Your F1 Contacts

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    Alex Tunnicliffe

    Do you know anybody that is involved in the world of F1? If so, please tell us as I and I’m sure many others would be interested to hear about it. For me personally, my father is friends with Tony Ross (race engineer for Nico Rosberg in case you didn’t know).


    A relative of mine used to work in an office with Peter Bonnington’s sister in law, quite close.


    My dad works for some IT company, and his biggest (or most interesting) client is Mercedes High Performance Powertrains. He doesn’t get to go to races with them because he’s not really an employee, but he does spend a fair amount of time at the factory, and each of the Mercedes-powered teams use a handheld device that he designed, so that’s something. He also likes to point out various Mercedes team members he’s met when we watch the races.


    A friend of mine works in QA for a company making electronic connectors for “extreme” environments. Amongst deep sea drone submarines and jet fighters, some of their products end up in F1 cars. She used to work for another manufactoring company that specialises in bespoke, ultra-precision screws and bolts, again they had a couple of F1 teams on their client list.

    Another friend used to work in special effects, and has a credit for the film Rush.

    I’m not sure if either count :P


    My work colleague went to school with, and is friends with Alex Lynn.


    One of my neighbours is a close relative of a team boss. Or so I’m told, have never spoken to her myself.


    Not F1, but one of my uni classmates is a former GP3 driver :)

    Iestyn Davies

    @andae23 Ooh, who?

    A guy from my class in primary school (from the year below me) now works in the Lotus design department. Probably hired as part of their drive to rebuild last year, following the financial uncertainty and hence expertise flight to other teams.


    @fastiesty Hylkema: after 2011 he wanted to do a second year in GP3, but he didn’t have the budget for it, so he decided to start studying Aerospace Engineering instead. Small world :)


    My Dad worked at Enstone (factory based) for a shade over 17 years. Started with Benetton, went through the Renault years and left Lotus a few months after Kimi.
    While he was there he made friends with Phil Charles (who you’ve probably seen on TV a bit, most recently with Torro Rosso) and found out he went to my school a year below me.

    Also through my hobby I know at least 3 people that are factory based in F1. 1 who started at McLaren as a junior design engineer, went to Torro Rosso and is now at Lotus. Also as a coincidence one of the other guys took the first guys position at McLaren when it became vacant and is still there. The 3rd is a fabricator at McLaren but I think is sub contracted.

    Another one from the same hobby works on Lotus display cars, taking them to events. Generally I think the cars are a year or 2 old and again I’m not sure he’s actually employed directly by the team.

    My Dad used to be a service engineer for a company that supplies many industries with destructive test machinery. F1 is a small part of their business, but was eventually my Dads way into F1.
    I remember as a kid, one Saturday morning I ended up in the old Benetton (Toleman) factory at Witney. My dad was helping a friend measure a gearbox casing, there wasn’t a lot for me to do so I played solitaire on a pc until they were finished, I guess we were there for an hour or two.

    People on the outside think it must be amazing, but in reality there is so much as stake the employees only really know what they need to know and not much else. Some people (my Dad included I think) get frustrated with not working on a car, but only working on components. One of his friends left to work at a Formula 3 team where he would have much better access to, and more involvement with the car.

    The cigarette advertising days were the most fun (I am an anti smoker btw). There was more money to chuck around, there was often a free T-shirt floating around and the garden parties were legendary. Free entertainment, food and drink. I went home quite ill a couple of times.
    I had a chat with Alex Wurz when he was a rookie, though my pep talk didn’t really seem to help. Jenson was at one of the winter parties I went to but I didn’t get to talk to him, I don’t think many people did.

    One year I had to leave the garden party early. After I left this happened, my girlfriend on the left and my sister on the right. To say I was disappointed is an understatement.



    I work in logistics and near my seat is a Randstad office whom sponsor Williams. So I’m almost there.

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