Racing Talk: What Is A Race Engineer?

What Is A Race Engineer?

You may have heard the term race engineer and be wondering what role that defines? After all, aren’t engineers who work in motorsports kind of “race engineers” ? Here is a quick overview so you are clear.

Main Responsibilities Of A Race Engineer:

  • Communications: Acts as the primary contact between team and racing driver
  • Analysis: Analyses the racing car performance
  • Setup: Specifies the settings on racing car
  • Strategy: Makes final decisions including defining the best strategy to win the race.

In practise the role evolves depending on the size of the race team. A micro race team could be one person as engineer and driver. Once you are in a team of any more than one, the role becomes clearer and the following skills balance becomes necessary:

Skills Balance

The race engineer is very much like a sports coach. They need to balance technical skills and human skills to be able to get the most from the driver and their team. Specifically the need to balance elements of:

  • People Management
  • Vehicle Dynamics
  • Sports Psychology

Further Reading

Here is a link to the Wikipedia article describing the role of a race engineer.

Want a formal certificate? Here is a course run by the MIA I’ve attended before.

What some practical advice and resources on race engineering then have a read through some of my articles if you like.