Editor’s Note: This article on educated drivers in Formula 1 is posted in collaboration with an outside sponsorship client. The opinions and information contained within do not necessarily represent Frontstretch and its staff.
Formula 1 drivers have become the modern-day heroes of car racing because of their ability to control their aerodynamic vehicles at high speeds. Often, when they are seen taking the podium after winning a race, academics is the last thing on anyone’s mind.
But are these drivers highly educated? Or did they choose to pursue their dreams of motorsport straight out of high school? To help you understand, here are the best-educated Formula 1 drivers and their level of education that they have acquired over the years.
Lewis Hamilton is one of the most popular F1 drivers and has won several prominent titles during his career. This Mercedes driver started racing at a young age, driving go-karts, and advanced from there. Throughout the years, he realized that young drivers were not that educated. The discovery he made was that many of the kids he drove with made racing the one and only hope they have.
As a result, he wanted to change the system and he’s currently trying to rock the boat from inside. Hamilton is trying to create educational programs that help young drivers remain academically competitive and, at the same time, improve their driving skills.
His own academic educational achievements are attending the Cambridge College of Arts and Sciences. He chose this program because it afforded him more time to focus on his dream of F1 racing.
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Jonathan Palmer is one of the best-educated F1 drivers. Palmer is actually a qualified doctor that raced in the Grand Prix for seven years. Undoubtedly, this driver has had great success in academics just as much as he did in racing. It also indicates his character since it shows that he is a determined individual who is driven both on and off the track.
Palmer started racing in the F2 championships and that is where he gained much popularity. When he started racing, the doctor was in the middle of his medical studies which shows great passion for this sport. This driver raced in many different leagues apart from F1 during his racing career. Later on, he ended up test driving McLaren cars and went back to F2 driving.
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Nico Rosberg is a fine example of a F1 driver who made it to the top through educational programs offered to him. Ever since he was young, Rosenberg was pursuing programs that would put him in a much better position to be a great driver. He was part of various racing programs and Rosberg excelled, moving up the ranks to become a full-time F1 driver.
Apart from the racing programs he was a part of, this world-renowned driver was offered a chance to study aeronautical engineering in London at the Imperial College. He scored high marks in this course, making him one of the most educated F1 drivers in history. That accolade was just one of the things that made this young bright driver shine.
Daniel Ricciardo is one of the Italian-Australian racers that has made his fans proud through exemplary performance on the track. He drew inspiration from his father, who was involved in motorsports and exposed him to the racing world at a very young age. This driver did not focus only on driving, but instead, he pursued education for himself.
Ricciardo went to Newman College and then started attending various driving programs that made him the great driver that he is today. A balanced view on racing and pursuing academic passions was a wise choice for Ricciardo because it helped him establish a safety net. That gave him options just in case he did not make the F1 racing cut.
Jenson Button is a F1 driver that was part of the McLaren Young Driver Program that has been designed to help drivers rise in rankings. This program has enabled many drivers just like it did to Button with opportunities to conquer the F1 driving scene.
The McLaren Young Driver Program enabled drivers such as Lewis Hamilton to be on center stage as well. That is why Button was thrilled to be part of this program when he was invited to join the academy.
Part of the lessons he learned apart from driving technique included important life skills for drivers. Those also involved physical training and nutritional programs to stay alert and flexible at all times.
At the same, Button was equipped with the skills of making it in the professional F1 driving world. He used his knowledge for contractual guidance, public endorsements, and even funding to upscale his career. Undoubtedly, this program is the fast lane to F1 success amongst youngsters.
The bottom line
Regardless of what passion you are pursuing, it is very important to have more than one option available for you. It offers a safety net that you can fall back on when things do not work out as quickly as you’ve expected. At the same time, when you get injured or retire, it will be worthwhile having something to do.
Author Bio: Paul Calderon works for a publishing firm as a senior writer and editor and works on careers, business and technology sections. He is into academic writing as well and works as a freelance thesis and dissertation writer. In his free time, he loves to draw cartoons, read science books and magazines and play board games.
About the author
The author of Did You Notice? (Wednesdays) Tom spends his time overseeing Frontstretch’s 40+ staff members as its majority owner and Editor-in-Chief. Based outside Philadelphia, Bowles is a two-time Emmy winner in NASCAR television and has worked in racing production with FOX, TNT, and ESPN while appearing on-air for SIRIUS XM Radio and FOX Sports 1's former show, the Crowd Goes Wild. He most recently consulted with SRX Racing, helping manage cutting-edge technology and graphics that appeared on their CBS broadcasts during 2021 and 2022.
You can find Tom’s writing here, at CBSSports.com and Athlonsports.com, where he’s been an editorial consultant for the annual racing magazine for 15 years.
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