Become an F1 Mechanic

Working as an F1 mechanic is the dream job for anyone who’s passionate about motorsports and high-performance cars. Well, maybe being the driver is THE dream, but that’s not why you’re here, is it? We’ve put together the answers for you to some of the most common questions you may have about becoming an F1 mechanic.


What type of formal education do F1 mechanics need?

  1. At least a high school diploma or the equivalent. Most motorsport mechanics enter the field with at least this level of formal education. If you’re currently in your secondary education, keep your head down and try to get good grades to set yourself up for trying to get into an F1 career. A university degree is not typically required to become an F1 mechanic.[1]
    • Ultimately, experience is what F1 employers look for most, but it can be really hard to start getting job experience with no prior education.
  2. Classes in maths, computers, automotive repair, and electronics can help. Select elective classes in these subjects if they’re offered at your school. Anything technical can help set you up for a career as a motorsport mechanic working on high-performance cars, which have many electrical components and high-tech mechanical parts.[2]
    • You could also join relevant extracurricular clubs, such as a computer science club or a mathematics club.
    • Besides technical classes, learning another language like Italian or German couldn’t hurt. F1 is a very international sport, so these skills could look good on your resume.
  3. Mechanical engineering and motor vehicle engineering courses are a plus. These courses provide a mix of hands-on and classroom education and experience. You’ll learn more technical skills that you can use in a future job as an F1 mechanic. The additional education also looks great on a resume and can help you land your first job in auto mechanics to start gaining experience.[3]
    • If you live in the UK, take 1-3 A-level courses in these subjects.
    • If you live in the USA or Canada, you could take a post-high school automotive mechanic certification course at a technical institution.
    • In the USA, mechanics must pass an EPA exam at the end of their courses. They may also choose to get certified by the National Institute of Automotive Service Excellence, which can look good on a resume.

What other skills and attributes should I have?

  1. You should be passionate about motorsports. If you make your way to the top and become an F1 mechanic, the sport is going to be a huge part of your life. Make sure you really love racing and that this is really what you want to dedicate a big portion of your time and life to. That way, you’re less likely to burn out when faced with the pressures of the job.[4]
    • Keep in mind that being an F1 mechanic doesn’t just mean you get to watch all the races. You’re going to be working both on and off the track, and when you’re at the races you’re not just there to watch, so passion about all aspects of the sport is really important.
  2. Make sure you’re able to work quickly and under pressure. You must be able to change parts and fix problems in a matter of minutes to get your driver and their car back on the track as fast as possible during a race. Being an F1 mechanic is a lot more high-speed and high-pressure than working on someone’s car at a neighborhood auto shop![5]
    • Not only is this important for winning races, but it’s a matter of safety as well. If you crack under the pressure of working very quickly, you might make mistakes that could put a driver at risk.
  3. You’ll need good teamwork skills and a team player mindset. The driver might get most of the attention when your team wins a race, but they couldn’t win races without a team of dedicated mechanics! Make sure you’re able to communicate effectively and work well together with others as part of a team working towards a common goal.[6]
    • Besides working with the driver and other mechanics, you’ll also be receiving instructions from an F1 engineer regarding the car you’re working on.

How can I get relevant work experience?

  1. Offer your services for free to relevant places of interest. Write to motorsport companies, auto mechanic shops, and any other type of company where you could put your mechanic skills to good use. Explain to them that you’re trying to gain experience and would be happy to work without pay for a period of time.[7]
    • [If you take post-secondary courses in something like motor vehicle engineering or auto mechanics, your educational institution might be able to place you in an internship or apprenticeship of some kind.
  2. Apply for paid jobs with non-F1 racing teams. Search online for jobs with racing teams in other leagues like Formula 3, Formula 2, Formula Junior, and the different Formula leagues for specific car manufacturer’s. Fill out and submit applications for as many roles as possible to try and land your first motorsport job.[8]
    • If you live near a local race track, even something like a rally course, you could even try to find a job with a really small local team to start.
  3. Try to get an F1 apprenticeship. Visit the websites for different F1 racing teams and car manufacturers and check if they have apprenticeship programs. Look at the application requirements and process and follow the steps to apply. If you don’t find an apprenticeship right away, keep checking back and trying.[9]
    • General requirements for apprenticeships are passing grades in your high school or equivalent education, as well as maths, English, and science classes.
    • If you’re lucky enough to land an apprenticeship for an F1 team, you might be able to work your way up the ladder and stay on with the team after the program ends.

How do I apply for an F1 job?

  1. Apply online for open F1 jobs with racing teams and auto manufacturers. Go to the websites for as many teams and manufacturers as you can find and visit the career page on each site. Read the job openings and submit an application for any that you are even a little bit qualified for.[10]
    • There are also job listings sites specific to careers in motorsports that list a variety of jobs with different F1 teams.
  2. Write to many different F1 teams and ask if you could work for them. Even if you can’t find job openings or your applications get rejected, you can still try your luck. Find the email addresses or physical addresses for as many different racing teams as you can and send them letters explaining why you want to work for them and what your experience is. Ask them if there is any position at all that they could hire you for.[11]
    • Even if you get rejected, some teams might be nice enough to write back and tell you what experience you’re missing that they’re looking for. Then, you can try to get that experience through another job or a course.
  3. Be persistent and apply constantly. Don’t give up if you keep receiving rejection letters or don’t hear back about applications you’ve submitted. Search for job openings with teams and auto manufacturers every day and keep submitting those online applications. Keep writing to teams and asking if you can work for them, especially if you’ve gained more experience since the last time you reached out.[12]
    • Remember that even if you don’t get your dream F1 mechanic job, there are tons of other motorsport leagues that you could have just as much fun working for for a few years until you’re more than qualified to work in F1!

What is working as an F1 mechanic like?

  1. You’ll spend a lot of time travelling and away from home. F1 teams spend up to 250 days a year travelling. This means you’ll be away from family, friends, and loved ones and spending many hours in planes and other transportation.[13]
    • Pre-season testing starts in February for F1 and the last race is at the end of November.
    • This is where being passionate about the sport really comes in handy. Even though the job demands a lot of time, you’ll be doing something you love.
  2. You might work long hours and not get a lot of sleep. Mechanics typically leave their hotel early, around 6:30 or 7:30 AM, to get to the track. Sometimes you may work until as late as 11 PM, then do it all over again the next day. In other words, it’s not your typical 8-hour job![14]
    • The good thing is you know the schedule for the whole year right away, so you can plan trips home and time off. You also get long breaks twice a year, in December and August.
  3. It’s loud! You spend a lot of time in shops and near race tracks with the constant noise of power tools and fast cars. Wear the appropriate ear protection when you’re on the job to avoid hearing problems later in life.[15]

How much money do F1 mechanics make?

  1. The average salary varies based on position and experience. However, you can expect a starting annual salary of somewhere around $30,000 USD. Pit crew chiefs, on the other hand, can make up to a whopping $1 million USD a year![16]
    • In general, mechanics make a median annual salary of about $40,000 USD. If you ever get laid off of your job as an F1 mechanic, it’s nice to know that you should be able to easily find a decent paying mechanic job elsewhere.