A teenager is looking to build a career in F1 after sampling life in the fast lane with a stint of work experience with the new US-based Hass F1 Team in Barcelona.
Ethan Smee, 18, who is studying sports science at Yale College, Wrexham, jetted out to Catalonia to spend a week with the team.
John Smee, Ethan’s dad, is the Hass F1 Team catering manager and arranged for his son’s work experience so he could get a taste of what F1 is all about.
Former Darland High School pupil Ethan, who works weekends and one evening a week at the River Island store in Eagles Meadow Shopping Centre in Wrexham, is now looking to join a F1 team in the coming months, hopefully as an engineering apprentice.
He said: “My dad, John, has been in F1 for a few years as catering manager. He worked with Williams for a number of years before moving to Hass which is a brand new team.
“He’s away in Australia at the moment and spends most of the year travelling around the Grand Prix circuit.
“It’s a huge amount of travelling and means he’s away from home a lot of the time. My sister, Olivia Rose, who is 14, and the rest of the family really miss him when he’s away.
“I did work experience with the Hass team at pre-season testing in Barcelona and it’s given me a real taste for the sport. My work experience was amazing but really hard work.
“I started at 4:30am and you don’t get finished until 10pm, it’s full on but I really enjoyed it. I soon realised how hard dad has to work!
“I got a taste of everything though, front of house and I did some work with the chefs and then worked in the garage, tidying up and helping the engineers.
“I also got to meet the Hass drivers, Romain Grosjean, who is French and Kevin Magnussen, who is Danish which was amazing.”
He added: “I was really welcomed by the team and made to feel part of the crew. I even had my own team uniform. Hass don’t take on apprentices but Williams, Mercedes and some of the others teams do.
“I have been advised to keep an eye out as they will be advertising for apprentices in the near future. I’m going to apply then. I really like the idea of an engineering apprenticeship; the cars are just amazing and incredibly technical.”
In the meantime Ethan says he is happy to continue studying at Yale College and working at the River Island store.
He said: “I enjoy working at Eagles Meadow, River Island is a great shop and the store team and manager Ian Brown are great to work with. I like the customers too.
“Working part-time while I’m at college gives me some independence. I also work at the Golden Lion at Rossett some evenings too. I’ve had a taste of F1 now though and that’s where I want to be. I hope my dream comes true.”
Eagles Meadow Shopping Centre manager Kevin Critchley says Ethan has been very fortunate to have an up-close insight into the world of F1.
He said: “I know some of the students who have worked at Eagles Meadow stores while they have been studying have gone onto to do some amazing things but I don’t think we have had anyone yet who has had a career in F1.
“I wish Ethan well in his search for an apprenticeship with one of the F1 teams. Having the opportunity to join his dad at the Hass F1 Team for a week of work experience must have been wonderful.”
He added: “I know many students work at Eagles Meadow stores on a part-time basis. The fact they can be flexible with working hours is a big advantage to store managers and having the opportunity to earn some extra cash is obviously beneficial to the students.
“There are retail career opportunities here at Eagles Meadow for those that don’t want to jet all over the world as part of the F1 circus!”