Xenith Racing, the senior-most F1 in Schools racing team in IHS, has qualified for the F1 in Schools World Finals in Singapore later this year and will be a proud representative of UAE. F1 in Schools Technology Challenge is a global challenge that involves over 20 million students from 40 countries and is the largest and most successful school based STEM program in the world. IHS has been one of the most prominent figures of the F1 in Schools scene in the UAE.
Atree Ghosh has been a part of the challenge for 4 years. An integral team member of Xenith Racing for 3 years, he has contributed immensely to this program in IHS and the UAE, with plans to do so at the global level. He is now the Manufacturing Engineer of Xenith Racing.
Below, he talks to Tanish Jain, Senior Reporter for Light House, about what has made Xenith succeed so far and gives insights into the team’s functioning and beliefs.
Tanish: Xenith Racing has just qualified for the F1 in Schools World Finals. How does it feel to finally see all your hardwork pay off? Are you also, perhaps, a little tensed since you’ll be responsible for representing the UAE?
Atree: Well, it feels great! Although we feel a bit hard done with our exams coming up, I guess we could celebrate once they’re done with. Seeing what past participants have done while representing UAE gives us confidence to do better than what have already been great achievements but obviously the high expectations do leave us a little tensed.
Tanish: Talking about the UAE teams of the past, how well has UAE progressed over the years in this competition? Looking at the teams who have been a part of the World Finals earlier, what have you learnt from them?
Atree: Taking inspiration from teams from our school like Adroit Infinitum and Blackbird was key as we saw a part of their struggles, and also the overall journey they had, first hand. We learnt about not only the little details but also about how they came together as a team, showing us how to become a cohesive unit. Apart from IHS, other schools have also made a mark for UAE at the World Finals. From most recent memory it would be Safire Racing, which really brought a new level of precision to F1 in Schools in the UAE with their German background and that has allowed others like us to see this perfection in front of us and perceive to not only be as good but even better. Of course, keeping the above names in mind, Zer0.9 also established UAE as a driving force on the global stage. All these great performances from UAE teams has really put UAE up there on the global stage but a world title would make it even better.
Tanish: F1 in Schools obviously involves a lot of things to be taken care of. What were they?
Atree: A lot of things in short. To begin with, obviously the car, which has many aspects to itself like the designing and manufacturing. Then to do it all you need the money which the marketing and finance guys come up with. To make all look good you then have the corporate identity manager to make sure the team has its own “brand”. In the end to make sure everything is done right, the team manager has to assert his authority.
Tanish: Woah, that seems like a lot of work. How did you manage to meet deadlines? Was it ever frustrating to see work not getting done?
Atree: Well fortunately, I didn’t have to do all of it and the rest of the team surely helped in doing their parts and completing work as a team. In terms of meeting deadlines, it took a lot of commitment and when that didn’t work, we simply had a fall-back plan. Getting work not done is always frustrating but after being in this competition for so long you get used to working around it a lot and play to the benefits of the situation.
Tanish: Xenith has been a part of the competition for years now. What was one of the greatest challenges you faced throughout your journey thus far? Looking back, do you wish you had done some things differently?
Atree: Considering we have been taking part for so long we gained a lot of experience and I would say our biggest challenge has been putting that experience to good use. In terms of doing things differently there could be of plenty of moments, the main one being planning differently. But those days are done and our current job is considering those things we would have done differently and make sure we at least implement them now.
Tanish: Yes, I think the mistakes that you learnt from have helped you reach so far. Now, you’ve been selected to represent the UAE at the World Finals from a lot of teams across the country.What do you believe is unique about Xenith that has made it stand out?
Atree: I would say what makes us different is our hands-on experience. Ever since the start we have been very committed to getting better and reaching where we are today. To do so we emphasized on innovation and hard work, both of which go hand in hand.
Tanish: You’ve made yourself stand out in the UAE. But the World Finals will see a lot of experienced teams from across the globe. What are your plans to make sure that you leave a lasting impression in Singapore?
Atree: Well, standing out in the UAE was quite a big task, but the whole world is a much bigger task. So we have to do something more, which is being ourselves. This means we will focus on working hard and concentrating on our strong points. One of which is making a fast car,and setting a world record will surely leave a lasting impression.
Tanish: How has the journey so far helped you grow as a person? What are your aspirations for your team, your school and the country when you’ll represent the UAE in front of the world in Singapore?
Atree: Growth is the only word I can think of in terms of what the F1 in Schools journey has done for me so far. In terms of aspirations for the World Finals as both being part of a collective and as an individual it would be to become World Champions. I feel it is time for us as a team and the UAE as a country to realise our potential and strive to show the world that we simply are one of the best and a true force to contend with.
Tanish: That’s absolutely wonderful. I sincerely hope that Xenith succeeds at the World Finals and brings laurels to the UAE and IHS. All the best!
Atree: It’s been great talking to you and the support of our fans will be a key aspect to doing our best, lets hope we can make the country proud.
By Tanish Jain
Senior Reporter of Light House