Team principal at Honda F1 and Formula Student patron

I believe Formula Student (FS) is an excellent initiative, and it was great to be invited to be its patron.

Participation in the event requires the students to develop a rounded set of skills which all relate well to the challenges they will meet when they leave university. They have to start with a concept, put a team together, work as a group and follow the project through to the point of actually using the product.

I have attended a number of FS events and they just seem to get better each year. What they achieve is very impressive, considering the level of experience that these young engineers have.

I’m always slightly nervous when we hire an engineer at Honda F1, regardless of academic qualifications, if they don’t have practical experience. And I can see that FS goes a good way towards achieving that.

This year FS decided to run lowcarbon cars for the first time, and this is an initiative which we at Honda strongly support.

In fact, Honda is at the forefront of channeling our Formula One experience into improving road car efficiency, and one of the ways in which this will be developed in the sport next year is through the KERS (Kinetic Energy Recovery System). Becoming more environmentally aware is a responsibility for everyone in the industry, and I see it as a particular challenge for these young engineers in the future.

Of course, not all the FS students will end up working in motorsport, as it remains a highly competitive environment. But the enthusiasm and commitment they have shown fills me with optimism for science and engineering in this country, and recent trends at school and universities appear to show that we have at least halted the decline of these subjects.

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