A group of learners from Coleg y Cymoedd have been given an insight into Formula 1 racing; with a tour of the factory of one of the world’s leading motorsports racing teams - Williams F1. The visit was designed to give the learners an insight in to the profession and the opportunity to speak to those working in the industry.
The learners, studying on the Motorsport and Pathways to Apprenticeship Level 2 course at Rhymney campus recently visited the Williams Formula 1 headquarters in Grove, Oxfordshire. The impressive modern building with mirrored windows and hanger doors gave away no secrets as to the activities taking place behind them!
The group were met at the Conference Centre by Simon, their guide for the day. He welcomed the group and started the visit with a tour; giving the students a unique insight into life at ‘Williams’.
The excitement levels shot up as Pastor Maldonado's 2013 race car came in to view. The best performing car of the previous year is given pride of place at the entrance; with Jacques Villeneuve’s 1997 championship winning car hanging directly above it.
After the initial excitement the learners were treated to a short film detailing the history of the team and its drivers. Following the film the screen swept open revealing a collection of cars, beautifully arranged and lit. The forty plus cars have a special place in the history of Williams and their importance has earned them a place in the garage.
Simon answered the learners’ questions, such as ‘how the skills they are learning now willbe used in practice in the future’ and ‘career options available in the industry’. He also provided background information about the team, cars and drivers.
To end the tour the learners were given the opportunity to sit in a F1 race car; this was easier said than done as it was a tight fit, even for the smallest and fittest.
Learner Sherrie Cullen said “This was a fantastic opportunity, I really enjoyed the visit to the Williams factory and speaking to Simon made me realise that a career with a Formula One Team is achievable - if you set your sights on it and work hard to achieve the qualifications”.
Thanking Simon, Course Tutor Paul Jones stated “Our students have thoroughly enjoyed the visit and your knowledge has inspired them. Hopefully they will continue to progress with their studies and who knows in the future they may be taking future learners around the factory!”