Wednesday 9th September 2009 by C. Freeman
Design and engineering students had the chance to see genuine Formula 1 artefacts during a recent talk by Ed Pead from the Motor Sports Association.
He told students about the different routes into racing and he brought along Nico Rosberg's fibre-glass seat from his F1 car, along with a genuine exhaust manifold, tyre rim and hub and a replica steering wheel, all donated by the Williams Formula 1 team.
I've got the wheel, seat and helmet - all I need is the car!
The students saw how the complex mouldings on the hub allowed the pit teams to do such rapid wheel changes as it has a special quick locating mechanism not found on road cars. The complexity of a F1 driver's role was evident; in addition to steering they also have to adjust tiny dials on the wheel according to team instructions and have buttons to automatically dispense a drink and another which regulates their speed to a paltry 100 kph down the pit lane!
Ed has been involved in motorsport for 20 years and now visits schools to tell students about the options open to them including karting, rallycross and circuit racing. He said: 'If they are interested they can go to the Motorsports Association website and see what's available in the local area, with a special introductory offer for karting which costs just £5. Top Formula 1 drivers like Jenson Button and Lewis Hamilton started out in karting so it's a great way to get motorsport experience. The students were really enthusiastic and asked some really intelligent questions.'