TEAM TUESDAY – MATT DOBSON, CHIEF MECHANIC
This season we are using Tuesdays to highlight the amazing members of our race team and the various, and sometimes unknown, roles that make it up. First up, we are meeting our Chief Mechanic, Matt Dobson.
Explain your job in 3 words
Planning, organising, overseeing.
Now explain it in a few sentences, what do you do on a daily basis?
As chief mechanic I am responsible for ensuring that the cars are built and assembled to the correct specification requested by the race engineers and ensure that we stay within the scrutineering rules. I am also responsible for the mechanics working in the garage, making sure that they have all the parts they need at the right time. When we are at the factory in the UK, a large amount of my job is writing job lists and preparing parts for the next race event, as well as managing workload on our test and development car.
What journey did you take to get to your current role?
I started working as a race mechanic for a sports car team after finishing college close to 22 years ago. Prior to that I raced karts for many years. During my working career I progressed up the ranks in various race series including Formula 3, sports cars, GT cars, then spent a long time running historic F1 cars. I then joined Formula E at the start of Gen 2. So, I have had a very varied career within motorsport which gives me a broad range of knowledge.
Does your role change during a race weekend?
At a race weekend my role is mostly managing the mechanics in the garage, their workload, and also parts supply. Ensuring we do not do anything wrong in the garage or pitlane is a priority.
What is the best thing about your role? And the most challenging?
The best thing about my job is the travelling to new countries that I have not visited before. This year was the first time I had been to South Africa and that was a great experience to see animals in a natural environment on safari. The most challenging thing about being Chief Mechanic is probably the long hours!
What has been your favourite moment working in Formula E?
It is difficult to choose just one, I think there have been a few – although winning the Drivers’ and Teams’ championship with a previous team in Season 5 was a highlight. During my time at Mahindra, winning in London in Season 7 was a big moment. Looking at this season and Gen 3 in particular, I would say a proud moment was both cars running reliably at the Valencia test, having never turned a wheel before. Our cars had no issues all week and racked up a lot of mileage.