The F1 Industry generated 1.8 billion in revenue in 2018. It’s a pivotal part of the Motorsport world and for a good reason. It attracts viewers and fans across the globe, generating revenue through a range of avenues ticket sales, television deals and sponsorship.

The uniqueness of the sport of Formula 1 is the range of challenges it creates for the competing teams and drivers, and the compression of those challenges into immovable timescales and deadlines that have to be met at venues around the world and at all times under the scrutiny of a global media and viewing public every week.

The innovative motorsport industry is consistently pushing the boundaries of what’s possible, with continual advances for technology, speed, safety and efficiency. Formula 1 also faces legislation and regulation, accommodating continuous improvement as teams compete against opposition day to day and event to event.

Standard car manufacturers also look up to the F1 industry for new ideas. Colin Chapman’s philosophy was “Adding power makes you faster on the straights – Subtracting weight makes you faster everywhere”, which transformed automotive techniques for producing car chassis, and the ‘weight first, power second’ philosophy has meant that his method to manufacture remains standard today, using lighter materials to increase the overall performance of vehicles.

Be a pioneer and help to drive change and innovation not just within your own business but in your industry. Little drives success more than bringing new ideas to the table and being able to deliver on things that haven’t been done before or weren’t thought to be possible. F1 engineering is constantly pushing the boundaries of what’s possible.

“The key to any F1 car is the speed when it hits corners, not necessarily its top speed simply going straight”

This is important, in a lot of aspects. Your business model and structure must be robust enough to get through the bits that are not straightforward, as must you, in yourself. Starting and running a business is notoriously difficult, and there are often more curves and bumps involved in running a business than you’ll ever find on a racetrack. Building a business that is designed to maintain enough speed and intensity to win even when things aren’t easy is the essential for sustainable life and business success.

There are circa 16,000 components and 600 team members to one F1 car. Every tiny component is engineered to high precision, and the consequences of just one of these not fitting perfectly can be catastrophic – worse than losing a Championship; death of a teammate. Race day performance aside, anything as small as a component not arriving on time can delay assembly and have a knock-on effect on the rest of the business.

Team roles to name a few, range from early stage design and technological innovation through to marketing and race day mechanics. Each job is of paramount importance to getting the most out of the car. The whole team relies on each other for example to ensure every piece of equipment is up to scratch, growth funds are raised through sponsorship and to maximise the effectiveness of the car through race strategy. The driver alone is not responsible for the success of the team, they actually form an incredibly small part of it. All of the design, aerodynamics, manufacture, software, engineering and support is essential for delivering a fast, effective and safe vehicle that enables the driver to win.

IT systems are equally important when it comes to racing, as huge amounts of data are generated which need to be analysed by experts and translated into useable information that can be passed to the engineers and the driver.

Formula 1 magnifies the fundamental principles of any team, that every single person’s input is crucial to overall results. Even if a person (or a process, or piece of equipment) isn’t directly involved in the final stages of success, the contribution is key and something not being quite right behind the scenes can have a large knock on effect. In any business, every single team member can be vital to the growth of the business. The right processes, regulations and support is also extremely important, to provide the guidance needed to get everything done in just the right way.

Picture your competitors as the other F1 teams in the race. Who wins doesn’t just come down to the best driver, it’s a result of many factors such as the team with the best engine, the most robust components and the cars that are least susceptible to damage and failure. It’s also down to having the race engineers who can identify problems and advise on the best strategy, the fastest; and which team can change tyres the fastest.

As a leader in business, imagine you are in the driver’s seat.

It’s largely up to you what you do with the car, the team you have and the direction you choose to take them. Being able to handle whatever the track throws at you and dealing with it in a matter of seconds will help breed sustainability in an ever changing, competitive marketplace. Having the right people, culture and systems is also essential to win.

Often it is refreshing and interesting to step out of our day to day businesses and environment. Visualising a different environment can open the mind to never before considered possibilities and drive new inspiration for greater success. Considering your team or business as that of a multi-million revenue F1 team could be a great way to future proof your business and reach new, higher heights.

Do things the same, repeatedly, and you get the same results. Applying change strategically with great leadership, innovation and action, in our increasingly technological era, can be hugely positive.

How do you feel about this? Be courageous with the heart of a lion. Give it a try in one of your team strategy planning workshops and let us know how you get on. We’d love to hear from you.