My year with Mercedes Formula 1

Student Rohit with Formula E trophy and car livery

My year with Mercedes Formula 1

We hear from Aerospace Engineering student Rohit Karajgikar about his year in industry with the Mercedes Formula 1 team.

How did you end up doing your placement?

I already had an interest in Formula 1, so began applying to teams in the hope of getting a placement early in my second year. I had applied to other teams, too… however, this team was the first to get back to me and give me a job!

What’s day-to-day work like on your placement?

World Championship livery
Rohit’s name was included on the world championship livery

The usual day changes, as I have been moving around departments as part of the placement scheme. My day-to-day in my earlier role involved spending time with engines as they were getting taken apart, taking pictures and writing reports on any issues that were spotted. I would then liaise with the Product Engineering department to work on getting them fixed.

My current job involves spending time on the dynos learning about how to run the power unit. In the hope that I will eventually be able to run them myself in order to carry out pre-event testing for the rest of the team.

What have you learnt about engineering from your role at Mercedes?

Rohit with the race-winning Formula E car, driven by Stoffel Vandoorne
Rohit with the race-winning Formula E car, driven by Stoffel Vandoorne

I have learnt a lot about how an F1 power unit works and how all the systems within one interact with each other. I have also gained a great insight into how a streamlined concept, design and approval process works in a Formula 1 team, where development needs to be fast-paced and right the first time.

There is also a stringent process in place to prevent mistakes repeating themselves, which is a process I will take with me moving on in my engineering career.

What’s been the most exciting thing about working in an F1 team?

Watching the team’s hard work make it to the first race of the new season in Bahrain and seeing the drivers competing for pole with our power unit. The pace at which engineering changes occur is also exciting to see, as you see a concept go from paper to on the power unit in just a couple of weeks.

What are your tips for other students looking for a placement?

Keep applying! Try to enjoy the interviews and take each one as a learning opportunity!

More information about the Year in Industry

A Year in Industry placement is a great way for students to apply the knowledge gained during their first two years of study.

Students have the opportunity to undertake an extended paid placement between their second and third year of study. The professional knowledge, skills and experience gained can benefit students, enhancing both their academic studies and career prospects.

Find out more about the Year in Industry