Toby McAllister-Brown began watching Formula One racing with his parents as a toddler. His love of the sport led him to re-enact races with his toy cars. Now, the teenager competes in three different karting championships, despite not being old enough to drive a car.
Yet racing is about more than just time on the track: Toby has also been learning engineering and crew skills through work experience at Tunbridge Wells-based racing team Jota Sport.
A work placement at Williams Racing this April will also cover the wide range of skills required in an F1 racing team.
Toby told the Times: “I am going to Williams F1 in Oxfordshire for a week’s work experience. I will attend each day on my own without my parents, although my mum is coming with me to stay for the week, as our accommodation isn’t included.”
He added: “I did get picked out of over 2,000 people, and I am guessing no more than 50 [will be attending].”
Toby’s mother Emily, said that his first time on the track came during a visit to the Buckmore Park track, north of Maidstone, when he was five years old.
“He drove one of the electric cars, but he said: “These are too slow. I want to go in the faster cars.” However, because his age, he was unable to do so.
“Buck more Park is where many current F1 drivers started their journey in karting. Lewis Hamilton recently described Buckmore Park as his favourite track of all time,” Emily added.
“Lando Norris and Jenson Button have also raced there, and it is known as one of the most technical tracks in the country.”
It seems that the camaraderie of racing also drives Toby’s ambition.
“Meeting my peers and the people I look up to in motor racing is where I feel most comfortable,” he said.
“My knowledge of F1 has allowed me to win competitions at Silverstone, and I got to meet my heroes, including Lewis Hamilton, George Russell, Sir Jackie Stewart and Lando Norris.”
After his GCSEs this year, Toby is heading to college, either at Brooklands in Surrey, for its Engineering Programme for Motor Sports, or to North Kent College, for the Vehicle Technology Motorsport course – both alongside his continuing work experience at Jota Sport.
When asked what he was most looking forward to at college, his answer was definitive:
“Meeting other people who are interested in motor sports and learning all the techniques I need to further my career.”
You can follow Toby on Instagram: @tobymcallisterbrownracing