- What is a Tyre Engineer?
- What does a Tyre Engineer do?
- What skills do you need to become a Tyre Engineer?
Tyres are the most important performance components on a racing car as they are the only thing that connects the vehicle to the track.
Regardless of the increase in downforce or weight oscillation, every development made by engineers to boost performance will eventually transmit through the tyres. Nevertheless, the tyre engineer has to manage pressures, temperatures, wear and degradation while adjusting the set-up to maximise grip.
Optimising tyre performance is an art that needs to be mastered because of the complex nature of rubber in them. The properties of tyres can be intriguing since their behaviour changes midst a race. Distinct driving styles make their degradation clear at some point, so you will always need to adapt to something new every race.
Tyre Engineers in Formula 1 don’t have an easy time in this environment, as there is so much demand for things to work well on the track. If you are a tyre enthusiast, this article will uncover the details concerning the job of a Tyre Engineer and the requirements to become one within the F1 atmosphere.
What is a Tyre Engineer?
An F1 Tyre Engineer is responsible for the analysis and understanding of the impact of tyre performance to optimise vehicle performance. Engineers will apply tyre knowledge and understanding for modelling tyre performance procedures and correlating simulations to track and test data.
Tyre Engineers physically collect data from the tyres through wear inspections and combine them with live telemetry, driver feedback and pit lane averages to determine with the team how tyres are being used and what can be made to improve their performance.
The work of a Tyre Engineer is the perfect balance between analysing data and practical work. While it requires helping the team to recognise tyre behaviour and considerations, it will also provide essential insights into how other teams exploit their tyres.
What does a Tyre Engineer do?
In this job, Tyre Engineers will split their time between the factory and the racetrack. They will evaluate and optimise tyre usage during race and test events to ensure the ultimate overall performance of cars amid qualifying and racing.
As an F1 Tyre Engineer, you will:
- Develop industry-leading tyre simulation tools and analysis methods.
- Generate high-standard tyre analysis in challenging timeframes.
- Correlate tyre models and simulations in contrast to track data.
- Enhance the tyre understanding level within the team.
- Interact effectively with the Engineering department including Vehicle Performance and Race Engineering teams.
- Assist trackside operations in real-time.
What are the requirements needed to become a Tyre Engineer?
Becoming a Tyre Engineer in Formula 1 requires a strong combination of academic qualifications with considerable experience in tyre performance, modelling, simulation and correlation, preferably in an F1 context.
The best candidates will have obtained a high-level degree in Engineering related courses since this is the foundation to acquire knowledge in tyres and vehicle dynamics. Some organisations can look for a broad understanding of race car set-up trade-offs between tyres, suspension and aerodynamics.
As this role calls for data-driven analysis, an exceptional ability to identify and extract key data is extremely recommended. At the motorsport elite, Tyre Engineers must have experience using analysis and programming tools such as MATLAB, ATLAS and Python. This will help to develop quality data analysis and report methods to allow the team to extract the maximum performance from the tyres.
Getting work experience is beneficial to expose yourself and become prepared to be among the best professionals in the industry. Tyres are tough to quantify and understand, so you should get as much experience as possible to become a valuable team asset and make a real difference.
Do you need a degree to be a Tyre Engineer?
To make it as a Formula 1 Tyre Engineer, you will need a Master’s degree, PhD or equivalent in Mechanical, Automotive or Aerospace Engineering.
You can also pursue a degree in Applied Mathematics or Physics, as they contain the theoretical expertise necessary for the position.
Although having a degree is crucial, experience within the F1 setting through internships or placements will always be advantageous to secure a more competitive role.
What are the best skills and experience needed to be a Tyre Engineer?
As already stated, work experiences in a motorsport environment with a racing team or at a tyre manufacturer are tremendous opportunities to become fully capable of taking on a Tyre Engineer role in a Formula 1 team.
These will give you great knowledge of tyre engineering and an understanding of tyre’s effect on car behaviour. You will be able to follow vehicle development instructions and understand their impact on tyre performance. Furthermore, it is helpful to possess excellent attention to detail while having telemetry tools and data analysis knowledge because data interpretation is part of the nature of the job.
Formula 1 organisations will be looking for self-motivated, flexible, highly organised and resilient individuals for this kind of position. Being a Tyre Engineer requires first-class written and oral communication skills with the ability to deliver complex information in an appropriate style. In addition, working effectively under pressure and having adequate problem-solving skills are fundamental features suitable for this context.
However, being in the vanguard of racing engineering means showing a willingness to get involved with, learn and share knowledge with others while manifesting a strong team spirit. A Tyre Engineer must be innovative and capable of moving the team forward by proposing modern methods and ideas to become number one.