talents

How to get into Motorsport?

With so many people in our team, there are many stories of how they got in the team. On this talents page we tell the different routes they have taken to work in motorsport.

Jennifer

Team Coordinator

Jennifer is our team coordinator and is responsible for all logistics and travels. Born in New Zealand, she has been in motorsport for quite some time, on different continents. She has a degree in Marketing and International Business, but she also mentions this isn’t really the degree you need for this job. Her job can be very unpredictable, especially looking at the 2020 season where everything got on hold for some months.

Together with her partner David, also a Kiwi, they made their way from New Zealand to Europe. She began working in the Toyota Racing Series selling merchandise, and started on a voluntary basis. Jennifer mainly wanted to help out and meet people, which is what she did. She met the championship’s Events Manager and quickly started to assist her. After getting experience in Indycar and GTs, she ended up in the Netherlands when MP Motorsport expanded to FIA Formula 3.

“Knowing more languages will only be helping you more and make it easier for you to get a job.”

 

‘I think the most important thing when you want to work in motorsport is knowing multiple languages. You should definitely be able to speak English, because it is the main language spoken in motorsport. Knowing more languages will only be helping you more and make it easier for you to get a job.’

Another important thing is building a good network. ‘Getting into motorsport is hard. Once you’re in there you are fine, but motorsport seems like an exclusive bubble that is mostly using people from within the bubble when job opportunities open up. I get a lot of messages on LinkedIn and other social media channels asking me how I got the job or if I know any job opportunities. That is how I also started, messaging different team principals asking if I can help with anything. When people start recognizing your face in the paddock because you either work hard or help out with different things or stand out in a specific job, it will only get easier.’

One tip Jennifer would like to give to people who want to start working in motorsport is to not aim for your dream job immediately. ‘I started washing dishes, and now I am a team coordinator. It is way harder to go for that Formula 1 dream job if you have zero experience within motorsport or not a network. Try volunteering at events or start messaging teams in feeder series, they are mostly easier to get in because the teams aren’t as big as F1 teams, or get in contact with the right person. Via this way you’re building both a network and experience.’

Vincent

FRECA Mechanic

Vincent works as a mechanic in the Formula Regional European Championship by Alpine since the 2021 season. Last season, he was Kas Haverkort’s mechanic in Spanish Formula 4, where Kas ended up as the champion in the series.

Being a motorsport mechanic started as a hobby for him, in addition to studying as a car mechanic. Vincent got into motor racing through a friend who was a hobby-racer as well and was looking for someone to help him out during the races. ‘It got out of control and soon wasn’t a hobby anymore. I met someone who knew people at MP and quickly got the job at MP Motorsport.’ After the Spanish F4 season a position at the FRECA team opened up, which felt like a very logical and clear step for him to make because of the experience he had gained in the team.

‘You need a specific mentality to get a job as a mechanic, or in motorsport overall. If you really love working from 9 to 5, it isn’t a job for you. Or if you really prefer your weekends off and spending them with friends, it isn’t a job for you either. You need to work hard, for long hours and always give 100% to get the job done.’

“If you want something you have to go for it, even if it takes 7 years.”

 

Vincent has always had an interest in working with cars, as a few years ago he was an intern at the Renault VKV Group fixing road cars. After his first week, his supervisor told him that he shouldn’t become a regular mechanic because he had more to offer. At that moment, Renault VKV Group was a sponsor of Max Verstappen, and one of his former Formula 1 cars was displayed in the showroom as a demo car. He had the idea of working in motorsport for a while, and after seven years finally got his dream job in motorsport. ‘Another skill you need is to not give up. It’s a tough world, but if you want something you have to go for it, even if it takes seven years.’

David

FIA F3 Engineer

David is FIA Formula 3 and Spanish Formula 4 engineer. He has been dreaming about being an engineer in motorsport since he was a kid. He started volunteering in Formula V teams, which is a volt series and the lowest entry-level in New Zealand. ‘After that, I moved into the formula student team when I started studying engineering at Auckland University, as a mechanical engineer. I did this for three years, then I moved as a number 2 mechanic to the Toyota Racing Series, which is the top level of racing in New Zealand.’ From there he worked his way up through different racing series.

After living and working in Indianapolis and the United Kingdom, he and his partner Jennifer (team coordinator) moved to the Netherlands. David was working with a Finnish GP3 team, where he worked with multiple other guys who now work at MP Motorsport. The team quit racing in GP3 when MP Motorsport started racing in Formula Renault Eurocup. He and a lot of other guys moved to MP Motorsport.

“You need to have a good attitude and willing to work hard, so people get to know you based on that reputation.”

 

‘I think for us it’s quite hard coming from New Zealand and working in motorsport, compared to coming from there it’s pretty easy getting a job in motorsport if you are from Europe. You need to go through a different route than starting it when you are already living in Europe. In Europe, you can study engineering and go straight into engineering, but in New Zealand, you have to do the jobs like being the number 2 mechanic to get on to start with. Overall, I think it is mainly about your attitude. You need to have a good attitude and willing to work hard, so people get to know you based on that reputation. I think that’s more important than being born with a talent for engineering. In the end, it is still about networking.’

Jan

F4/FRECA Mechanic

Jan is a first mechanic at MP Motorsport, currently in the Formula Regional European Championship by Alpine team. He started as an intern in 2018, working for the Spanish Formula 4 team. He stayed with the F4 team in 2019, now as an employee instead of an intern. During the 2020 season, he moved up to the then-named Formula Renault Eurocup team, which is now the FRECA team.

‘I studied at the TT-Instituut Assen as a technical specialist, car mechanic at MBO level 4, which is connected to MP Motorsport for internships. They started collaborating with MP in 2018, and every year they send two students to MP Motorsport. The internship lasted nine months, and after that, I got in as an employee.’

Jan did not really have the idea of working in motorsport, as he also had an internship at a car company as a mechanic, and he wasn’t too sure if this was the job he wanted. After that, he ended up at MP Motorsport and immediately knew this was the job for him. ‘Obviously, you dream about having a job in motorsport, but I didn’t have the feeling it was possible. It felt like something out of my reach.’

“You are given a lot of freedom in your work, which is nice, but you also need to deliver results.”

 

‘To fulfill the job as mechanic in motorsport you need to be independent. There isn’t a supervisor holding your hand all the time. I wasn’t that independent myself, but you have to learn and teach it yourself if you want to keep the job. You are given a lot of freedom in your work, which is nice, but you also need to deliver results.’

The step up from F4 to FRECA felt a bit tough, but it was a good step. After the season in F4, he moved to New Zealand for five weeks to work in the Toyota Racing Series with the same car FRECA uses. ‘This made the step coming back to MP easier because I was already aware of the car and knew the technical side of it. But looking at how the job has to be done, it is the same as in Formula 4. You need to get it done by yourself, be independent in your job, and give it all to learn about the new car.’

Loïs

Social Media Admin

The MP Motorsport media team consists of two people: Lois and Jeffrey. Lois is the social media manager and takes care of all PR activities. She has been working at MP Motorsport since the 2020 season. Lois knew she wanted to work in sports for quite a while, as after finishing high school she studied International Event Management Studies with the idea of working in sports. ‘At that moment it was mainly football I wanted to work in, but over the years I started watching more and more motorsport and figured I wanted to be a part of that. After college, I started working full time, with various jobs, and I discovered that I really liked social media for businesses.’

After working for three years, she went back to school to study part-time communication. ‘If I wanted to have my dream job in motorsport, I knew I had to go back to school to improve myself. I did online research on what kind of background you need when you want to work in communication/PR with a focus on motorsport. I found a two-year part-time study, which meant I would go to school one day and could still work the other days.’ She started the study with the idea of having the degree and then looking for jobs in motorsport, but it all went faster than she expected.

‘Through a family member I was given the phone number of Daniel de Jong at MP Motorsport, who was handling the team’s media and PR at the time. Apparently, I called at the perfect time because he just decided that he wanted to take a step back in media. I started working full time once the season hit off in July.’ According to Lois, there are two important things you need if you want to work in motorsport – a network and the need to be able to think out of the box.

“There are so many people who want a job in motorsport, so you really need to stand out.”

 

‘Before I worked at MP, I messaged every Dutch big motorsport news blog and asked if they needed someone for their social media. I did this with a video where I introduced myself and explained what I would do with their social media, instead of sending the regular e-mail with resumé. I got a lot of positive comments, even if they didn’t hire me because of a budget, but luckily I was able to join MP shortly after that. There are so many people who want a job in motorsport, so you really need to stand out instead of just a regular boring e-mail. I wanted people to remember me, even if they didn’t hire me. This is also how I started my motorsport media network which made my job at MP easier.’