For the first time in the 20-year history of F1 in Schools National Finals events, teams vying to become National Champions were unable to compete together at a live event. F1 in Schools however, were determined not to shatter the dreams of so many students and created an exciting livestreamed finals to meet the demands of the new environment we are all living in. With the 34 teams racing live and over 5000 students watching online Britannia Red from Robert May’s School, Odiham, Hampshire, took the 2020 F1 in Schools National Champions crown in a thrilling climax to this year’s competition.
In March 2020 this leading global STEM challenge, had completed its 12 UK Regional Finals and was set for an April UK F1 in Schools National Finals live event with 34 teams competing for the coveted UK Champions title and university scholarships. As with so many events, the finals had to be postponed, with lockdown, school closures and social distancing three major challenges to making it happen at all this year.
F1 in Schools were determined that the students could see the fruition of their hard work, but had to take a different approach to replace their annual 2-day live event. An innovative hybrid event was created, combining live racing with video presentations, written submissions and distanced car scrutineering, all assessed remotely by a panel of expert judges.
The highly professional livestreamed event was hosted by Tom Deacon, from Formula 1’s Esports series, with Georgina Edwards, an alumni of the competition as pundit, and Sophie Harker, an aerodynamics and performance engineer at BAE Systems and winner of the IET’s Young Women Engineer of the Year Award 2018, providing expert car analysis.
The trio of presenters presided over the racing, ensuring all the teams could watch the performance of their cars on the F1 in Schools race track. The track action was accompanied by video conference team interviews and messages of support from F1 drivers. Lenovo UK provided the technical infrastructure to enable the event which culminated in a livestreamed awards presentation with the hosts announcing category winners and the top three podium winners.
Andrew Denford, Founder and Chairman, F1 in Schools, said of this F1 in Schools UK 2020 competition, “It’s been a roller coaster of a year for all the teams. They wanted to complete their journey and compete nationally, with many having spent quite a few years participating and desperately wanting to win a place in the World Finals, so we wanted to make it happen. Today’s event was a very accomplished ‘plan B’ and although the teams couldn’t all be together, they were able to compete and share in the excitement of the competition.
“I congratulate all the teams for their perseverance and resilience. Today has proved that they can overcome the challenges that they are faced with and succeed. I’m sure all the students have bright futures ahead of them, I know they will all have learnt so many skills from F1 in Schools that will benefit them in their careers ahead.”
Britannia Red, with team members: Amelia Dorward, 15, Ted Hodgson, 16, Zach Taylor 16, Abi Bessant 15, Caoimhe Thomas, 15, and Callum Green, 15, celebrated their victory with confetti, albeit on their own at school and not on the top step of the podium with all the teams celebrating. They will receive the receive the impressive National Champions trophy a visit to a future FORMULA 1 BRITISH GRAND PRIX courtesy of Silverstone with an F1 team garage tour and exclusive behind the scenes paddock tour courtesy of Formula 1, as well as winning an F1 team factory tour and valuable UCL Mechanical Engineering bursaries. On route to overall victory Britannia Red also won the Best Engineered Car Award.
Team Manager, Amelia says of winning, “It’s fantastic that we took the National Champions title, but it was very different to be competing at an event that we couldn’t attend. We’ve been used to sitting round a table to share ideas and work together, but we’ve had lots of online meetings, and lockdown actually gave us more time to work on F1 in Schools. We’re all really passionate about it, so we’ve really enjoyed doing the competition, it’s very rewarding, opening up lots of opportunities, for example, presenting to sponsors, as well as enriching our lives – although it’s pretty stressful too”.
The F1 in Schools National Finals events are usually one of the biggest live celebrations of the UK’s young STEM talent, drawing together teams from across the UK who have won through from regional finals. The teams compete in a two-day event, with over 500 students showcasing their miniature Formula 1 cars. Not only do the students have to design, build and test a fast car, they also need to demonstrate their engineering understanding with a verbal presentation to a judging panel of industry experts, present their work with a pit display and portfolio and have their model car scrutineered to meet with strict rules and regulations.
The F1 in Schools National Finals 2020 took place with the support of Formula 1, Denford, the IET, Lenovo, Autodesk, the Project Management Institute Educational Foundation, UCL Engineering, FIA Women in Motorsport Schools Week and FE Week.
Full results of The F1 in Schools UK National Finals 2020:
|UK National Champions Supported by Lenovo||Britannia Red, Robert May’s School|
|2nd Place Supported by IET||Electron, St. Olave’s Grammar School|
|3rd Place Supported by IET||Eclipse, Queen Elizabeth’s Grammar School|
|Scotland Champions Supported by EIM||Genesis, Linlithgow Academy|
|Wales Champions Supported by EIM||Nemesis Inferno, Pencoed Comprehensive School|
|Fastest Car Supported by Denford||Aquila Racing, Aylsham High School|
|Best Engineered Car Supported by Autodesk||Britannia Red, Robert May’s School|
|Research & Development Supported by Lenovo||Aquila Racing, Aylsham High School|
|Presentation Award||Britannia Red, Robert May’s School|
|Portfolio Supported by PMIEF||Genesis, Linlithgow Academy|
|Pit Display Supported by Gratnells||Eclipse, Queen Elizabeth’s Grammar School|
|Sponsorship & Marketing Supported by Nissan||Slidesports Entity, Hanson School|
|Team Identity Supported by Technology Supplies||Optimum Racing, Whitley Bay High School|
|Digital Media Supported by ID PR||Nemesis Inferno, Pencoed Comprehensive School|
|National Champions Supported by Lenovo||IQ, North London Collegiate|
|2nd Place Supported by IET||Nova Racing, Kimbolton School|
|3rd Place Supported by IET||Dynamic Racing, Monifieth High School|
|Fastest Car Supported by Denford||IQ, North London Collegiate|
|Best Engineered Car Supported by Autodesk||Nova Racing, Kimbolton School|
|Research & Development Supported by Lenovo||Peregrine Racing, Broughton High School|
|Sponsorship & Marketing Supported by Nissan||EMERUS, Simon Langton Grammar School for Boys|
|Team Identity Supported by Technology Supplies||SuffraJETS, Whitley Bay High School|
|Presentation Award||IQ, North London Collegiate|
|Pit Display Supported by Gratnells||BLACKOUT, St John’s College Cardiff|
|Portfolio Supported by PMIEF||Dynamic Racing, Monifieth High School|
|Digital Media Supported by ID PR||CHSPEED, Cheadle Hulme School|
|Judges Choice Supported by Denford||Enhance Racing by McL&H, Linlithgow Academy|
About F1 in Schools
Andrew Denford, an entrepreneurial engineer working within the education sector, founded the F1 in Schools STEM Challenge in the UK in 2000. He implemented a STEM programme that uses the high profile, glamorous and high-tech world of fast cars and Formula 1 to engage and inspire students, introducing them to engineering in a compelling and unique educational competition. Today this world-leading global educational initiative operates in 48 countries worldwide.
Researching, designing, making and racing an F1 car of the future is at its core. Teams then race each other head-to-head on the F1 in Schools 20 metre racetrack. The challenge can be used as an education tool or hook to engage students in STEM subjects. This gives students the opportunity to develop key skills such as communication, presenting and teamwork, while forming the foundation for any career path they choose to follow.
The students assess their performance against other schools at a series of regional finals around the country. The best teams at each regional final compete at their National Finals and success at this level earns them a place at the World Finals.
The world champions win scholarships for City, University London and UCL Engineering and the coveted Formula 1 F1 in Schools World Champions trophy.
This Formula 1 supported global STEM programme is also a proven route to motorsport and automotive careers with former participants working in Formula 1 teams, engine manufacturers, sports agencies and many more allied companies.
For further information about F1 in Schools visit www.F1inSchools.co.uk and follow us on social media.