A team of teenagers from Adelaide has won the 2012 F1 in Schools title, after three days of intense competition in Abu Dhabi.
The team of five 16 and 17 year olds from Brighton Secondary School, calling themselves Cold Fusion, beat 21 other countries and 32 teams, with two teams from the UK finishing in second and third places. The Australians collected the Bernie Ecclestone Trophy from Sahara Force India driver Nico Hulkenberg in a ceremony prior to the start of the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix weekend.
This was the eighth time that F1 in Schools has held a World Championships, as the not for profit engineering challenge continues to grow worldwide, with now 40 countries involved. BBC technical expert and former F1 technical director Gary Anderson is the Chair of Judges.
Part of the prize is a Scholarship to study engineering at City University, London. The winners were introduced to the Ferrari drivers yesterday and are in the F1 Paddock today to see the F1 cars close up.
Team manager Jane Burton said, “I’m speechless. It is just awesome, an amazing day, a fantastic week and to top it all we are the World Champions. We’ve been working for this for years now and it means everything to us. Winning the City University scholarships is something we’re all very keen to take up, but for now we’re just over the moon, I don’t think it has sunk in and I think it will take a while. It’s been a very special experience and we have just loved doing F1 in Schools.“
F1 in Schools aims to help change perceptions of Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) by creating a fun and exciting learning environment for young people to develop an informed view about careers in engineering, Formula One, Science, marketing and technology. Students are given a brief to design a model compressed air powered F1™ Car of the future using CAD/CAM Engineering techniques. Cars are then manufactured on a CNC machine. Each team of between three and six students brings together their portfolio of work to present to a judging panel with a verbal and written presentation to support their model car.
The cars race on a 20 metre track, with the cars covering the distance in just over one second, a speed barrier which is yet to be broken by any student team since it was set by Team FUGA from Northern Ireland at the 2007 World Finals with a time of 1.020 seconds.