Ali Haddow in a Motorsport Engineering Lab at Coventry University

Is a motorsport degree worth it?

Ali Haddow’s career is speeding through the fast lane after he graduated at Coventry University. Having studied Motorsport Engineering MEng, Ali now works as a Junior Mechanical Design Engineer for Aston Martin Formula 1.

He reflects on how the course gave him a brilliant insight into the world of racing and why he thinks a motorsport degree is worth it.


two students examining a motorsport car at Coventry Univeristy

Why I chose motorsport engineering

I chose Motorsport Engineering MEng (Hons) at Coventry University because the lecturers, academics, and technical staff were very engaging and seemed very keen to pass on skills and knowledge suitable for working in motorsport.

Furthermore, it was made clear to me that Coventry University was focused on producing industry-ready graduates and had great ties to the automotive and motorsport world.

What I enjoyed the most about the course was being able to utilise the fantastic resources in the High-Performance Engineering Centre for coursework, dissertations, and Formula Student. The machines and technology the engineering department at Coventry have invested in are there to be used, not just shown off!

The facilities at Coventry University are state-of-the-art. The university team are continuously pushing to introduce the latest software and equipment to support student learning.


Ali Haddow working in the Coventry University Engineering lab


My time on the course developed me as a person. I spent five years associated with the university, including a placement year. This opened me up to many new challenges that definitely shaped who I am now.

My placement year

I did a placement year as Mercedes AMG High Performance Powertrains between my second and third years. In this role I designed parts for the Mercedes F1 power units that raced all over the world.

The advice I would you give to someone considering studying Motorsport Engineering MEng is get involved! Use the support network to better your knowledge, push to get a placement year and help out in Formula Student. Get involved with other societies outside your comfort zone. Ask questions and do everything to the best of your ability (no last-minute submissions!).

My most memorable moment on the course was, and I think I speak for the whole motorsport cohort, when I say Formula Student. Getting involved properly in that is the perfect opportunity to build an overall knowledge of a race car.  I was heavily involved in Formula Student, but I also joined some other societies through mates who were into other sports. These allowed me to step out from studying and to enjoy some free time focusing on something else.

My course helped prepare me for the world of work. Hours in motorsport are long, you give up weekends, you leave the track or the office at 9/10pm at night more often than not, particularly on race weeks and pre-season preparations. Similarly, university can be long, you have to juggle multiple assignments and prepare for exams, while still trying to have some free time.


Racing car on the race track

Future career plans

I wanted to work in motorsport once I realised it was a job that people did. I always worked much better with numbers than words, so engineering was an obvious choice from that sense. So, I just put those two things together and went for it.

For my career I aim to stay in Formula 1 for as long as I can, I intend to work my way up and move into reliability engineering one day, where I can split time at the factory and at the track.


Find out more about the Motorsport Engineering MEng / BEng course

Ali Haddow holding a trophy cup

Junior Mechanical Design Engineer at Aston Martin Formula 1

 Queen’s Award for Enterprise Logo
University of the year shortlisted
QS Five Star Rating 2023