Formula One dreams come true for local student
IN TWO weeks Jaden Partridge will walk into a Formula One garage to start his dream job.
The 21 year old from Teven has been announced the winner of a 12-month engineering placement with INFINITI Motorsport Company and Renault Sport Formula One in England.
Last Sunday he travelled to Hong Kong to compete against nine other students from the Asia-Oceania region where he won one of seven coveted positions world-wide.
More than 4000 people entered the online competition, and Mr Partridge said it is "unreal" and still hasn't sunk in yet.
The week since the announcement has been a blur of interviews, planning for the move and catching up with family before he moves overseas for the placement.
He will put his engineering degree at the QUT on hold while he takes up the position.
Mr Partridge said the two day competition was "very full-on". The finalists were assessed on both group and individual projects, as well as facing a panel interview and press conference.
He said the process was very interesting, and working with a group of other people, all working towards the same dream, was challenging and threw up some interesting dynamics.
At the end of the two days the President of INFINITI Motorsport Company announced the winner.
Mr Partridge said he couldn't believe it when his name was read out.
"I felt like I couldn't get my feet moving," he said. "I felt frozen."
He said Chris Dwyer (Head of Vehicle Performance, Renault Sport F1) said he was chosen because he placed consistently in the top pack of students in all of the activities.
While it was his dream to work in the motorsport industry, Mr Partridge said this was beyond what he thought he could achieve at such an early stage of his career, and he wanted other people like him to know they can achieve their dream as well
"As long as you are driven and persistent, you can do whatever you want.
"If there is another version of me at high school, I want them to not feel it is impossible."
In two weeks, the hard work begins.
In England he will live with some of the other winners, and will spend six months with INFINITI Motorsport Company and six months with Renault Sport Formula One.
With INFINITI, based in Cranfield, he will work with the team who develop the Energy Recovery System currently being used in Renault's Formula One cars.
Another six months will then be spent with Renault Motorsport team in one of a variety of areas.
Mr Partridge said he was interested in working on vehicle dynamics and suspension design, but was happy to see where the experience took him.
At the end of the year, he hopes to be offered a permanent position after completing his studies, but in the meantime, he is enjoying the dream.