Former US Air Force Research Lab contractor joins Williams

A dream has become reality for Andrew Fratian, who left his role at the US Air Force Research Lab to pursue a career in Formula 1.

A former contractor for the US Air Force Research Lab risked it all to try to make it to Formula 1 two years ago, and his dream has now become a reality.

Andrew Fratian left his role at the US Air Force Research Lab and decided to pursue a career in motorsport, by heading to Oxford Brookes University in the United Kingdom.

“Two years ago I made a daunting decision to follow a dream that has now become a reality. After support from family, friends, co-workers, and my dog, I left my job at the Air Force Research Lab in the US to pursue a Masters in Motorsport Engineering at Oxford Brookes, and a career in Formula One,” he wrote in a LinkedIn post.

During his two years away from full-time work, he acted as chief systems engineer at LOBOmotorsports Racing.

While undertaking his Masters degree, he led a team of fellow engineers to develop a comprehensive single-seater car together with a pedal system, driver restraints, and a steering system – all at the university.

“I want to thank everyone that helped me get to this point, as well as the excellent programs at Oxford Brookes Racing and LOBOmotorsports through UNM for convincing me beyond a shred of a doubt that I want to design racecars for a living,” he added.

“I couldn’t have gotten to this point without this help, and to those of you that impacted my life in this way I thank you for helping me realize my goal.”

Fratian studied just a 25-minute drive from Williams’ F1 base in Grove, and having worked hard at university for two arduous years, he has joined the British team ahead of the 2022 season as aerodynamic design engineer.

“I say all this because a few weeks ago I fulfilled my dream and started my new job as an Aerodynamic Design Engineer for Williams Racing F1,” he revealed.

Article continues below

“This job is incredible and I get to work with amazing people and technology to design the pinnacle of performance vehicles.

“Thank you to Williams for giving me this opportunity, and I look forward to helping the team with the next generation of Formula One machinery!”

Williams will line up with Alex Albon alongside Nicholas Laitifi this year, and are currently out in Barcelona taking part the first in pre-season test.