Next weekend’s Grand Prix in Austin is set to host the 2013 F1 in Schools World Finals, and Head of Judges Gary Anderson believes that the standards will be higher than ever.
The annual event, in which school children develop and produce a miniature Formula One car, is taking place in America for the first time, where a winning team will be chosen on Thursday 14th November.
The thirty-eight teams must produce a car of 21cm in length, which has been designed using 3D modelling and cut out of a block of balsa wood, that is to be raced along a 20-metre track, powered by a compressed air cylinder.
The world record for one run of the track stands at 1.020 seconds, set by Team FUGA from Northern Ireland in 2007.
Along with this each team has to prepare a portfolio and presentation for the judges, which is headed by Formula One veteran Anderson. The former Jordan designer is acting as Head Judge of the competition for the first time and is anticipating the standard to be higher than ever.
“I’m sure there will be close competition and fighting to the last run down the track,” said Anderson. “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.”
With the competition in its ninth year, F1 in Schools decided to adopt a revised set of regulations in order to create a level playing field for new schools entering the competition.
“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.”
“Visually the car will be different,” added Anderson, “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.”