Cut To The Race Podcast

How to become a Formula One official

Read about the pathway to joining the team that ensures each race weekend is a success.

Latest Episode | Cut To The Race Podcast

Ever wanted an access all areas pass? We know you have. They’re extremely hard to get unless you’re a celebrity, team personnel or forking out your life savings. Introducing the world of officiating.

These volunteers are essential to Formula One taking place each race weekend and are skilled in many areas to ensure the safety and well-being of drivers, teams and spectators.

FIA official at circuit event displaying yellow flag.

How do I apply?

Well, in most cases you can’t be a trainee and get accepted to be an official at an F1 event. Many have years of experience at grass roots and national level competitions in their home country before applying to international events. Even then, there is no guarantee.

How do I get officiating experience?

The FIA recommends reaching out to your local sporting club to see when their next event is and sign up as a trainee. From here, you’ll be partnered with experienced officials who will train you in a range of roles from flags, pit lane, marshalling, scrutineering and if you’re lucky – an appointed official in race control or stewarding.

During your time as volunteer you’ll be presented with opportunities to get assessed for different licence grades. If you’re passionate about working towards being an official at an F1 event, the recommended licence requirement differs each country in most cases to work on a flag point or pit lane. The licence awarded to you in basic terms means you know the rules and regulations, how to interpret and apply them, and can work in a team under supervision to perform your role.

Bear in mind, obtaining a graded licence, isn’t quick and easy. Your assessor will not only observe you in a practical setting but will request written assessment under the FIA guidelines. National sporting authorities have the ability to determine their own assessment criteria however, and it’s best to reach out to your local ASN for the correct information.

Don’t worry if you don’t pass the licence assessment first time! You’ll learn in your time as official, that everyone is welcoming and is eager to meet new people who are interested in officiating. They will assist you in many ways to make sure you are mentored and achieve your goals as an official.

I have my experience and licence, I’m ready to apply!

Congratulations! The next step is to discover who the race promoter is for the F1 event you’d like to be an official at. They will usually have all the contact details for the officials manager or a link to submit an online application. If the race promoter isn’t directly managing the officials it could be the ASN of that country or a local automobile or officials club. These details are not always easily available, especially if it’s not your home race and in another language. Should this be the case, your local ASN will be able to provide you with contact details – fingers crossed.

Now, don’t forget how important your ASN is when applying for these events. You want to ensure your licence is up to date with correct licence grade as you will need a letter of introduction from them if applying for an event overseas. This letter will detail your licence details and qualifications for the international ASN to determine if you qualify to be an official under their framework for international level competition.

You’ve been accepted!

Exciting news – you got that access all areas pass! Officials have the ability to do track walks, recover cars, watch the cars go down pit lane all weekend or maybe even get the coveted race control job.

The FIA is continuing to promote officials and the vital work they contribute to the sport, so if you fall in love with officiating, recommend it to a friend or family member who is just as passionate about F1 as you are. How cool would it be if you and your friends are all working a flag point together, a driver crashes in the gravel trap so you’re forced to jump on circuit and assist the driver alongside the recovery team?! Of course, we hope no driver does crash, but sometimes it happens, and just imagine the thrill of doing this.

To find your local ASN or clubs affiliated with FIA – click here.

Can’t wait to see you trackside!

Headline image credit: @BMMCUK on TwitterTwitter.

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