Nov 05

Gary Anderson, F1 in Schools Head of Judges, anticipates highest standards ever in World Finals 2013

The F1 in Schools World Champions 2013 will be crowned

Gary Anderson discusses F1 in Schools with students at the 2012 World FinalsF1 in Schools™ World Finals 2013 Head of Judges, Gary Anderson, is anticipating exceptionally high standards this year at the event which starts next week in Austin, Texas.

The F1 in Schools World Champions 2013 will be crowned at a glittering awards ceremony next Wednesday, ahead of the 2013 FORMULA ONE UNITED STATES GRAND PRIX, which will be held at the Circuit of The Americas in Austin.

Gary, assisted by a team of over 30 judges, will scrutinise the work of 38 F1 in Schools teams, assessing a wide range of elements, from the engineering design of the scale model F1 in Schools cars and the research and design employed in its development through to written and verbal presentations detailing the processes and techniques used to create the team’s race car.

This year the rules and regulations for the design of the scale model F1 in Schools race car were changed and as Gary explains, he expects this to result in cars which are more akin to F1™ cars in the real world. He says, “It was time to level the playing field, as some of the teams and schools competing have been involved in F1 in Schools for many years. We felt it was time to get them to scratch their heads with a new set of regulations.”

Gary Anderson chats with Nico Hulkenberg at the the 2012 F1 in Schools World Finals Awards Celebration

“Visually the car will be different,” adds Gary, “and the intention is to bring it a little more in line with F1 car concepts, although it is impossible to just cross reference the regulations. However, we have taken a step in that direction.”

The F1 in Schools cars race along a 20 metres bespoke F1 in Schools race track, powered by a compressed air cylinder. Travelling at a scale speed of up to 100km/hour, the world record stands at an impressive 1.020 seconds, set by Team FUGA from Northern Ireland in 2007.

Gary Anderson is unsure whether the record will be broken this year, saying, “Will it be quicker? That’s the million dollar question, it really depends how the students have approached the changes. This world finals is a bit like the first race of the year for an F1 team; the performance question will not be answered until the cars hit the track.”

Each year the standards of entries has increased in all aspects, from the visual presentation of the teams and the quality of car livery, through to expanded use of design software from companies such as F1 in Schools sponsor, Autodesk. Gary anticipates that this year will be no different, saying, “Over the years I’ve seen an increasingly high level of sophistication in the research and design area of the project and the cars are just fantastic.”

Of his expectations for this year’s World Finals, Gary says, “I’m sure there will be close competition and fighting to the last run down the track. A good overall team spirit that is helpful to other teams that find themselves lacking in some area is something we always see in F1 in Schools. When I first started in F1 40 years ago the teams used to help each other when and if required – I want to see some of that because F1 has lost that inter team spirit and hopefully F1 in Schools can bring some of that feel good factor back.”

Gary Anderson with some of the 2012 F1 in Schools World Finals judges

The F1 in Schools World Finals 2013 will be held at the Hyatt Regency in Austin, Texas, from 8th to 13th November, the first time the event has been hosted in the USA, linking with the 2013 FORMULA 1 UNITED STATES GRAND PRIX at the fabulous Circuit of The Americas in Austin, Texas.

The F1 in Schools World Finals take place with the assistance of a host of sponsors and supporters including Circuit of The Americas, The Institution of Engineering and Technology, City University London, Autodesk and Austin Independent Schools District.

source: Alison Hill