Formula 1® social outreach programme The Next Grand Prix races into its third year

Formula 1 is once again laying down the gauntlet and challenging students to plan and pitch the sport’s next Grand Prix.

Launched in 2022 in partnership with the charity, Social Mobility Business Partnership (SMBP), The Next Grand Prix (TNGP) is part of a wider education programme undertaken by Formula 1 to make the sport more diverse and accessible to children and young people from lower socio-economic backgrounds and underrepresented groups.

The programme invites students aged between 16 and 18 to deliver a fictional bid for a new Formula One World Championship™ location, whilst empowering them to assume a business leadership role and develop the skills that underpin a career in business.

This year, the series has expanded to reach more participants and a total of 10 workshops will take place. In addition to the workshops F1 will play host to, four international City law firms – A&O Shearman, Clifford Chance, Hogan Lovells, and Travers Smith – will also be inviting students to their London offices to take on the challenge.

Delving into the world of F1, each student is assigned a business leadership role within their bid team. Some are appointed Chief Financial Officer, General Counsel or Head of Marketing, others will be Heads of Sustainability or Chief Commercial Officers. Each team is tasked with evaluating the risks and rewards associated with hosting an F1 race and with convincing a panel of expert judges why their bid should be chosen. The winning teams from each workshop this year will progress to a “Championship Final” held on Friday 9 August at F1’s Media & Technology Centre in Biggin Hill, Kent.

Since TNGP’s launch, 281 students have embraced the challenge of pitching their next Grand Prix. Of those surveyed so far this year, all participants agreed they’ve developed key business skills such as critical thinking, teamwork, and performing under pressure that they could use in future, while 98% agreed that the workshops had opened their eyes to different jobs within the business world and what those roles are responsible for. Students have also said the programme has improved their self-confidence, understanding of operating in a business environment, and their presenting skills.

SMBP specialises in providing students with insight and skills work experience at leading businesses and has played a key role in establishing the criteria for student recruitment for TNGP. Placements have been offered to young people who attend a state-funded, non-fee-paying school or college and meet one or more other social mobility criterion, including being the first generation in their family to attend higher education, being eligible for free school meals, coming from a low-income background, having spent a period of time in care and/or being a full or part time carer.  

Alex Edmiston, Lead Counsel, Commercial at Formula 1 said:

“We’re thrilled to expand The Next Grand Prix to reach even more students in 2024. The workshop is designed to be both challenging and fun for students, whilst equipping them with key transferrable skills that they can carry with them to higher education and in their future careers. The highlight of each workshop is invariably seeing countless students overcome their nerves and transform into C-suite execs pitching their bid. We’re grateful to all four City law firms playing host to TNGP this year, as well as to SMBP for all their support with the programme.”