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My name is… Neil Atterbury

My name is… Neil Atterbury

Every month, MERCEDES GP PETRONAS will introduce one of the team’s dedicated employees. Their work may be different but they all are driven by the passion of Formula One and the desire to achieve on-track success.

My name is… Neil Atterbury
I am (age): 43
My job title is: Electronics Car Build Co-ordinator
My hobbies are: Photography, scuba diving, cars

The team in 3 words: Professionalism, Passion, Determination

Q. Before working in Formula One, I studied…

I left school at 16 after completing my O Levels and completed a four year Apprenticeship in Aviation Electronics whilst working for a company which maintained Business Jets based at Luton Airport. During this time I also completed two ONC diplomas courses in Aircraft Engineering and Electronics.

Q. Before MERCEDES GP PETRONAS, I worked…

I have always been a motor racing fan and eventually left aviation to work for a small company producing wiring harnesses for junior Formula racing cars and British Touring cars. After a year, I was offered a job with the Arrows Formula One Team which was initially factory based but then developed into a traveling role with the race team. At the end of the 1996 season, I was offered a job for a Champ Car team based in Indianapolis in the USA. I traveled to all of the races as an Electronics Technician and at the end of the season we finished as runners-up in both the Team and Drivers’ Championships. I returned to the UK at the beginning of the 1998 Formula One season to join Stewart Grand Prix and then moved to the newly formed British American Racing team at the end of that year. The rest, as they say, is history….

Q. My job, on a day-to-day basis, is…

I am responsible for the co-ordination of the production and allocation of the Electronics hardware to the two race cars. When the Drawing Office releases a new part, we ensure that sufficient quantity is manufactured to be able to allocate parts to both race cars and that there is always at least one spare. All parts are identified by a part number and life number so that we can accurately record the history of every component. With access to a central database, we can look at any part and know every mileage that it has completed on track. Certain parts are only able to run for a specific mileage so we have to precisely track their history to make sure that we don’t run out-of-life items.

Q. What I like about working in Formula One is…

I traveled on the race team here for ten years and had the opportunity to visit places all over the world, many of which I wouldn’t have otherwise experienced. It’s an opportunity that I wouldn’t have missed in so many ways, including the camaraderie within the team, the euphoria of winning and the cultural insights of some far-flung cities and countries. That said, it’s definitely not like going on holiday, or as glamorous as it might appear on TV. The hours are long and you spend a huge amount of time away from home and your family. However on the plus side, you know that you are working in a cutting edge technology industry with some of the best drivers and engineers in the world. The experience of winning races and championships in that environment is very rewarding.

Q. The best thing about working for MERCEDES GP PETRONAS is…

Everyone at the team is aware of the proud Mercedes motorsport history that we are now continuing by racing as the Silver Arrows. To have come through our recent history, which has had some uncertain moments, and to be part of a team which is so dedicated and passionate about winning, with a team of people who have proven to be successful, and the potential for us to take more World Championships, makes this a very special company to work for.

Q. The most challenging aspect of my work is…

Ensuring that all the deadlines are met, the cars are built to the best possible standard and that the parts we provide are reliable and safe. Behind the scenes, a huge amount of co-ordination and logistics is involved to ensure that we start every race in the best possible position to bring home a good result.

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