Work / Life: Head of Race Strategy

A day in the life of…
Matthieu Dubois, Head of Race Strategy

What are you responsible for in your job? What does that involve, what do you do, who with?
Along with three other people in our strategy group, I take primary responsibility for preparation and real-time execution of race strategies. This involves a sound level of interaction with the other engineers both at the track and back at base, but also a good understanding of various aspects of the car performance: tyres, fuel, engine, aero and so on.

Describe a typical day in your job.
Actually a quirk of the job is that in this role there isn’t a typical day! My wake-up call ranges from 05:25 when I take the first flight from Paris to Enstone on the weeks we aren’t racing, to 14:00 on race day at Singapore. You can’t be afraid of working funny hours because there isn’t a constant or moving time zone you can really refer to. I try to keep it simple with a coffee and light breakfast, jeans and shirt when I don’t have to wear team kit.

How did you get the job? What is your background and why did you take this job?
I started in F1 at Renault Sport 20 years ago and was initially involved with engine development, dyno testing then trackside. I moved to Enstone in 2007 as a track test engineer and did a first stint as a strategist from 2008 to 2012. I went back to Viry to work on the new V6 power unit and moved last year around Singapore time to take up the role of head of race strategy as part of the team’s growth and reconstruction.

What is your most memorable moment…
When Fernando won our first championship in 2005 – it was an every-minute fight from start to finish!

And the worst part of your job…?
Some of the travelling is a little taxing but it does come as a part of the role! Also, the job has this in common with working with the engine…you are definitely in the spotlight when it goes terribly wrong!

The best part of your job then…
When things go to plan, it can be very rewarding … and yes, it happens!

What do you do after work? How do you unwind?
I often go to Brittany, where I am from, when I have a spare weekend from the racetracks. I fly there in a small plane if the weather allows.

What do you do before going to sleep?
Not much during race weekends as I want to keep fresh for the next day, otherwise a good book usually does the transition. With all the travelling I have a simple rule against jet lag: sleep whenever I am tired, if I can!

Plan B… If you weren’t doing your job, what would you have done instead? My first dream as a kid was to be an aircraft pilot.