Working in Formula One™: 2015/16 Infiniti Engineering Academy Winners

Media Information – Q&A Bob Bell, Renault Sport F1® Chief Technical Officer

Q: There are five Infiniti Engineering Academy 2015/16 winners joining you at the Renault Sport Formula One™ Team. What departments will they work in? 

A: They will be working in Electronics, the Design Office, Performance Systems and Aerodynamics. One winner for each department, except for Aerodynamics which gets two new engineers. These are key development areas for any Formula One™ team, so all of the new engineers will feel the weight of expectation very quickly when they join us.

Q: Do the engineers get to pick the Formula One™ areas they work in?

A: No, but they will have some input into the decision. They have been through the rigorous Infiniti Engineering Academy selection process and spent several months on technical placements at Infiniti, so we already know where some of their strengths lie. After interviewing them further and speaking to their manager at Infiniti we have built up a detailed picture of how the Formula One™ team can benefit from their nascent talents, and how we can help them accelerate their learning. 

Q: Describe the first few days for the new engineers.

A: Each of the new engineers will need to quickly bed in to their new department to understand the processes there, and understand the tasks required of them. We’re interested to understand their fresh perspectives on these processes and tasks. Perhaps there is a better way of doing things that we have not seen. After that we need results and progress very quickly, as is always the way in Formula One™.

Q: What skills and experience are you expecting the new engineers to bring to the team?

A: The guys have been working at the Infiniti Technical Center at Cranfield on road car projects, like the new Infiniti Q30. Tasks within the main Q30 project would include testing the car’s electronic systems and components, and designing and implemented test bench systems for various features of the Q30. This state-of-the-art road car testing and component evaluation will cross over directly to our factory where the new engineers will be using the latest equipment and software to analyse various aspects of the race car. There is also Infiniti’s recognized expertise in hybrid technology; energy recovery, storage and deployment. We’ll be looking to exploit this knowledge in our power unit department immediately.

Q: In what other ways does the Infiniti Engineering Academy benefit the team? 

A: It takes a certain type of engineer to really flourish in Formula One™, and the quality, in-depth selection process employed by the Infiniti Engineering Academy ensures that we get the right people for the job, right away. Time is the most precious commodity in Formula One™, so to know what these engineering undergraduates have been through before they get to us – both in terms of the selection process, and their six-month technical placements with Infiniti – is very reassuring.

Q: How will their placement with you help these young engineers develop?

A: I’m sure that working for large organization like the Renault-Nissan Alliance, specifically for Infiniti and the Renault Sport Formula One™ Team, will really open their eyes to the real world of big business engineering.

They will understand that they need to stay creative, flexible and fast-moving in their engineering tasks, but also that they must function well in their teams, and the factory as a whole. Formula One™ and motorsport in general – and the technology powering them - are growing ever closer to the automotive industry, and the Infiniti Engineering Academy is a forward-looking project geared to training modern professionals to be successful at the pinnacle of engineering.

The resources, experience and knowledge they will now have access to may take them by surprise initially, but they must quickly learn to make the most of their colleagues and harness these vast resources; all for the good of their projects. They will also meet a great many new people from different cultures and backgrounds as Formula One™ is a truly international motorsport.

ENDS

About Infiniti:

Infiniti Motor Company Ltd. is headquartered in Hong Kong with sales operations in over 50 countries. The Infiniti brand was launched in 1989. Its range of premium automobiles is currently built in manufacturing facilities in Japan, the United States, United Kingdom and China. Infiniti plans to also expand manufacturing into Mexico by 2017.

Infiniti design studios are located in Atsugi-Shi, near Yokohama, London, San Diego and Beijing.

Infiniti is in the middle of a major product offensive. The brand has been widely acclaimed for its iconic design and innovative driver-assistance technologies.

More information about Infiniti and its industry leading technologies can be found at www.infiniti.com. You can also follow us on FacebookTwitterLinkedIn and see all our latest videos on YouTube.

Contacts:

For Infiniti Global Communications, contact:

Matthew Davis
Director, Infiniti Global Communications
Infiniti Motor Company Ltd., Hong Kong
Phone: +852 3948 0217
Mobile: +852 9542 1711
Email: matthew.davis@infiniti.com

Jon Walsh
Senior Manager, Infiniti Global Communications
Infiniti Motor Company Ltd., Hong Kong
Phone: +852 3948 0129
Mobile: +852 9447 9705
Email: jon.walsh@infiniti.com

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