A day in the life of Dominic Hale

A day in the life of Dominic Hale
Race Support Engineer

What’s your job responsibility?
I am in the Race Engineering group, which includes both the race and performance engineers in the team, and I support them either trackside or from the Ops Room in Enstone. I also act as the Performance Engineer for the test drivers, and the Renault Sport Academy. This role means I can make sure the show cars are running as they should and that the young drivers have a similar experience to the Formula 1 drivers.

Describe a typical day in your job?
The days vary significantly depending on whether it’s a race weekend, a test event, a Renault Sport Academy event, or simply time spent back in the factory . During week days between racing, I spend a lot of time doing analytical work. This can range from digesting what happened during the race to what’s coming up at the next race. During race weekends, I will primarily be involved in discussing performance with the performance engineers, either from the control room at Enstone or supporting them track side.

How did you get the job?
I got my first job at Enstone 10 years ago as a post-graduate. I started out in the Vehicle Performance Group and this role allowed me to understand lots of different departments at the factory and I learnt a lot of theoretical information. After a while, I really wanted to move into the Race Engineer team and apply it all in practice.

What is your most memorable moment…?
Our two wins with Kimi Raikkonen at Abu Dhabi in 2012 and then in Australia at the start of 2013. The Enstone spirit was there for all to see and got us through some tough times.

And the worst part of your job…?
I would say adjusting to time differences is difficult, especially when supporting from the Ops Room. When you’re working at Enstone for a race weekend, whatever time it finishes at the track it could be midnight or whenever, you’re then straight into the factory the next day and on UK time.

The best part of your job then…
Sounds cliché, but everything I do whether it’s looking at data or onboards of cars. It’s not too detached from the games I used to play when growing up (and beyond), so it doesn’t feel like a job, more an extension of what I love doing.

If you weren’t doing this job what would you be doing?
Something to do with cars, maybe in the movie production industry. I think in a fantastical universe, there could be no physical limits about what the vehicle should do, and the engineering solutions are therefore very different.

What do you do after work? How do you unwind?
I love my movies, and cycling, particularly mountain biking. I also play computer games when I have time.

Do you have any tips/advice for those wanting to work in the industry?
I was worried when I graduated that there weren’t many jobs for me. I volunteered a lot and would advise this to anyone looking to join the industry. I also went back for an additional degree, where I studied a Master’s in Motorsport Engineering at Oxford Brookes University and ended up doing my dissertation with an F1 team. I used this experience and degree to help me get a job with a team.