15 May 2023
For its second edition, the Concours Excellence Mécanique Alpine - boasting a 37% increase in applicants - confirms its ambition to be a long-lasting event to promote the talents of the mechanical engineering sector across the country. Convinced that excellence knows no borders or barriers, the competition, co-created with the Ministry of Labour and run in conjunction with the Ministry of National Education, OPCO Mobilités, ANFA and Renault Group, is aimed at all students (high school students, apprentices, senior students or those studying other professional courses) in the automotive mechanic sector.
The finals honouring young enthusiasts from all over France
After two selection sessions, a theoretical exam to assess general mechanical knowledge and a hands-on test organised in eight regional Renault training centres, the eight pairs of finalists met at the BWT Alpine F1 Team site in Viry-Châtillon on 12 and 13 of May 2023 to compete in the finals of the Concours Excellence Mécanique Alpine.
After this final round, the winning pair, Nicolas Lucien and Lucas Stawsky, will receive a three-month work experience in the mechanical assembly workshop of BWT Alpine F1 Team in Viry-Châtillon, with the possibility of an apprenticeship contract.
Transmission at the heart of the Concours Excellence Mécanique Alpine
Created as an immersion into the heart of F1, the finals allowed the young talents to visit the Viry-Châtillon site, work on F1 Power Unit components, discover the teams' working environment and meet the engine experts working in the current Formula 1 season.
During these days of competition, the 16 young talents had the opportunity to meet with professionals from the various workshops to discuss their day-to-day work, as well as with the members of the jury, who were both teachers from vocational training centres or high schools and F1 engine specialists. This year the candidates could also familiarise themselves with the hybridisation and electrification challenges during hands-on regional sessions.
Two days of the finals punctuated by inspiring encounters
Zinedine Zidane, Alpine’s equal opportunity programmes mentor, made a surprise visit to spend the first day with the candidates and meet the Viry-Châtillon team with Laurent Rossi, to chat about their career paths, the challenges of excellence and their dreams for the future.
"I spent a fantastic day in Viry, very exciting! And these young people from CEMA are impressive! Both their passion for this profession and their need to surpass themselves, to do everything they can to succeed. It was important for me to spend some quality time with them. I love the give and takes. And if I can pass on two or three things about my experience... To get here for many of them is quite magical. That is what it means to have an opportunity... It really speaks to me." Zinedine Zidane, Alpine’s equal opportunity programmes mentor.
Savoir-être and savoir-faire honoured
On Saturday, after the competition and under the watchful eye of BWT Alpine F1 Team driver Esteban Ocon, the jury of professionals composed of teachers from the French National Education system and engine manufacturers selected the two winners. This decision was based on criteria relating to the excellence of their savoir-être and savoir-faire.
"Just like last year, I am impressed by the maturity, talent and level of expertise of these young enthusiasts who have tremendous potential. I want to congratulate all the participants of this second edition and the two winners, Nicolas and Lucas. It is a pleasure to know that they will be working alongside us as members of BWT Alpine F1 Team, but also to know that this is an apprenticeship and an experience that will serve them for the rest of their lives", Esteban Ocon, BWT Alpine F1 Team driver and Concours Excellence Mécanique Alpine mentor.
Particular attention was paid during the finals to the candidates' attitude through the evaluation of their communication skills, team spirit and ability to handle stress, all essential qualities for working in the F1.
Throughout the weekend and during the various stages of the competition, the candidates demonstrated these skills to the jury; with tremendous enthusiasm.
The two young talents, Nicolas Lucien and Lucas Stawsky, will continue to learn, alongside Alpine's engine experts, the specificities of the operation of a single-seater F1 car and its ecosystem during their three-month work experience in the BWT Alpine F1 Team's mechanical assembly workshop. Both 19 years old, they respectively hail from Frencq and Calais, municipalities in the Pas-de-Calais. Nicolas is a mechanics apprentice at the CFA in Saint-Martin Boulogne, just like Lucas. They are both passionate about automobile mechanics and share a desire to develop in this sector.
"With 1,524 candidates this year, I am very proud of the enthusiasm of young people for a competition organised by the Alpine teams, whose vocation is to pass on knowledge to other enthusiasts and to promote a sector of excellence in our country. I want to thank the Ministries of Labour and National Education, as well as all our partners, including ANFA, OPCO Mobilités and Renault Group, who have been working alongside us since the creation of this competition to make this important event for equal opportunity possible. Congratulations to our two winners who have demonstrated their tenacity, commitment and excellence throughout these two days and throughout their careers”, Laurent Rossi, Alpine CEO.
"It is a point of great pride to see the Concours Excellence Mécanique Alpine evolve by once again attracting talented young people who are both ambitious and, most of all, eager to learn. It is precisely what we want to do, to transmit this subtle combination of social skills and savoir-faire to build a cohesive and successful team. I firmly believe that excellence has nothing to do with elitism. And it is the message we want to convey with this competition.” Cédric Caret, Alpine Director of Sustainable Development.
"The Concours Excellence Mécanique Alpine is perfectly aligned with the Government's apprenticeship policy and the one promoted by Renault Group. This competition has the ambition to be a long-lasting program, to create new vocations for the Group and for the whole network, and this with the help of 100 partner training points, CFA and professional high schools." Arnaud Sautier, Head of Network Training France, Renault Group.