While most people might think of mechanics and engineers when they think of jobs in Formula 1, there are a whole host of other behind the scenes jobs that go on – including hospitality.
To find out what it takes to work in one of these highly sought after jobs, we spoke to Haas F1 Team’s Guest & Facilities Coordinator Alysha Lane to find out what qualifications you need, what skills you should have, and everything else you need to know.
What is your role?
As Guest & Facilities Coordinator I work across three operational functions within the team. Trackside partner guest management, team and driver kit management and facilities support.
What are your responsibilities and main jobs?
Within my role of trackside partner guest management, I am the main point of contact for all trackside ticketing and guest activation enquiries. I also create and deliver our trackside guest programme, which includes keeping our partners updated on events and protocol, as well as hosting them on-site.
I am responsible for the end to end management of team, travel and driver kit for personnel split across three different sites in the UK, USA and Italy. This includes being responsible for the lifecycle of all driver kit, laundry and race bag packing and being the point of contact between suppliers, ensuring deadlines are maintained.
I also support the Operations Manager, taking ownership of maintenance, service schedules and troubleshooting of factory equipment. This can involve obtaining quotes and overseeing building improvement projects as well as the yearly race bay and factory rebrands, maintenance budget tracking and contractor performance monitoring.
What qualifications do you need?
I studied BSc Events Management at the University of Lincoln and it gave me a good foundation for moving into sport. If you have the option of a professional placement year, take it. I did an internship at a luxury automotive manufacturer and this along with my degree put me in a strong position in a competitive graduate market. It was also my internship that put motorsport on my radar, and helped me figure out what industry I wanted to work in.
What should you study in school?
When I was in school, Formula 1 was not on my radar. In fact, I used to tell my Dad to turn it off on a Sunday! For me, what you study isn’t the priority however my job does involve a lot of administrative work, so having good grades in subjects such as Maths or English are an important foundation.
What other skills are useful?
To have an interest in sport and motorsport is essential, but I would be careful in ever declaring yourself a motorsport fan during an interview! Teams are looking for professionals, not fans and it is a tough industry that takes up a lot of time outside of standard ‘office’ hours. Time management and organisation are key. My role is so broad so there will be times where I have many unrelated projects going on at the same time and I must be able to prioritise. I work with people across the whole team, so being able to get on well with people is important, as well as a good sense of humour.
How can I get work experience?
Ask! Be willing to get your hands dirty and do anything. You will probably get a lot of people saying no, but it only needs one yes, and experience in any area will help. Motorsport is a lot about contacts. I started out in hospitality and travelling with the Formula 1 Paddock Club, which was great fun, but it also gave me experience of travelling extensively with work, as well as realistic expectations of just how hard and tough the industry can be. I was lucky to work across multiple teams again so was able to get to know people and get my foot in the door.
Do you get go to races?
Normally yes, although my race attendance has been heavily affected by the pandemic.
What does a day at work look like for you?
During the year, if I am not attending races, then it is fairly 08:00 – 17:00, Monday to Friday. Although February pre-season is always a hard month, with 14+ hour days and weekend work, to be able to get all the new season team kit ready in time. We are lucky that we have a gym on-site, so I will normally use this at lunch, so when I finish, I can fully relax and have time for my other hobbies.
Find the latest jobs with the Haas F1 Team, on the Motorsport Jobs website.