UAE pupils gear up for world F1 in Schools contest

From November 16 to 19, Yas Marina Circuit will host the World F1 High School Challenge, in which more than 300 pupils from 44 different countries will attempt to build the fastest miniature F1 car.

Reem Al Jabiri, left, of Al Shohob School and Jake Officer of Al Yasmena School at the F1 in Schools national finals. Fatima Al Marzooqi / The National
Powered by automated translation

ABU DHABI // On November 23, Yas Marina Circuit will see the finale of the intense battle between Nico Rosberg and Lewis Hamilton for the 2014 Formula One racing championship.

But just a few days before the big race, another hotly contested competition will take place at the racetrack.

From November 16 to 19, the circuit will host the World F1 High School Challenge, in which more than 300 pupils from 44 countries will try to build the fastest miniature F1 car.

The event, also known as F1 in Schools, will test the speed and design of the gas-powered, balsa wood vehicles, with extra awards for the team that develops the best marketing and sponsorship strategy.

Abdulla Al Shammari, community manager at Yas Marina Circuit, said he hoped the event would encourage children to consider a career in motorsport.

The team representing the UAE this year is Repton School in Dubai, whose car outpaced 65 other teams in the national heats.

Mr Al Shammari said he was pleased with the standard of entries.

“This year, there has been a 100 per cent increase in school participation as compared to last year,” he said.

But he hoped more teams from government schools would enter in the future – most entrants were from private schools. “This may be because of English language communication barriers that deter public schools from participating. But we are working on it and hopefully public school participation will increase in the near future.”

Mr Al Shammari was also pleased with the progress made by the UAE entry, especially as the country had only been taking part for five years.

The Repton School team consists of Ruby Harrison, Austin Adamson, Sami Bushnaq, Aashutosh Dave, Findlay Broch McCallun and Sara Rasheed. Each is assigned a role, such as team manager, graphic designer, etc. They will spend a week training for the event in Abu Dhabi.