“The Academy does a global search, and they go to seven different regions around the world,” says Matt Crossan, a current Academy engineer. “I was selected from the Canadian region. The process is pretty competitive, pretty rigorous. It culminates in a two-day final, where I went to Montreal during the [Formula 1] race weekend. There were 10 finalists; we all competed against each other in drag races, technical challenges, interviews with the team principal, and meeting the drivers . . . to make sure we’d be a good fit in the company.”
Academy victors like Crossan complete a yearlong placement program, comprising 6 months with the Renault Sport F1 team and 6 months at the Infiniti Technical Center. Crossan says he “worked in the [Renault Sport F1] mission control room for Brazil and Abu Dhabi,” the last two 2017 F1 races, and the 2018 Bahrain Grand Prix. Now two weeks away from finishing the programme, he has secured a position with Renault Sport F1’s simulation development group.
Crossan credits undergraduate endeavors for his Academy success. “I worked on my university’s Formula Student team, which is basically building a small-scale Formula 1 car, so I had very applicable experience.”
Current engineering students can replicate Crossan’s path. “The best thing they can do, shortcut into F1, would be joining the Infiniti Engineering Academy,” he says. “You can sign up on the Infiniti webpage.”