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MY NAME IS… RICHARD EAGLES

MY NAME IS… RICHARD EAGLES

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… Richard Eagles
I am (age): 25
My job title is: Lifing Coordinator
My hobbies are: Martial Arts, Photography, Motor Racing

Q. Before working in Formula One, I studied…

My school is actually in Brackley and only about five minutes walk from the factory! When I was at school, I wasn’t too sure what I wanted to do later in life. I had several ideas but at the time, like most kids at that age, I couldn’t decide what direction to point my life in. So I studied a variety of topics and achieved A-Levels in IT, Geography and Music plus an AS Level in History. Straight after school I went to study at Bucks New University where I studied Multimedia Technologies for three years and earned a first-class Honours degree.

Q. Before MERCEDES GP PETRONAS, I worked…

After finishing university, I looked into joining the RAF and whilst this was progressing, I took a temporary job at my local Debenhams store. I later decided that the RAF wasn’t for me and my part-time job became a permanent one. During this time, I was looking for jobs that were focused around my degree but the place that I really wanted to work at was our factory which at the time was the Honda Racing F1 Team. I honestly thought that the chance was very slim as I hoped to move from retail to a Formula One team but after a lot of applications and a few nervous interviews, I started working for the team in late 2007.

Q. My job, on a day-to-day basis, is…

Whenever I talk to people about my job, the first question I am always asked is ‘What is a Lifing Coordinator?’ So I’ll clear that up first. Many parts on a Formula One car are what we call ‘lifed’ and have a ‘life span’. Each part has an assigned part number and life number which are used to identify the part and store information on our system. Once a part has done a set number of kilometres, it will have a check-up and once it reaches a set limit of kilometres, we will stop using the part. All lifed parts on the car are critical to either safety or reliability so it is vital that we know when they have reached their limit.

My role as a Lifing Coordinator is to manage the lifed parts, maintain accurate information and to issue the parts to our mechanics to build the cars or to other departments for internal testing. Along with my colleague Andy (we’re known in the factory as ‘the lifers’) we liaise with other departments that build and service these parts so that we are able to meet deadlines and ultimately get the parts to where they need to be when they are needed. We also work with the race team Spares Coordinator, Tony Walton, to make sure he has all the spares he needs for when the team are at the circuit.

We generally look after suspension parts including the wishbones, the metal work for the chassis and the bolts that join everything together, as well as a number of other parts that go in or on the chassis and gearbox.

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

Working in Formula One means working at the top level of motorsport and by being at the top, you always have to improve. I’ve learnt so much since I started working for the team and I’ve gained knowledge, skills and experiences that I will have for the rest of my life. It’s great to be able to see the end result of your work on television and to know that I’ve had a hand in getting our cars across the world and racing. And it’s even better if we see our drivers on the podium.

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

That I work for MERCEDES GP PETRONAS! I feel extremely fortunate to be part of this team and to have the job that I have because unlike most, I’ve been fortunate enough to move straight into Formula One. Most people have to work their way up through the smaller formulas before they can get a job in the top category of our sport. As well as that, I have lived in Brackley for most of my life, and I have seen the team start out as British American Racing and grow into the team that it is now and I’m proud to say that I’ve been part of that in recent times. Particularly the last year and a half with winning the championships as Brawn GP and now being involved with building the Silver Arrows.

Q. The most challenging aspect of my work is…

Planning ahead is vital in Formula One as it’s such a fast moving sport. If you are not prepared, the impact will be seen on the track. So we have to make sure that we are always thinking ahead so that if an issue or change of plan presents itself, we are able to adapt and make sure everything else can keep running smoothly and uninterrupted.

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