National Physical Laboratory

Apprentices win R&D award at F1 in Schools World Finals

A team of engineering apprentices, including two apprentices from the National Physical Laboratory (NPL), have won the Research and Development Award and placed 7th overall at the 2017 F1 in Schools World Finals in Malaysia.

Apprentices win R&D award at F1 in Schools World Finals

The award, supported by McLaren Honda, was presented to the Tiro Racing team at a ceremony last month in Kuala Lumpur for the manufacture and development of their wheels, which were made and tested at NPL. The team, all of whom are jointly trained at Kingston College, are the first team of apprentices to ever reach the World Finals in the competition's 14-year history.

Team Manager, Joshua Schofield of NPL, said: "We were absolutely thrilled when we finished second in the UK Finals, but competing at a global level is a once-in-a-lifetime experience and something we will never forget.

"With 51 other competing teams, this has undoubtedly been the toughest World Finals ever and to come away with 7th place and an award is such a fantastic achievement. A year ago, F1 in Schools didn't exist at Kingston College or in the local area, and it's amazing we've been able to come so far. Hopefully we can be a springboard for success for future Kingston and NPL apprentices."

Over 20 million students from 50 different countries take part in the F1 in Schools competition, which challenges students to design, manufacture, race and market a 21 cm-long scale model Formula 1 car powered by compressed air. Tiro Racing placed second overall at the UK Final at Silverstone in March and were crowned England National Champions, as well as winning the Best Engineered Car award.

At the World Finals, each team brings along a pit display, their cars, written portfolios and a prepared verbal presentation for the judges. Over three days of intense competition, the teams race on a 20-metre track, with the cars covering the distance in around one second.

All participants at this year's World Finals were rewarded with a trip to Sepang International Circuit for an exclusive F1 in Schools pit lane walk and the opportunity to attend the 2017 Malaysian Grand Prix. As Tiro Racing's award was supported by McLaren Honda, the team received special access to the pit garage prior to the race weekend, getting unparalleled insight into a Formula 1 team's operation for a Grand Prix.

NPL has welcomed 12 new Engineering Apprentices since the four-year training programme, run in partnership with Kingston College, was launched last year. The Engineering Apprentices develop practical skills across the mechanical, electrical and electronic disciplines, while also studying for BTEC qualifications.

Find out more about apprenticeships at NPL

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Last Updated: 11 Oct 2017
Created: 10 Oct 2017

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