back to article Dream job: Sysadmin/F1 pit crew member with Red Bull racing

Another day down the salt mines getting you down? Your correspondent's been lucky enough to get out and about today to the first day of the Australian Formula 1 Grand Prix, where I learned about what might just be the Best IT Job Ever: sysadmin and rear jack operator for the Infiniti Red Bull Racing Team's (IRBRT) Formula 1 team …

  1. kbb
    Thumb Up

    "...for a complete tyre change and fuel top-up"

    Except they don't refuel anymore.</pedant>

    1. Simon Sharwood, Reg APAC Editor (Written by Reg staff)

      Re: "...for a complete tyre change and fuel top-up"

      Fixed that up. What I know about F1 can clearly be written on a postage stamp.

  2. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    " That needs to be done within a second or so, because by the time the jack is in place the rear wheels will already have been loosened"

    Kids round here would have left the scene with your wheels and put the car on bricks in that time

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Speed

      Rumour has it McLaren once tried a Scouse pit crew who scored a world record tyre change time but then realised they had also resprayed the car, changed the VIN plates and flogged it to Williams

  3. GlenP Silver badge

    Many years ago I had the chance of a job with one of the F1 teams - trouble was I'd have been the poor sucker left back at Brackley on race weekends.

    1. Annihilator

      Can't help but wonder what the job *after* that one would have been though? I suspect most people working on-track for F1 teams started off as the sucker back at the factory.

  4. MrDamage

    Let's See

    Willing to work in a high stress environment setting up and maintaining a huge fleet of kit?


    Willing to work with a horde of devices, and the people who use them known to sometimes be more fragile than the kit itself?


    Willing to undergo a grueling fitness regime to be able to cope with the physical exertion of being rear jack operator?


    Willing to work with AT&T to maintain connectivity?

    Sorry, that's a deal breaker. My sanity is tenuous enough as it is.

  5. RISC OS

    Nothing for your stereotypical... guy... obese 40 year old living in his others basement, playing games all weekend instead of mingling with real people.

    Should make it easier for me to get the job!

  6. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Seen many jobs advertised for software development in F1, the pay was absolutely rubbish.

    1. Annihilator

      Most jobs in F1 aren't brilliantly paid, the teams budgets are squeezed enormously. They rely on the fact that their employees are fans more than anything else.

      1. John Tserkezis

        "Most jobs in F1 aren't brilliantly paid, the teams budgets are squeezed enormously."

        This filters down to other forms of racing too, where at best, you might get flights and accomodation paid. At best.

        Even if not at F1 level, you're looking at multi-day events, trying to wrangle to get time off work (you do have a regular job that pays money, remember?).

  7. Joe 48

    Dream Job Indeed

    Always been tempted to apply for a F1 job. Would combine both my passions.

  8. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Closest I've come to F1

    Was providing some tech support to a company that installed some of our kit in Team Jordan's Pit Garage.

    Hoped I couldn't sort it over the phone and would have to go there in person - sadly, I didn't get to dust off my passport :(

  9. Ol'Peculier

    Could be worse

    At least you get to jack the car up at the back. Seen too many front jack guys get run over by their own drivers to want to take that gig thank you very much!

  10. Karlos2K

    Can I actually apply for this job. I can't see it on the Red Bull racing website?

    1. John Tserkezis

      "Can I actually apply for this job. I can't see it on the Red Bull racing website?"

      Like most higher level forms of racing, you usually don't just get there by applying through your "regular" channels.

      Like the story says: "Admit it: you want this job. To get it, I'm advised you need to be keen on motor sport, work your way up through lesser formulas and network to make sure you're aware when an opportunity arises."

      That is, if you're reading this here on ElReg for the first time, you're not eligible. Sorry.

      1. Karlos2K

        I already work for an FIA championship........

        1. Joe 48

          World touring car?

  11. 2+2=5 Silver badge

    They wouldn't like me...

    "I've run a simulation and I've found a simple upgrade that will shave 0.5 seconds off a lap.... upgrade the driver."

    1. Annihilator

      Re: They wouldn't like me...

      They do that at the end of each season really. In fact McLaren were (in?)famously caught for a month or so debating whether to "upgrade" their Button or Magnusson model to the retro Alonso 2.0 model.

      Sadly the Alonso 2.0 model has, erm, crashed. So they're rolling back while they work out the bug fixes.

  12. andy gibson

    IT job at Williams

    Williams are also looking for an IT Infrastructure Technician

  13. Lord Egerton

    Applicant must be a functional insomniac

    Sounds like a great job for a fan like me.

    Bet the only downside is that you're unlikely to sleep much, if at all, for about a week every 2 weeks for 9 months - but you do get a month off in August.

  14. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Only for those who are into pain

    While the world of F1 is exciting to observe from the outside, the pressure and demands from those who actually perform the work is beyond comprehension. You've really got to be into pain to work in this arena.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Only for those who are into pain

      Been there done that.

      As the other AC says, it's an incredibly intense environment. The hours are stupidly long at the circuits, switching from rabidly intense to excruciatingly boring. It’s better now with limited testing but I used to have to hop from race to test to race, it’s not good for your sense of reality.

      It was a magic three years but I was very glad to get off the merry-go-round at the end.

  15. James Hughes 1

    Interviewed at Tag Mclaren some years ago

    Pay was average, hours were completely mental.

    Even as a race car person, it was a bit much. Not for the faint of heart, or people with families, or people with hobbies, or people who basically want a life outside of work.

    I know a couple of people who work in F1, one enjoys it, the other not so much...

  16. ukgnome Silver badge

    I think I will pass on that.

    1 second SLA is far too tight. I'm more the hope the customer isn't in within 3 rings kinda guy.

  17. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    Really ?

    So that's why RBR are stagnating !

  18. OzBob

    Sod moving back to Milton Keynes,...

    the Red Bull HQ is next to Browns Wood, which is a dump. And they keep employing Aussie drivers.

    1. Hairless Biker

      Re: Sod moving back to Milton Keynes,...

      Oi! Browns Wood is alright! OK, it's not Woughton on the Green, but it's not Netherfield either!

      1. werdsmith Silver badge

        Re: Sod moving back to Milton Keynes,...

        It's a short distance from Caldecote Lake, and a 10 minute walk to Bow Brickhill train station.

        It has been Stewart and Jaguar before, moved there from Blakelands.

        My brief experience in F1 was to contract on telemetry. It was more secret than some of the gov stuff.

        Wouldn't be secret now though, long since obsolete.

    2. Quentin

      Re: Sod moving back to Milton Keynes,...

      ... good ones though!

  19. Dom 3

    'bout 20 years ago I spent six months writing F1 pitlane software. I never saw a racing car. I never even saw F1 data: our data set was from some lesser formula and well out-of-date. And it didn't take me long to realise that I *didn't* want to be one of the guys going on race weekends.

  20. ScottAS2

    SLA: 24 hours, one day a year

    Surely endurance racing is a much better place for IT people? The cars there are self-jacking, so no need to leave the servers unguarded.

  21. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    My brother works for McLaren doing composite stuff (and he was at RedBull before that). A few years ago when the teams were allowed more staff at races he tagged along to help out at the odd race and his job during pitstops was just getting the rear wheel on the refueller's side out of the way. His other job seemed to be to deliberately lurk in the background when the ITV cameras were about...

    Though in all honesty the hours are long and the pay is average. Currently the points bonuses aren't great, and as things stand it doesn't look like McLaren will be getting points for a few races! I'm still waiting for him to get me a tour of the MTC, but in times past I've been to their old place in Woking via Sun and also to (what was then) Benetton via Veritas.

    1. werdsmith Silver badge


      Wasn't it reported that Red Bull and Mercedes staff got a 10K bonus when they won their championships?

  22. This post has been deleted by its author

  23. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    The problem is Red Bull itself

    Can't stand the stuff. Irn Bru is much better.

  24. Jim 59

    According to popular rumour, people in F1 are almost exclusively arrogant berks, while people in motorbike racing are cool, friendly and approachable.

    Don't shoot the messenger! I know nothing of either sport, no idea how true this is and I am just repeating the rumour.

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