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F1 is not just about the driver but also the team. Engineers and mechanics form valuable roles in the race team. The mechanics are responsible for working on the race car; the engineers are at the forefront of communicating with the driver and the team. But does each F1 driver have their own engineer?
Each F1 driver has their own race engineer. Because communication between the driver and the team is necessary, the race engineer is responsible for communicating with the team’s mechanics, strategists, and data analysts. In addition, the race engineer goes between the driver and team relaying information.
Being a race engineer is probably one of the most high pressured and intense jobs in Formula 1. At the race track, there are around 15 to 20 engineers working for an F1 team. An engineer’s job is complex and requires a lot of multitasking and excellent communication skills for moving between the team and the driver.
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Do F1 Drivers Have Their Own Engineer?
There are five crucial engineers for each car. These include the performance engineer, the race engineer, the controls engineer, the engine systems engineer, and the engine performance engineer. F1 drivers each have their own race engineer but also their own team of engineers.
The Performance Engineer
The performance engineer works with the race engineer during the race weekend. The performance engineer manages the telemetry and simulations of the F1 car. The performance engineer also gives the driver advice on how to get the most out of the car. In addition, the performance engineer will evaluate performance subsystems and provide feedback to the race engineer on changing the car’s settings to improve its performance.
The Race Engineer
The race engineer is the primary source of communication between the team and the driver. The race engineer is the primary contact when the driver is in the car. The race engineer will communicate with the driver about hazards, lap times, and traffic, and the driver will share anything they are concerned about with the car.
The race engineer also communicates with the factory staff and gives feedback from the driver.
The Controls Engineer
The controls engineer focuses on aspects like the gear shift and the electronic controls of the gearbox. The controls engineer manages the car’s electronic controls and prepares the car before the race. This engineer ensures all aspects of the car they are responsible for are working correctly during the race weekend.
The Engine Systems And The Engine Performance Engineer
There are two engineers working on the F1 car’s engine. These include the engine systems engineer and the engine performance engineer. The engine performance engineer’s job is to maximize the power of the performance unit. The engine systems engineer ensures the power unit is reliable for race day.
What Does An F1 Driver’s Race Engineer Do?
A race engineer analyses data to maximize the performance of a Formula 1 car. The race engineer communicates with the team and the driver before and during races. Race engineers make changes during the race, review data, communicate with the driver, and monitor the car’s performance.
The race engineer is usually found on the pit wall with the team principal and strategist. The race engineer manages constant communication and receives messages constantly. Their job is complex, and when on the pit wall during a race, they need to determine what information is essential and should be relayed to the driver during the race.
The race engineer also reviews past data for valuable information to help the team. This data can give insight into where the car is losing time and how the car is either improving or declining in performance. Race engineers also review current data during the race weekend to help determine the race strategy.
On race day, the race engineer monitors the car’s performance and keeps an eye on the opposing teams and their drivers. The race engineer also communicates with the driver about whether to slow down or speed up and lets them know about the cars around them.
How Do F1 Drivers Communicate With Their Engineers?
F1 drivers communicate with their race engineers via a radio channel. The race engineer can communicate with the driver through the radio during the race, relaying important information.
Different radio channels fulfill a specific purpose. First, there is a radio channel for the race engineer to communicate with the driver. Then there’s a radio channel for the engineers and a separate channel for those working in the garage.
The race radio channel covers most of the other groups’ communication, and the pit wall channel is where the pit wall personnel can communicate with one another. Each group has its channel and usually gets messages specific to the tasks they must carry out. Very few people hear all the conversations as this can be very distracting and may negatively impact the team.
The F1 radio system is a complex system that most people don’t understand. Two basic systems are involved in the F1 radio: the Bolero radios that clip onto a belt and the communication panels the engineers connect to via their headsets. When seated in front of the communication panel, engineers can push a button to talk on any radio channel.
Do Race Engineers Move With The Driver?
Race engineers do not move with the driver. If a race engineer works for a specific team, they will not move to another team if the driver moves to another team. The race engineer communicates with the team and the driver but does not follow the driver around. The race engineer has to keep relaying messages and looking at data and ways to improve performance.
Race engineers work with many people in the team, and if they follow the driver around, they won’t be able to communicate and relay with the rest of the team effectively.
Each F1 driver has a dedicated team of engineers for their car and a race engineer. Their race engineer communicates essential information to them during the race and communicates with the rest of the team. In addition, the engineer helps the driver and the team improve the performance of the F1 car and analyses data to improve the car’s performance in future races.