victoria.
The talented youngsters narrowly beat 50 teams from 27 countries, with Aurora, an Ireland-Australia collaboration team joining Hyperdrive on the podium in second place. Pioneers from Germany took third place.
Hyperdrive collected the Williams Racing supported ‘Best Engineered Car Award’ and were nominated for the McLaren Honda-supported ‘Research and Development Award’ on their way to the ultimate victory.
“We really didn’t think we’d won, so it was a big shock. The build-up was intense but if you put your mind to it you can do it. We’ve always done everything to a really high standard and great engineering and I think that was the key to our success. It means everything to us to have won, we’ve worked so hard, but it’s paid off,” said their 16-year-old Team Manager, Hugh Bowman.
He added: “The goal is definitely F1 – the next Toto Wolff or Christian Horner for me. F1 in Schools has been so important to us, it’s given us so many opportunities and contacts, it’s unbelievable. We really didn’t expect to be going on the grid, it’s just unheard of. I think the new F1 management has contributed to these opportunities and not only are they supporting F1 in Schools, they are making the sport better and engaging with fans like us more which is really good.”
Every day of the competition produced excitement, high tension and drama, with the passion of the students shining through in the emotion-charged World Finals held in Malaysia. The opening day of the competition, with verbal presentations, portfolio, pit display, engineering judging sessions, as well as the intense pressure of F1 in Schools track racing, gave the teams their first taste of competing at the highest level of this acclaimed global education challenge.
Judging continued on the second day with the final round of racing producing the fastest car time of 1.084 seconds, the time set by the UK’s Academy Racing. The final day featured Knockout Racing, with the head to head battles pitting the German-Australian collaboration, Aurora and Germany’s Pioneers to face each other in the final showdown race, with the Pioneers claiming victory.
F1 in Schools challenges students to create their own Formula 1 team which is commissioned to design, construct and race the fastest miniature Formula 1 Car of the Future; a 21-cm long scale model built from the F1 in Schools model block and powered by a compressed air cylinder. At the World Finals, each team brings along a pit display, their cars and a written portfolio, as well as having prepared a verbal presentation for the judges. The cars race on a 20-metre track, with the cars covering the distance in around one second.