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Eleanor Rajaratnam: The Aerodynamicist looking to continuously improve

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Here's to being bold, brave and anything but ordinary. As we celebrate individuality in F1 together with our official fashion partner, BOSS, meet members of the Aston Martin Aramco Formula One Team who are igniting the power within to unlock their full potential and push the boundaries.

Aerodynamicist Eleanor Rajaratnam explains how she gained the confidence to be herself, stand out from the crowd and experience the thrill of bringing performance to an F1 car...

My route here was unconventional

"This is my fifth year as an aerodynamicist with Aston Martin Aramco. My road to the role was pretty unconventional. I knew I wanted to get into F1, since I was about 13 or 14. I used to watch it every weekend and that's really where the passion started. However, I wasn't as hard-working as I should have been. I ended up retaking a year, repeating my A-levels, but I was able to pick up my grades during my time at university. And it was that upward trajectory of grades that really helped me get my PhD.

"I was worried whether I had enough for me to stand out because I knew how competitive it is, especially getting into aero. I thought, 'OK, I've got to make myself better, I'll try to do a PhD.' Thinking back, it was four years of really hard work, but it showed me the value of perseverance and a good work ethic.

"It also taught me that there's always something more or new to learn and that knowledge is not this finite thing. You can grow and evolve. Having great people around you is also crucial to fostering your development. That's something we have at Aston Martin Aramco – a great team of passionate, supportive and hard-working people. The colleagues around me are amazing. We're able to really push each other."

There's nothing like the thrill of performance 

"What I do is a combination of computational and physical, experimental design, testing, and optimisation of specific areas of the car. You can really get your fingers into the crux of what makes the car fast. The thrill of improving the performance of the car is like nothing else. Being able to steadily see what your improvements have done, year by year and race by race is hugely rewarding.

"Aero is a good mix of experience and innovation. What sets the great aerodynamicists apart is the ability to really think outside of the box – those who can really push the boundaries within a very clearly defined set of rules and regulations. It's something I'm always trying to do – always thinking of new ideas. Creativity is an inherent part of being a really good aerodynamicist."

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Being a woman in this industry, I always felt that I had to be more than everyone else.
Eleanor Rajaratnam, Aerodynamicist

I've always been confident 

"From very early on, I always had a high level of confidence – I felt like I had to. It's probably an incorrect perception, but being a woman in this industry, I always felt that I had to be more than everyone else.

"In a way, it's a positive, because it drove me to constantly strive for better, but on the other hand I sometimes fall into the trap of over-justifying myself. I spend longer trying to back myself up and being able to have even more data-driven justification."

I love the teamwork, but there's more to it than that

"Formula One is like no other sport out there. You've got hundreds of people working towards this unified goal of making a car go around a track faster. That in itself makes it incredible to be a part of.

"At times you can feel like a small cog in a very big machine, because the team is growing so much, but that's why I think it's also important to be involved in other things. For example, I'm co-chair of the team's diversity, equality and inclusion group and part of employee resource groups. I'm really proud of my role in these groups and the work we're doing to make a mark on and off the track."

My parents gave me the time and space to be myself

"I'm a second-generation Brit. My mum came from Trinidad at the end of Windrush, as a nurse, and my dad was an accountant. They worked so hard, but the life they set up for themselves and for me, was amazing. They instilled a really strong work ethic in me from when I was young.

"People often stereotype Asian families as really pushing kids to work hard at school, but my parents did that in a really healthy way. They always gave me the time and space to be myself and make my own decisions. That's where I got my confidence."


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Challenging, rewarding, and anything but ordinary, unlock your full potential with a career at Aston Martin Aramco Formula One Team and ignite the power within.

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