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Homepage / Behind the Scenes: Students Dive into Motorsport Innovation at McLaren

Behind the Scenes: Students Dive into Motorsport Innovation at McLaren


Recently, students enrolled in the Motorsport MSc’s at Cranfield University, embarked on an exciting journey to the McLaren Technology Centre. This exclusive invitation came as part of the launch of the prestigious Tyler James Alexander Scholarship, established to honour the legacy of Tyler James Alexander, a pivotal figure in McLaren Racing’s storied history. 

Tyler’s remarkable career, marked by his contributions to McLaren’s triumphs in the Can-Am Championship and groundbreaking innovations like the semi-automatic gearbox, inspired the creation of this scholarship. Designed to support budding engineers in the motorsport industry, the scholarship offers a bursary towards the tuition fees a Motorsport master’s degree at Cranfield University, followed by two 3-month internships at McLaren Racing and Penske Racing. These internships provide invaluable hands-on experience and mentorship in the dynamic world of motorsport, emphasising values such as teamwork, excellence, and diversity. 

“What a day! It was truly inspiring to see heritage combined with modernity at the iconic McLaren Technology Centre. Thank you very much to Cranfield University and TJA for this opportunity!”

Zugatz Ansa, current student, Advanced Motorsport Engineering MSc

During the visit to McLaren, students seized the opportunity to engage with various heads of centres, gaining insights into their roles and experiences within the industry. A comprehensive tour of the facilities showcased McLaren’s rich heritage, spanning from its inception to its cutting-edge race car technology seen today on the racetrack. 

A highlight of the visit was a special session with team principle, Andrea Stella, who shared his personal journey into motorsport and offered invaluable advice on leadership and career development. Students were privileged to learn about McLaren’s recent victory in Miami and the team’s celebratory spirit firsthand. Particularly striking was McLaren’s tradition of attributing all race trophies to the collective efforts of the team, underscoring the importance of teamwork and unity in achieving success. 

“It was the best experience I had the entire year! I have never seen this much motorsport history all together on one campus. Seeing all the cars that were driven by Bruce McLaren, Ayrton Senna, Mika Häkkinen, Lewis Hamilton, Daniel Ricciardo, Lando Norris and many more incredible drivers was breath taking for all of us! My favourite part was when Andrea Stella came and spoke with us. He was so generous to take his time to give us insights about F1, and how to be an engineer within the industry.”

Sherife Ertay, current student, Advanced Motorsport Engineering MSc

The visit to McLaren if just one example of the practical and hands on approach Cranfield has to learning, as well as the strong ongoing partnerships with the leaders within industry. If you are interested in a future career within motorsport, a Cranfield University MSc can put you on the right track to achieve your goals. 

Cranfield University

Written By: Alice Kirkaldy

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