Ex-F1 Designer Reveals Mercedes ‘the Most Difficult’ to Join Compared to Other Teams

Published 01/13/2021, 5:42 AM EST
Formula One F1 – Turkish Grand Prix – Istanbul Park, Istanbul, Turkey -Mercedes’ Team Principal Toto Wolff FIA/Handout via REUTERS


Becoming Mercedes AMG F1’s designer is a dream come true for any motorsports engineer. However, bagging such a job as a student seems like a pipe dream; no one would believe that it could happen. Gabriel Elias had the same reaction when he had cracked it while still pursuing his Masters at the Brookes University, Oxford.

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The engineer from Florida had begun his motorsports journey with aspirations of being a pilot. However, lack of funds forced him to get into design and engineering. Whatever the reason, pursuing engineering worked out well for him. He has been a part of the Mercedes design team for the past seven seasons now.

While he succeeded a lot earlier than most people, he revealed that getting into Mercedes was one of his toughest tests ever.

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‘Hardest interview ever’

Formula One F1 – Turkish Grand Prix – Istanbul Park, Istanbul, Turkey – Lewis Hamilton during practice FIA/Handout via REUTERS ATTENTION EDITORS –

Gabriel revealed that he had to go through a tedious procedure to get in, even as a student. He added that it was the toughest interview he ever had. Considering his fact that he had already been interviewed at a ton of other teams, his story is proof that getting into Mercedes is not easy.

“I was a nervous wreck. I spent two weeks preparing for it”

To this day, that the hardest interview I’ve ever done in my life, by far. I’ve interviewed at Ferrari; I’ve interviewed at most of the teams on the grid, but that was by far the most difficult,recalled Elias.

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Mercedes – a temple for effort and perfection

Silver Arrows continue to dominate F1 ever since the hybrid-engine era started. The Germans have perfected their art in the field and year after year, they keep producing the best car in the field.

The AMG Powertrains from this year were the best from Mercedes in this entire decade. The car was faster than almost every competitor, and it was also equipped with DAS.

The efforts from the team to keep providing an edge to the drivers over the others require them to be elite to perform at the zenith.

Formula One F1 – Emilia Romagna Grand Prix – Autodromo Enzo e Dino Ferrari, Imola, Italy – Race winner Lewis Hamilton poses for a photo with Mercedes team members as they celebrate winning the constructors championships Pool via Reuters/Luca Bruno

After going through it and then working there for a couple of years, though, you could start to see why the pecking order on the grid is the way it is.

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“The effort that Mercedes put into things making sure it hired the right candidates, even for a graduate-level job, really does show up on the track, ” concluded Elias.

Well, he has passed his time with the team and helped them win. As he moves back to his native land, Florida, his story will inspire a million others.

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Indrasish Ganguly

395 articles

Indrasish Ganguly is an F1 author at Essentially Sports. An avid fan of the F1 championship, the Kolkata based writer admires Lewis Hamilton the most on the F1 grid. His interest in racing stems from his love for cars and speed.

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