Oxford URNU visit the Formula 1 Williams Team

On 27 Nov 17 members of the Oxford University Royal Naval Unit had the fantastic opportunity to visit the Formula 1 Williams Team Facility in Grove, Oxfordshire.

The group were joined by Officer Cadets from the London University Royal Naval Unit and Senior Non Commissioned Officers from the Oxford University Officer Training Corps.

The visit began with a tour of the Williams Heritage Collection - the largest private collection of Grand Prix cars in the world with over 40 on display charting more than 30 years of the team's history.

The tour was led by Sam, who recently started working with the team, who gave an extremely interesting, informative and in depth brief on the history of the vehicles, the drivers and the team itself.

As well as the exclusive Grand Prix car collection the group were also shown the Technology Exhibition, The Trophy Room and the Champion's Gallery.

The visit was absolutely amazing; we saw scores of world famous cars, a huge amount of ground breaking technology, met a motor racing legend and were given an extremely rare tour of the production factory which, as an engineer, was genuinely fascinating.

Lieutenant Will Jones

After the Heritage Tour was complete the group were extremely fortunate to meet Sir Frank Williams, the founder of the Williams team, who talked about some of the highlights during his long career in motor racing.

Sir Frank mentioned that one of his favourite movies is Top Gun with his favourite quote from the film being "I feel the need, the need for speed!"

He then very kindly offered the visitors the extraordinarily rare opportunity of a personally led tour of the production factory where new Formula 1 cars are assembled.

The factory production floor was visited as well as the chassis assembly bays, the driving simulators and the advanced model construction department.

The Guy Hudson Memorial Trust, who generously provide support to the Unit, kindly agreed to finance the visit as an engineering education and the feedback was tremendously positive.

CPO Gary Maskell, Coxswain and 2I/C of the Oxford URNU said: "As a huge Formula 1 fan, the visit was fantastic, everyone we met was hugely engaging and genuinely proud of what they do.

"It was an honour to meet and chat to Sir Frank. Although I was taken aback when Sir Frank explained that he wanted to join the military when he was younger, he was amused when I said I thought his current career choice hadn’t turned out too bad."

Lieutenant Will Jones RN, Commanding Officer of the Oxford URNU said: "The visit was absolutely amazing; we saw scores of world famous cars, a huge amount of ground breaking technology, met a motor racing legend and were given an extremely rare tour of the production factory which, as an engineer, was genuinely fascinating."

The Oxford URNU members that took part were: Lt Will Jones RN, CPO Gary Maskell, OCdt Henry Warrender. From London URNU Mid Matt Williams, OCdt Keira Reavill, From Oxford UOTC SSgt Matt Edwards, CSgt Rob Owen & WO2 George Scott.

Oxford is one of 15 URNUs located across the UK offering opportunities to 750 undergraduates from the country’s leading universities.

The URNU's mission is: "To develop an understanding of the Naval Service in undergraduates, so that those who go into civilian employment are positive advocates thereof and to facilitate a Naval Career for those who choose one."

The URNU is a chance to experience military life without commitment and gain new skills applicable to all walks of life.