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Haas F1 Team

The STEM initiative, set up in 2021 with the objective to address some of the key barriers to higher education for students from underrepresented backgrounds, will continue in 2024 and 2025. America’s Formula 1 Team is proud to continue its collaboration and extend its support to the next generation of engineers.

The F1 Engineering Scholarship Program supports students by covering the costs of tuition for the duration of their degree as well as providing living expenses. It also provides access to the pinnacle of motorsport, creating work experience opportunities with teams during their second year of study. 

Last season, MoneyGram Haas F1 Team welcomed Sean Mata to the team, with Dom Haines - Head of Performance Engineering – overseeing his stay. Haines has worked in a range of engineering roles over the years in Formula 1 – including strategist and race engineer – and now the Brit oversees different departments with a focus on the engineering side of the race team as well as the modeling and R&D groups in Banbury. 

Mata initially worked on the R&D side of the team before being given the opportunity to pursue a particular area of interest. 

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“[He was involved in a] broad project where he had a bit of design work and a bit of proper experimentation doing some testing,” shared Haines. “He then had the opportunity to look at results and try and refine. It was a test procedure that we were doing in the R&D lab. 

“He did that, but it was clear once we met him that his true interest was probably more on the software development side. We do lots of that, so we moved him out of the R&D group and put him into the vehicle science group. “He did lots of modeling work with them, which was useful for them as well as for him. We wanted to make sure Sean got what he wanted from it, but also to try and expose him to other bits of engineering that he may not have known about.” 

With the news of the Formula 1 Engineering Scholarship continuing into 2024 and beyond, Haines said it’s vital to be involved in such initiatives. 

“It was definitely rewarding,” he says. “You have somebody who's never been in industry properly see what the reality is like, so that was good. “It's quite fun having somebody very keen and enthusiastic around the place who wants to learn lots. Some of the stuff he did we still use, so just in terms of work, it was useful having him here, for sure. 

“Everybody liked working with him and, for lots of people, if you're teaching somebody what you're doing, you also get some perspective on what you're doing yourself. It's very good to reflect on, so in that respect, I think a lot of people got a lot from it.” 

Haines concedes that offering support and opportunities to those from underrepresented groups is “essential”, adding: “We want clever, motivated people who want to work here. There are people who fit into that category across all ranges, and if people are missing out, that needs to be addressed. So yes, I think it's very important.”

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