Abu Dhabi, UAESaturday 26 September 2020

Young F1 race car designers to face off at Yas Marina Circuit

After months of hard work in researching designs and engineering, as well as developing a business case for potential sponsors, the youngsters are eager to get into the racing.
Lella Halloum, 10, Joan Biosca, 11, Raees Raie, 11, Zahra Ahmad, 11, and Joshua Arbourne, 11, are pupils from Repton School preparing for the F1 Schools challenge. Antonie Robertson / The National
Lella Halloum, 10, Joan Biosca, 11, Raees Raie, 11, Zahra Ahmad, 11, and Joshua Arbourne, 11, are pupils from Repton School preparing for the F1 Schools challenge. Antonie Robertson / The National

DUBAI // Budding young Formula One car designers are set to put their creations to the test at the F1 in Schools competition this weekend.

Dozens of schools from across the country have been devising and designing their cars over the last few months, with all their work coming to a head at the Yas Marina Circuit on Saturday.

Participants have been learning about engineering, robotics and promotion as their teams went to businesses to seek sponsorship.

Each team consists of three to six members. There is a rookie category for children aged 14 and below and a professional category is split between juniors aged 11 to 14 and seniors aged 14 to 18.

One of the schools involved, Repton School Dubai, has two teams competing in the primary school category of the annual event.

After months of hard work in researching designs and engineering, as well as developing a business case, the youngsters are eager to get on with the racing.

“We’ve been involved with the F1 challenge for a number years and it’s something that the children take very seriously but enjoy themselves as well,” said Natalie Sacks, an English teacher for the year five and six pupils and project helper.

Both Repton primary teams have four members.

“We select the children based on a range of skills, like engineering, robotics and computer science, as well as overall academic performance,” Ms Sacks said.

“The pupils really go through a journey as they learn to develop these carts.

“They have to do the research into the design and aerodynamics and create a portfolio and presentation that they have to give to potential sponsors.

“You really see the children mature during the course of the competition.”

Lella Halloum, 10, from the UK, is part of the Repton Falcons crew.

“It’s been a lot of fun working as part of a team and coming up with ideas for the car,” she said.

“I really enjoyed how we got the chance to go to different companies and gave them presentations to try to get sponsors.”

Joshua Arbourne, also from the UK, said: “We looked at a lot of other designs of F1 cars to see what we thought would make for a good design.”

All the teams taking part are provided with a balsa wood base frame model for their car, which is to 1/20th scale.

They must then research and design the body shape of the racing car using computer software.

“We used a special cutting machine to get the shape of the body, which is made of a really hard form of cardboard,” said Joan Biosca, 11, from Spain.

“I must admit, I’m a bit nervous about the event but I’m also hopeful that we will do well.”

The race is over a 20-metre straight line and the cars are powered by compressed air.

Zahra Ahmed, 11, from the UK, is the resource manager of the second team from the school taking part, Team Flash.

“I really learnt a lot about how to manage resources and to try and the stuff we needed as a team,” she said.

Briton Flynn Adamson was in a confident mood ahead of the race on Saturday.

“I think we might have an advantage over the other team as our car is lighter and that should help give us a higher speed,” the 11-year-old said.

For more details visit www.yasmarinacircuit.com and click on Formula 1.

nhanif@thenational.ae

Updated: June 11, 2015 04:00 AM

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