Ducati, Ferrari and Lamborghini are among the top names in the motoring industry, employing world class designers and engineers. Pupils from Eton College, alongside other schools, were able to learn from these professionals during a visit to the motoring manufacturers’ headquarters in Italy.

At the Ducati factory they were given access to the laboratory, where visitors experience the physics involved in the design of motorcycles. This included a centrifuge enabling the rider to experience the g-forces associated with cornering and travelling at over 140 kph.

The boys were also invited to build motors as if on a production line, learning about complex engineering principles in the process. A guided tour of the company museum followed, with exhibits ranging from pre-war Ducati radios and push bikes to their latest sports machines.

The group also saw the cars on show in the Lamborghini museum before visiting Pagani, a small, exclusive manufacturer of specialist sports cars making around 20 per year. The pupils, most of whom are studying A-level Design, were able to see the production line and assembly areas where craft skills were brought to bear on leather work and carbon fibre bodies.

In nearby Modena, home of Ferrari, the group was shown around their museum and had a coach tour of the factory and race track. A masterclass in automotive design was given by Ferrari engineers and boys were able to practice a timed pit stop – F1 style.