F1 Legend Johnny Herbert awarded scholarships to students getting into the elite world of motorsport.
Grand Prix winner and Sky F1 commentator Johnny joined Bob Fernley, former deputy Force India team principal, at the National Centre for Motorsport Engineering at Bolton University to give students a scholarship to help kickstart their careers.
Bob spearheaded the project expressing his desire to give back to the Northwest.
Johnny, who won three Grand Prix races in 12 seasons, said: “I am lucky for the career I have had especially in F1, so it’s nice to give something back.
“Everything has to be perfect before the driver gets into the car and at Bolton University the students get a chance to be involved with it.
“Things have changed massively over the years, we didn’t have the halo back then, and it saved Lewis Hamilton’s life last weekend.”
Three benefactors, Bob Fernley, Jonathan Kendrick and Vijay Mallya have teamed up with the University to fund the cost and see three students through their undergraduate and MSc courses at NCME.
Johnny said: “I don’t think you can only get in if you have money, just look at Lewis and Esteban Ocon, and the drivers aren’t given the chance for nothing.
“Even Lance Stroll, who gets a lot of stick, is a good driver and we want more diversity and inclusion.”
“My advice for budding F1 drivers and motorsport engineers here is to never give up and if they leave with the right qualifications, then there is nothing they can’t do, use every opportunity to get into the sport.”
They have lent their corporate names to The Northern Powerhouse ROKiT STEM Scholarships and The Northern Powerhouse Kingfisher STEM Scholarship.
Bob said: “I met the vice chancellor George Holmes and he showed me around and I just could not believe the quality of the facilities here.
“I thought it was the best kept secret in motorsport and wanted to give something back to the sport and to the North of England.”
Scholarship Awards at the National Centre for Motorsport Engineering
Bob drove Chevron cars, which are produced in Bolton and donated his own F1 cars to give the students a practical look and feel for how F1 cars compared since his time.
Chris Njogu, 22. graduated in electrical vehicle technology, said: “This scholarship gives me the opportunity to spend more time studying, otherwise I would have had to look for another job to help me financially.”
“I would love to work in Formula E one day.”