Javier Millet Palmada is a highly driven and engaging Hardware Coordinator with Mercedes AMG High-Performance Powertrains. In this interview, Javier reflects on his time so far with the championship-winning team whilst providing valuable advice to aspiring motorsport engineers.
My name is Javier Millet Palmada, and I come from Barcelona, Spain. I have been living in the UK now for two and a half years, working at Mercedes-AMG High-Performance Powertrains as a Hardware Coordinator in Brixworth.
Previously, I completed an internship in Mercedes-AMG GmbH in Affalterbach, Germany, and was a member of the e-Tech Racing Formula Student team at my university for more than 2 years.
Chasing the dream
In my case, I fell in love with motorsport when I was at school, I dreamed about someday becoming part of an F1 team. I eventually started a technical degree when actually, I was better at subjects like literature or history, because I was desperate to pursue a career in F1.
Formula Student was key for me. It sometimes makes people differentiate between “liking” cars, and effectively designing them, they are NOT the same thing.
Formula Student gives you the base knowledge and principles of how to design, manufacture and build a whole prototype race car without any help, so the learning curve is exponential. But the key factor for me was to learn how to work as a team and communicate with your colleagues. If you can’t express your ideas and designs, being clear and concise, and if you can´t work in a team environment, you can be a genius, but you won’t be successful in Motorsport.
Currently, I am the Hardware Coordinator for Batteries & BMS of the Mercedes-AMG Hypercar Project ONE. I coordinate the build, manufacturing, purchasing, engineering and performance to make sure we work effectively as a team towards the same goals and deadlines.
I provide as much clarity as possible when creating the plans and timescales for the batteries we have to produce and test. I am responsible for delivering all the batteries and the product itself.
For me, the best part of my role is the dynamism and variety I experience on a daily basis, there is never a day the same as the previous one.
I have been lucky enough to be surrounded by the best team and the best engineers in the world, and every time I get into a meeting and listen to them, I understand why we are so successful.
I have learned how to push a team without being bossy or harassing, how to achieve impossible goals and deadlines by breaking down every single step of the process to optimize it, how to work and operate under significant pressure and how to communicate in a clear and concise manner.
As for my proudest memories, the first championship win I experienced with Mercedes was a special one (2018 was a difficult one, so the reward at the end was higher), and hopefully I will get the opportunity to see Project ONE driving around the streets of London soon!
Importance of Education
Without an engineering degree, I would not have achieved my goals. However, and maybe more important for me, it was languages and specifically German that gave me an advantage against other engineering candidates. Knowing multiple languages enabled me to get into the German automotive industry and was key to having a “plus” against other candidates.
Advice to aspiring engineers
I would tell aspiring motorsport engineers to enjoy their time as students and squeeze out as much as they can from their degrees and, if possible, formula student teams. That is something I didn’t do and I regret now.
At the same time, be patient, don’t rush and follow the “usual” road to F1, everyone is different and I think it is key to potentiate your strengths.
If you are good at something, be the best version of yourself at it and you will increase your chances.
Thank you Javier for sharing your incredible journey with the Motorsport Engineers Network!
Would you like to start your Motorsport journey, taught by leading Motorsport Engineers? Check out our Motorsport Academy!