Brighton Magazine

The Brighton Magazine

Selected Brighton Magazine Article

Tuesday 17 December 2013

Sussex Student Gets Gold For Organising Vettel Tour

A Sussex-based undergraduate from the University of Bath's Department of Mechanical Engineering has become the first placement student to win a Nissan Gold Award for her work organising a successful event for the company involving F1 champion Sebastian Vettel.



Gemma Hatton, 22 from Sussex, is a long-time fan of motorsport, and always saw her future working as a race engineer. 

She was undertaking a 'year in industry' as part of her degree programme when she was approached by the Global Technical Director of Nissan Motorsport, Jerry Hardcastle, and tasked with a very specific role.

Gemma said: "I was asked to meet with Sebastian Vettel's PR Team because he was visiting the Nissan European Technical Centre (NTCE) and I was tasked with organising the whole thing!"

Sebastian Vettel is F1's youngest Grand Prix winner, youngest triple World Champion, and now one of only three drivers in F1 history to claim four championships in succession.


Vettel is also the Director of Performance for US car company Infiniti, where he plays a vital role in developing the performance of their vehicles.

Gemma added: "This year Vettel's focus for Infiniti was on the Q30 that was revealed at this year"s Frankfurt Motorshow. 

"As Infiniti progress into the European market, the Q30 will be built at the Nissan Manufacturing plant in Sunderland, with NTCE conducting further R&D work – the first collaboration between the two automotive giants.

"Essentially, I was given the job of not only showing Sebastian what NTCE had to offer, but also making it as interactive and interesting as possible because the whole visit was being filmed."

Gemma's passion for motorsport has led her to take on a number of jobs in the sector, including writing for Racecar Engineering magazine and monitoring track data for JRM during the Spa 24 Hour and Silverstone three hour races. 

She was therefore thrilled to be given the opportunity to meet Vettel, even though it meant taking on a completely new challenge.

Gemma cotinued: "Organising the tour was huge - it took a month of full time work to plan every detail. 

"I organised a full range of tests using climatic chambers and chassis dynos, which gave the camera crew plenty of opportunity to get great footage of Vettel in the cars.

"With the visit timed to the minute, it was a logistical challenge to say the least – especially as I was in charge of every detail; from importing Infiniti cars from all over Europe for background shots, to ensuring health and safety regulations were met while maintaining the confidentiality of the new Qashqai. 


"I spent weeks chairing meetings with senior management from all departments and was then asked to present to the European Board of Directors.

"Through my work I am used to analysing car performances on the track and road, going through data with drivers, briefing them and helping in the pit lane. 

"This role at Nissan put me in front of global directors of both Nissan and Infiniti, and I was the only one who knew all of the details - it was a big responsibility!"

The Nissan board of directors was so impressed by Gemma's effort that they took an unprecedented step and awarded her a coveted Nissan Gold Award, usually only presented to company staff, and for extremely high levels of attainment.

Gemma said: "I was really shocked and absolutely thrilled that the directors were so pleased with my work. 

"I really enjoyed the project, and working with Nissan has opened so many doors and created so many great contacts for me in motorsport. 

"Meeting Vettel was fantastic, all I'd really wanted was a photo and a signed hat for my little brother - the Gold Award was the icing on the cake!"

Gemma is now back at Bath and completing her final year of study, during which she is contributing to the University's 'Formula Student' team and continuing to write for Racecar Engineering Magazine. 



by: Mike Cobley

Related links

Sebastian Vettel

Share    

Same Sky is turning to crowdfunding and local business support to deliver Brighton's Burning the Clocks on its 21st birthday. 
Each year the Brighton Children’s Parade celebrates a different imaginative theme. 
A city-wide campaign to help victims & survivors of domestic violence & abuse, as well asrape & sexual assault, become more aware of the wide range of local support available to them will be launched in Brighton & Hove today, White Ribbon Day.
Hundreds of dancers from across the Brighton are warming up in preparation for Brighton and Hove Dance Active 2014. 
The Martlets Hospice is asking women from Brighton & Hove to dig out their unwanted handbags for a  new charity auction event.
Brighton and Hove Albion football fans are wising-up to their risk of prostate cancer and taking action against the disease following an awareness campaign from the club's charitable arm, Albion in the Community.
Musicians Paul Heaton and Jacqui Abbott will be protesting outside Next, Upper Mall, Churchill Square, Brighton, on Tuesday 9th December at 3pm.
Organisations across the Brighton are working together to raise awareness of the importance of HIV Testing, especially for those groups with the highest reported incidences of HIV - these are gay men and African people.  
Sir Ian McKellen has given his backing to Wonderkid, an LGBT short film that wants to tackle homophobia in football and provide an insight into the trauma caused by homophobic stigma and challenge preconceptions about what it is to be ‘masculine'.
Former Brighton resident and Supergrass frontman Gaz Coombes is gearing up to release his second solo album, Matador.
Imagine your mind has been wiped: memories, knowledge, experiences, language - every word you ever spoke, has vanished. If eventually you found the words, what would you say? 
A funny fella with a brain as razor sharp as his wit - and don't you just love him for it - Jimmy Carr has honed his craft and now uses his audience as the backbone of his stand-up.
Brighton-based veteran Folk-Rockers the Levellers have teamed up multi-BBC Folk Award winners Bellowhead, to record a new version of their cautionary tale of all things alcoholic, Just The One.

Archive search

Search our archives for what's on and gone for the best of this city's theatre music comedy news and much more...






Latest Brighton Jobs

Support Worker - Brighton

A holder of an NVQ level 2 qualification in Health and Social Care (or equivalent certificates). More than 12 months previous experience working with children...
TTM Healthcare - Brighton
More details

Technical Support Advisor

As Technical Support Engineer you will play a key role in supporting our Customers, Sales team and Service Engineers at a technical level....
First Recruitment Services Limited - Burgess
More details

Compliance Manager, VAT Consultancy, South East England

A strong commercial client handling skill-set is required in order to continue building on existing relationships as well as establishing new clients....
Wilkinson Partners Ltd - Brighton
More details

Intrastat Assistant - VAT Consultancy, South East, UK

We are looking for talented and ambitious individuals who enjoy new challenges and are looking to develop both exceptional client handling skills and an indepth...
Wilkinson Partners Ltd - Brighton
More details
Organising a conference or event in Brighton?
See our Brighton Conference section.
Brighton web design by ...ntd