How to get a job in Formula 1 – Engineer, mechanic, hospitality & more

Getting a job in Formula 1 is the dream for many, but what jobs are there and how do you get one? Click here to find out what jobs are in F1, and how you can get one.

How to get a job in Formula 1 – Engineer, mechanic, hospitality & more

Working in Formula 1 is a dream for many people, with the glitz, glamour and speed of the premier motorsport series being too much to resist. Luckily for those people there are a wide range of jobs available in Formula 1, with something to suit any experience and skillset.

To find out more about the jobs in Formula 1, as well as how to get them, read below.

Nikita Mazepin, Haas F1, and Ayao Komatsu, Haas Chief Engineer, on the grid

Nikita Mazepin, Haas F1, and Ayao Komatsu, Haas Chief Engineer, on the grid

Photo by: Andy Hone / Motorsport Images

Engineer

Qualifications: Good engineering degree at a minimum, though a Master’s or PhD helps
Skills: Good communication

Engineering is a large part of a Formula 1 team, and as such there are many different paths an engineer can take in F1. Whether it’s working with a driver to ensure they have the car set up to their needs, analysing the data to create the perfect race strategy, ensuring the car itself runs as it should do, or something else entirely, there are many engineering roles.

While these different roles require different skills and knowledge bases, there are several things that will always help when looking for an engineering role – a degree in an engineering field, good knowledge of maths and science.

For more information on different engineering roles, click on our interviews with some of Haas F1 Team’s engineers below:

Ayao Komatsu – Director of Engineering
Dominic Haines – Race Engineer
Edward Regan – Performance Engineer
Mike Caulfield – Strategy Engineer
David Sloan – Controls Engineer

Mechanics at work in the Mercedes garage

Mechanics at work in the Mercedes garage

Photo by: Steve Etherington / Motorsport Images

Mechanic

Qualifications: No specific qualifications necessary, though they can help. Experience and knowledge are important though
Skills: Mechanical knowledge will help

Mechanics play a vital role in Formula 1, and are responsible for working on the cars. This is arguably as up close and personal as a non-driver can get with an F1 car, and unlike many other roles in F1 there are no specific degrees or qualifications that will help you into the job, with skills, experience and knowledge being the important qualities employers look for. This can make it difficult though, and you’ll likely have to do some work for free in the lower tiers to gain that crucial knowledge and experience.

To find out more about being a mechanic in Formula 1, read our interview with Nikita Mazepin’s No.1 Mechanic below:

Elliot Parkes – No.1 Mechanic

Pirelli technicians work on some tyres

Pirelli technicians work on some tyres

Photo by: Andy Hone / Motorsport Images

Technician

Qualifications: GCSEs help, but there are no formal qualifications
Skills: Adaptability

Garage technicians are the jack of all trades of a Formula 1 team, assisting in everything from moving shipping containers to preparing tyres and more. They are the antithesis to a lot of roles in F1 – while engineers, strategists and mechanics are hyper-focused on one thing, a technician’s role is diverse.

As the job is so varied and can change from minute to minute, there’s no formal qualifications required – experience is much more valuable. You also need to be adaptable and able to swap focus to help with whatever needs to be done at the time, making this a fun and engaging job for people who enjoy not having a strict schedule of work.

To find out more about the role a technician plays in a Formula 1 team, read our interviews below:

Marek Smrek – Garage & Tyre Technician
Ryan Cottee – Garage Technician

Andrew Scrowther, CNC Machinist, McLaren

Andrew Scrowther, CNC Machinist, McLaren

Photo by: McLaren

Machinist

Qualifications: Varies, though experience on different machines is useful
• Skills: Maths, being a team player

While machinists don’t go to the races, they play a crucial part in a Formula 1 team – creating the parts for the cars. Without skilled machinists teams would have no cars to race with, so the job of a CNC operator is one which requires good maths skills and a hands-on attitude.

Computer skills are also a must for any machinist, as much of the job is programming the machines to cut to the precise measurements that F1 teams use, rather than manually cutting things themselves.

For anyone who enjoys maths and being more hands-on, machining could be a rewarding career.

To find out more about the role a CNC Machinist plays in a Formula 1 team, read our interview with McLaren CNC Machinist Andrew Scrowther below:

Andrew Scrowther – CNC Machinist

Haas team hospitality area

Haas team hospitality area

Photo by: Andy Hone / Motorsport Images

Coordinator

Qualifications: Varies depending on the type of role
Skills: Good communication and planning

Formula 1 teams don’t just run like clockwork – they need a team of people behind the scenes to make sure that everything goes to plan. Whether you’re making sure an entire team gets to a race on time (and has the proper paperwork too), ensuring that your guests and sponsors are fully catered for, or coordinating other aspects of the team, it’s a crucial part of an F1 team.

If planning and organisation are your strong suits, you might find coordinating a rewarding career.

To find out more about the role of a coordinator in a Formula 1 team, read our interviews below:

Alysha Lane – Guest & Facilities Coordinator
Kate Mackenzie – Senior Travel Coordinator

Daniel Ricciardo, McLaren MCL35M

Daniel Ricciardo, McLaren MCL35M

Photo by: Sam Bagnall / Motorsport Images

Creative

Qualifications: Nothing strictly required, but a degree in a related field will help
Skills: Design, some knowledge of motorsport

You’d be forgiven for thinking that there’s no room for creativity in the data-driven world of Formula 1, but it’s a very important part of the team. Whether it’s designing liveries, doing video and photoshoots, running social media or even designing the car’s livery, creatives have a role in F1.

To find out more about the role of a Creative Service Manager, and how to become one, read our interview with Haas’ Ryan Long below:

Ryan Long – Creative Services Manager

A Ferrari mechanic pushes a trolley of tyres in the paddock

A Ferrari mechanic pushes a trolley of tyres in the paddock

Photo by: Steven Tee / Motorsport Images

Buying

Qualifications: No specific qualifications required
Skills: Strong people skills, relationship building, ability to negotiate

Not all jobs in a Formula 1 team require a specialised degree – some only need people skills and the ability to build relationships. A buyer is one of those jobs.

Buyers ensure that the team has everything they need to run – from shipping cars and parts to races to tyre trolleys to catering and even merchandise, buyers procure the items that help the team run (and get the best price for it as well).

There are no specific qualifications you need to be a buyer, so it can be a great way to get into F1 without having to go to university.

We talked to Haas’ Samantha O’Gorman to find out more about the role a buyer plays in Formula 1:

Samantha O’Gorman - Buyer

Bradley Lord, Valtteri Bottas, Mercedes-AMG Petronas F1 and Lewis Hamilton, Mercedes-AMG Petronas F1

Bradley Lord, Valtteri Bottas, Mercedes-AMG Petronas F1 and Lewis Hamilton, Mercedes-AMG Petronas F1

Photo by: Charles Coates / Motorsport Images

Communications

Qualifications: Journalism or PR degrees typically
Skills: Initiative, adaptability, passion

Formula 1 team and driver communication is carefully monitored by both the media and the organisations involved, and you’ll regularly see team personnel standing next to a driver with a dictaphone to record everything they say. The message they put out in any communication is carefully curated, with teams being a central focus point in this process in F1.

Of course someone has to coordinate all of this communication, and that’s the responsibility of the Head of Communications.

Stuart Morrison – Head of Communications

Guenther Steiner, Team Principal, Haas F1, Franz Tost, Team Principal, AlphaTauri, and Mattia Binotto, Team Principal, Ferrari

Guenther Steiner, Team Principal, Haas F1, Franz Tost, Team Principal, AlphaTauri, and Mattia Binotto, Team Principal, Ferrari

Photo by: Glenn Dunbar / Motorsport Images

Team Principal

Qualifications: No specific qualifications
Skills: Decisive, good communication, passion

While a Formula 1 team might be made of hundreds or thousands of employees, there has to be one person leading them all towards the same goal – and that’s the Team Principal. Gunther Steiner started his Formula 1 career in 2001, and in his time has worked for Jaguar, Red Bull and, since 2014, Haas F1 Team.

Gunther Steiner – Team Principal

This article was created in partnership with Motorsport Jobs. Find the latest jobs in motorsport on the Motorsport Jobs website.

shares
comments

Related video

Istanbul F1 circuit surface water-blasted to prevent 2020 drama repeat

Previous article

Istanbul F1 circuit surface water-blasted to prevent 2020 drama repeat

Next article

Norris put in two-day sim session to help analyse Russian GP errors

Norris put in two-day sim session to help analyse Russian GP errors
Load comments
Can Whitmarsh appointment help Aston succeed where its F1 rivals failed? Plus

Can Whitmarsh appointment help Aston succeed where its F1 rivals failed?

Aston Martin owner Lawrence Stroll is determined to make the group a billion-dollar business. MARK GALLAGHER analyses his latest play – bringing former McLaren team principal Martin Whitmarsh into the fold

Remembering Switzerland’s first F1 winner Plus

Remembering Switzerland’s first F1 winner

Stepping up to F1 in 1962, Jo Siffert shone with Rob Walker Racing Team and BRM before his career was abruptly ended in a fatal crash at Brands Hatch in 1971. Kevin Turner looked back at the life of Switzerland's first F1 winner on the 50th anniversary of his death

What Verstappen is risking with his current stance on 2021 F1 world title defeat Plus

What Verstappen is risking with his current stance on 2021 F1 world title defeat

OPINION: Max Verstappen is back in the lead of the 2021 Formula 1 drivers’ championship, with the season’s final flyaway events set to get underway in the USA this weekend. But a defensive stance he’s recently adopted could have a lasting impact for the Red Bull driver when it comes to his chances of defeating Lewis Hamilton and Mercedes

Formula 1
Oct 21, 2021
The hidden Ferrari struggle that Sainz’s recent charge put to rest Plus

The hidden Ferrari struggle that Sainz’s recent charge put to rest

Despite appearing to adjust to life as a Ferrari driver with relative ease, it was far from straightforward under the surface for Carlos Sainz Jr. But, having made breakthroughs in rather different routes at the Russian and Turkish races, he’s now targeting even greater feats for the rest of the Formula 1 season

Formula 1
Oct 20, 2021
The final throes of Brazil's fleetingly successful F1 team Plus

The final throes of Brazil's fleetingly successful F1 team

Emerson Fittipaldi is better remembered for his Formula 1 world championships and Indianapolis 500 successes than for the spell running his eponymous F1 team. Despite a hugely talented roll call of staff, it was a period of internal strife, limited funding and few results - as remembered by Autosport's technical consultant

Formula 1
Oct 18, 2021
Why McLaren's expanding agenda will benefit its F1 resurgence Plus

Why McLaren's expanding agenda will benefit its F1 resurgence

In the 1960s and 1970s, McLaren juggled works entries in F1, sportscars and the Indy 500 while building cars for F3 and F2. Now it’s returning to its roots, expanding 
into IndyCars and Extreme E while continuing its F1 renaissance. There’s talk of Formula E and WEC entries too. But is this all too much, too soon? STUART CODLING talks to the man in charge

Formula 1
Oct 17, 2021
How Tsunoda plans to achieve his F1 potential Plus

How Tsunoda plans to achieve his F1 potential

Yuki Tsunoda arrived in grand prix racing amid a whirlwind of hype, which only increased after his first race impressed the biggest wigs in Formula 1. His road since has been rocky and crash-filled, and OLEG KARPOV asks why Red Bull maintains faith in a driver who admits he isn’t really that big a fan of F1?

Formula 1
Oct 15, 2021
The danger of reading too much into F1's clickbait radio messages Plus

The danger of reading too much into F1's clickbait radio messages

OPINION: After Lewis Hamilton responded to reports labelling him 'furious' with Mercedes following his heated exchanges over team radio during the Russian Grand Prix, it provided a snapshot on how Formula 1 broadcasting radio snippets can both illuminate and misrepresent the true situation

Formula 1
Oct 14, 2021