F1 in Schools: 1,000 students gear up for Abu Dhabi Grand Prix

Yas Marina Circuit has launched its ‘F1 in Schools’ programme in the build-up to the Eithad Airways Abu Dhabi Grand Prix on November 3.

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DUBAI// More than 1,000 schoolchildren are to get a taste of the high octane world of Formula One in the run up to next week's Etihad Airways Abu Dhabi Formula One Grand Prix.

Yas Marina Circuit has launched its F1 in Schools programme in the build-up to the race on November 3.

The students will be asked to design and build a miniature F1 car and manage their own team, which in turn teaches a variety of skills including engineering, science, marketing, communications and technology.

“The levels of enthusiasm UAE students and teachers have shown for the F1 in Schools programme is truly impressive,” said Abdulla Al Shammari, F1 in Schools programme coordinator at the circuit.

“Several schools and teams have already raced ahead to start this season’s programme, with 20 teachers attending a pre-season information session recently hosted by Dubai British School, where they were given a preview of our 2013/14 programme.”

The students will be split into teams and will also have to come up with a business plan, develop a marketing strategy and present their work to a panel of judges.

This year, the Junior F1 Challenge will be added to the course, which focuses on primary school children. Youngsters have to make a card version of an F1 car, complete with its own brand.

The cars will be powered by a compressed gas cylinder and race over a 20 metre course.

The competition is divided into two categories: Rookie Class, for those aged 14 years or under, and Professional Class, for older students and those who have taken part in past events.

Successful teams will progress through school and regional levels for a chance to compete in the UAE National Final, which will be held at the circuit in May 2014.

Both the Rookie Class and Professional Class National champions will qualify to represent the UAE at the F1 in Schools world finals, held in conjunction with one of the 22 Formula One Grand Prix races around the world next year.

Four UAE teams who took part last year are preparing to enter in the world finals from November 14-17, during the US Grand Prix in Austin, Texas.

Schools can register for the F1 in Schools challenge and learn more about the programme by visiting http://www.f1inschools.ae or emailing paul.bray@ymc.ae.