16th March 2018
An interesting, entertaining and insightful opportunity to hear about the career of Charlie Whiting, FIA F1 Race Director and Head of the F1 Technical Department was run by the Motorsport Industry Association (MIA) and hosted by Williams Conference Centre last night.
For those aspiring engineers who would like a career in motorsport, Charlie represents the very pinnacle of what can be achieved, having supported Nelson Piquet’s 1981 and 1983 World Championship wins with Brabham as their Chief Mechanic and in his current role, where he is the last word in F1 scrutineering and starts every F1 race.
Wanting a career in F1 from an early age, inspired by the sights, sounds and smells of racing at Brands Hatch, near to where he was born, he was soon assisting his brothers racing endeavours in rally, saloon car and F5000. From where he progressed to join Hesketh before Brabham.
Observing Charlie and listening to his responses to his interviewer MIA CEO, Chris Aylett, aspiring race engineers and mechanics could do worse than take note of the top 5 things we think might be part of Charlie’s success:
- It’s clear that racing is and always has been Charlie’s main passion, he embarked and stayed in the business for love; success followed but was never the main goal.
- He started small and progressively worked his way up through the ranks of the business.
- Having friends (like Bernie Ecclestone) in high places, clearly helps but this friendship is clearly a product of Charlie’s sustained enthusiasm, continued loyalty, easy going nature and detailed knowledge of his subject.
- Being clever is an essential part of working in the technical end of any engineering focussed business, not least motorsport but being ‘book-smart’ is only part of the intelligence you need, being ‘street smart’ and practically innovative is critically important too.
- In a world of high pressure and high stakes, ego and passion an apparent air of humour and humility has provided Charlie with an enduring career, where he has arisen to and maintains his position in one of the most enviable jobs the world of motorsport can offer.
It was a privilege to have Charlie share his wisdom with us and we hope these valuable lessons prove useful to anyone embarking on their career; whatever it is, as many of these attributes such as passion, loyalty, good humour, humility and intelligence apply to any profession or walk of life. If you are looking for a position in motorsport engineering, technology or advanced manufacturing send us your CV today, so we may match you to suitable opportunities: email@example.com or call Luke Smith on 01530 833825.
Alternatively, if your motorsport or engineering business needs great people, contact us for support on 01530 833825.