Australian-based team Horizon have been crowned world champions of the 2018 F1 in Schools initiative at the fourteenth World Finals, held this year in Singapore.
The students, who study at Brighton Secondary School, Adelaide, beat 50 rival teams to claim the crown at a ceremony in connection with the Institution of Engineering and Technology‘s Awards Celebration Gala Dinner. The prize was presented by the Formula 1 Group‘s CEO, Chase Carey, and Andrew Denford, the founder and chairman of the competition.
CCJ Autovinco – representing St. Brigid’s College, County Galway – were the runners-up, whilst Floridian group Perspective, from Palmetto High School, rounded out the top three.
The challenge tasks the teams to create their own Formula 1 team and construct the fastest small-scale model of a Formula 1 car, with the sport’s future in mind. The chassis is sculpted around the standard F1 in Schools model block and is propelled by a compressed air cylinder.
The winning Horizon team, comprised of: James Gurney (16), Luke Battjes (18), James Lloyd (16), JJ Elliss (16), Tom Lightfoot (15) and Luka Moase (15), earn scholarships to the prestigious City, University of London and University College London Engineering – alongside complimentary four-day paddock access at this weekend’s Singapore Grand Prix.
Furthermore, Horizon became the inaugural owners of the new F1 in Schools trophy, redesigned in partnership with Formula 1’s image change for 2018.
Horizon also won the Williams Martini Racing-supported Best Engineered Car award and the Mercedes AMG Petronas Motorsport-supported Fastest Car award, but did not claim the McLaren F1 Team‘s Research and Development prize – won by Palmetto High School.
The Horizon entry clocked a time of 0.977 seconds on the set F1 in Schools track, the only team to register a sub-1 second time in this year’s Finals.
Team Manager James Gurney said that for some members, this project has been “three or four years” in the making.
“We’re feeling on top of the world,” beamed the 16-year-old, speaking to Formula 1’s official website. We knew there were so many competitive teams around but we knew how much work we had done and were just hoping that we had done enough.
“For some of us it’s been three or four years working on this, but we’ve had late nights and an amazing journey. Well done to all the other teams too, they’ve been very special and we’re going to have lifelong friends and memories.
“The engineering behind our car was very precise and we were constantly improving and refining it to make the best product possible.
“We were perfectionists, making sure nothing was half hearted, the effort and dedication we put in, were the key for us. The experience will be something we’ll hold for the rest of our lives.”
Chase Carey offered his congratulations and expressed his admiration at the skills of the winning group, hoping that they find their way into the sport at some point in their career.
“I want to thank and congratulate tonight’s competitors, who are the most impressive group of young people that I have ever met in many years,” Carey said.
“Your energy and passion are incredible and my hope is that some of you will end up in Formula 1 at some point in the future, but what is clear is the world is yours. You are an incredibly talented group of individuals and all of you have exciting futures ahead of you.”
“We couldn’t be more excited about the future, we couldn’t be more excited about working with F1 in Schools to continue to build on what’s in place.”
F1 in Schools chairman, Andrew Denford, looked at the increasing female interest in the competition, hoping that with “seven all-girls” teams taking part – alongside other initiatives like ex-Williams test driver Susie Wolff’s Dare to be Different organisation – more and more girls will be inspired to look for careers in motorsport.
“With seven all-girls teams this year and a 40:60 female/male students ratio, we’re representing the increasing popularity of STEM with girls, which is great,” Denford added.
“F1 in Schools is just like Formula 1 in miniature and we hope that we inspire more and more girls to pursue careers in the sport.”