F1® in Schools Finals: ‘Young, bright minds will meet the challenges of the future’
Aramco title sponsorship underscores company’s commitment to supporting science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) growth and to inspire youth to use their talents to change the world.
The 2022 Aramco F1® in Schools World Finals reached its climax late last week with a team of six Australian students crossing the finish line to lift the World Champions trophy at the U.K.’s iconic Silverstone race track.
Saudi teams were nominated as finalists for three awards in all, and students from local Saudi schools, the SLK Racing Team, mentored by the King Abdulaziz Center for World Culture (Ithra), also scooped the Women in Motorsport trophy. The award recognized the team’s outstanding female leadership.
The five-day science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM)-centered skills contest featured 52 teams from across the globe and bestowed 21 awards.
For this year’s contest, Ithra led Saudi Arabia’s first qualifying national team. Some 25 students, aged 15 to 16, from public and private schools in the Kingdom were selected, trained, mentored, and developed through an intensive training program.
The Aramco F1® in Schools competition provided an opportunity for teams of students to research, design, test, manufacture, and race a miniature Formula 1 car, using some of the advanced technology applied within real racing teams.
The overall winning Australian team engineered the winning miniature F1® car that won the Fastest Car Award, supported by the Mercedes AMG F1 Team, and Best Engineered Car Award, supported by Williams Racing.
Unlocking future potential
Aramco’s acting general manager of Public Affairs, Khalid A. Al Zamil, crowned the champions, and said that the bright minds of young people held the key to unlocking future potential.
I want to say to all of you, whether you have the opportunity to come to this stage as winners, or not, in our eyes you are all champions.
— Khalid A. Al-Zamil
“I was inspired by all of the award categories and what everyone was saying about why F1® in Schools was important to them,” Al Zamil said.
“At Aramco, we have a very diverse and talented global workforce, with employees from the Far East to the Americas, and they work on amazing challenging projects every day. But what matters most, is not what we do today, what matters is what we do in the future.
“And, what I mean about the future is these young, bright minds, who are going to be pursuing careers in STEM. These young, bright minds are going to help us solve the problems and challenges of the world,” Al Zamil added.
Some 34 teams were on-site at Silverstone, with 19 teams participating virtually. To maintain a level playing field, all the judging sessions in each category were conducted virtually.
Ithra’s support of the first Saudi teams to participate in the event is in alignment with the center’s strategy to become a platform that supports talent in the fields of culture, art, knowledge, and creativity.
The training hub where the Saudi teams prepared for eight weeks was located at the Technology Advancement and Prototyping Center in nearby King Fahd University of Petroleum and Minerals, where specialized faculty members and science students provided guidance and training to the full batch of 25 students, of which 18 represented the nation in the Silverstone competition.