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Sophie Says: Visiting The Reigning F1 World Champions

Image Credit: Sophie Gill

This week, Sophie gives us a glance behind the doors of a championship winning factory as she gives us a flashback to last summer, when she went to visit Mercedes AMG F1 in Brackley.

“Have you ever wondered what the inside of a championship winning F1 team’s factory would look like? Well in Summer last year I found out…
To mark Women In Engineering Day 2018, Dare to Be Different (Susie Wolff’s group, made to help encourage women into motorsport) invited 50 young girls to Mercedes’ factory in Brackley for a day they would never forget…
Walking into the factory’s reception, it was incredible to see the countless rows of gleaming silverware which had been awarded to the silver bullets over the years, some actually used in races steering wheels and even one of their championship winning F1 cars!

Image Credit: Sophie Gill

Before we could enter the massive factory, there was the matter of security to deal with! We were about to see how the cars’ parts are designed and made and all the small things that give Mercedes an advantage and help them remain at the top of their game. After having a sticker stuck over our phone camera we were ready to see inside…
A huge variety of activities, designed to inspire us, had been arranged. And what could be more inspiring than meeting the incredible women who ensure this unstoppable teams success, year after year? We got to see and experience every aspect of the silver bullets factory; including the unbelievable control room, where each worker has a computer streaming the race live, so they can make live adjustments to the car’s settings!
Another incredible experience was getting to see where the cars are designed and the engineering shop where most of the cars parts are made. We even got to see how the steering wheels are designed using 3D computer software and the amazing wind tunnel room, which was so secret, our parents couldn’t enter!

Image Credit: Sophie Gill

One really cool thing about this extremely interesting day was the participation; we got to learn how to change the car’s wheels and have a go at the Pirelli pit stop challenge, follow a fitness routine designed for F1 drivers, complete with encouragement from Lewis Hamilton’s personal trainer, have a go on a life-size f1 simulator, take on the roles of TV presenters, reporting on a race, complete with the help of Sky Sports presenters and make a hovercraft with help from the engineers. There really was a lot to see and do!
At the end of the day we got to watch the French Grand Prix qualifying live with the team and shared their delight as Mercedes took the front row! It was an extremely inspiring day I will never forget! Now I know what the inside of a championship winning F1 team’s factory looks like!”
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