News & Events

Oracle Red Bull Racing enter the building

March 22, 2024

On Monday, 15 March, Croydon High alumna, Hannah Schmitz, the Principal Strategy Engineer for Austrian Formula One team Red Bull Racing, visited both the Junior and Senior Schools and gave us an insight into her exciting job and her life.

She told us that it all began in 2009 when she graduated from Cambridge with a Master’s in Engineering. However, this year also coincided with the economic recession that took place in 2008, which caused many F1 teams to be against hiring new personnel. Although she was a graduate, she applied to and joined Red Bull on a student placement and when another member left the team, she received a full-time job and, ever since, has won three championships with the team in her role! Formula One is traditionally perceived as a male-dominated sport, however women like Hannah Schmitz provide many girls who aspire to go into careers like F1 with hope and a role model to look up to. She shows them that their dreams, which they may have previously thought inconceivable, can come true. We are ever so grateful to both Hannah for giving up her time and Mrs Karteepan for organising this inspiring event.

Year 10

Hannah Schmitz is an icon within the world of Formula One for women and a beacon of light in a sea of men to show that dreams do come true. She joined Red Bull in 2009 and is considered a key cog in their machine and it was both a joy and an eye opener to be able to talk to her.

She brought with her parts of previous cars; the throttle pedal from the RB12 and the brake duct from the RB16. She showed us how much work went into creating, optimising, testing and transporting each individual part of the cars. In such a fast-paced world and with new races added to the calendar each year, she told us how she coped with the travel, demands, workload and balancing a family life. As a parent of two and an incredibly successful woman, she proves the two are not exclusive and is an inspiration to us all.

Meeting Hannah was a dream come true, and it goes to show how close your dreams are. Getting the insider view of a million, if not billion-pound industry and hearing firsthand what it means to her is truly a one-of-a-kind experience that will undoubtedly stick with me for life.

So, I would like to thank Hannah for taking one of her few free days in a year to come and see us and Ms Karteepan for organising this opportunity and making life-changing experiences happen.

Ava H-K
Year 10

From the Junior School

I really enjoyed Hannah’s talk, it was so interesting. I hadn’t really linked engineering with science. I will definitely be looking into this subject more. |
Amena D

I found Hannah to be really inspirational because not many women work in Formula One and she made me believe that women can do anything.
Shamirah H-M

I enjoyed Hannah talking in detail about her role and how she worked her way up. It shows that she is a determined and multi-tasking person. I liked being able to handle the props that she brought in too.
Ava P

I was inspired by Hannah’s passion and knowledge. She explained her job well and in detail and helped us all to understand the science behind how Formula One cars race.
Medina Z

Hannah’s talk was very interactive, I liked that she passed around real life objects. I was impressed that she was a Croydon High pupil and that she achieved her goals which is really inspirational. I also think it’s important that women in science inspire other women to pursue a career in this area.
Ellie P

Hannah was so inspiring and she introduced us all to STEM which was very interesting. We all enjoyed trying on the racing helmet!
Arisa M

It was a privilege to meet Hannah and invite her back to Croydon High. It was lovely to see the impact that she had on the Junior and Senior School pupils. Mr Taylor was quite excited and took a picture as soon as he saw the cutouts of Max Verstappen and Sergio Perez.

I can’t forget the beaming faces and multiple jaw-drops I witnessed from the pupils. She is an inspiration to all of us, not only is she a prominent figure in the F1 world, she’s also a mother of two girls!

The Astrogazers and I are delighted to have Hannah onboard Mission Pegasus. We look forward to inviting her again to Croydon High and to the upcoming Mission Pegasus meetings.

Mrs Karteepan
Head of Physics
Director of Astrogazers