Michael Preston wins Williams Autosport Engineer of the Future Award

Motorsports engineering graduate and Williams Esports engineer Michael Preston has been announced as the winner of the Williams Autosport Engineer of the Future Award at the prestigious annual Autosport Awards.

Launched in 2015, the Williams Autosport Engineer of the Future Award is given to an outstanding engineering student who is recognised as a rising star of F1 engineering and is selected by a joint Williams Racing and Autosport judging panel.

Michael Preston receives the award for the Williams Engineer of the Future from Naomi Schiff and Natalie Pinkham at the Autosport Awards (Photo by Carl Bingham / LAT Images)

“Firstly, I’d like to thank Williams Racing for all the opportunities they have given me this year, and I am honoured to be announced as the winner of this award,” commented Preston on receiving the award from new first team driver Logan Sargeant.

“From leading the Williams Esports engineering team, to getting trackside experience in real world racing – something that is really hard to come by as a student or recent graduate – it has been extremely beneficial in helping me pursue my career in motorsport.

“I hope that I can continue to show the correlation between real world and virtual racing as I further my career with Williams.

In winning the award, Michael receives a full-time engineering role at Williams Esports and will attend a 2023 Formula 1 pre-season test day to shadow a race team engineer.

Alexander Albon (THA) Williams Racing.
Japanese Grand Prix, Friday 7th October 2022. Suzuka, Japan.

“We’re delighted here at Williams to present an overhauled Engineer of the Future Award, which represents the diversity of work available in the motorsport industry today and also widens applications to provide entry to a much broader group of engineering students,” commented Dave Robson, Williams F1 Head of Vehicle Performance.

“We’re excited to see how Michael progresses in his role with the Williams Esports team and look forward to integrating him at our F1 testing session for real world experience. As a company, we’re incredibly excited to see how this award grows and the talent that it attracts.”

Open to engineering students from any college or university, the search for the 2023 Williams Autosport Engineer of the Future begins again this December with all students able to apply for a place on the programme.


Prominent once again on the nose of the car and on the front wing endplates during 2022 are the team’s official cyber protection partner Acronis. Williams Racing uses Acronis technology to add extra layers of protection to its IT infrastructure, protecting hundreds of servers and endpoint devices.

During the 2021 season and continuing this year, Acronis opened up an exciting #TeamUp Program, giving new and existing service providers the opportunity to support sports partnerships, join the sports ecosystem, attend races and enjoy amazing sports marketing benefits.

To find out more and to become a part of this exciting #TeamUp programme, please visit Cyber Protection for global sports – Acronis

Williams Racing.
Spanish Grand Prix, Friday 20th May 2022. Barcelona, Spain.

Fraser Masefield

Sports news and features writer, web editor and author.