Ecstatic young engineers from an Odiham school claimed a Formula One victory for England ahead of Sunday’s title-decider in Abu Dhabi.

Team Colossus, made up of six students from Robert May's School, have been crowned world champions in the F1 in Schools world final, also held in Abu Dhabi.

After a week of competing against 37 other teams from around the world, they received the Bernie Ecclestone World Champions trophy on Wednesday evening.

To top it off, the delighted youngsters enjoyed a VIP paddock tour at the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix, where Mercedes teammates Lewis Hamilton and Nico Rosberg went head-to-head for the F1 drivers' title.

Mercedes team mates Lewis Hamilton (L) and Nico Rosberg (R) will fight for the Formula One drivers' title on Sunday in Abu Dhabi. Pic by Action Images / Hoch Zwei Livepic

Supported by teacher Phil Cain, the pupils have worked for two years on a project which involves designing, manufacturing and racing scaled down F1-style model cars.

During the world finals, Colossus F1 claimed a new world record with the team’s car sprinting along the 20-metre race track in a time of 1.003 seconds.

This shaved nearly two hundredths of a second off the previous record (1.020 seconds), held for seven years by a team from Northern Ireland.

However, the record-breaking run was not without controversy.

Just as in the sport of F1, the Odiham team was challenged for pushing the boundaries of the regulations.

The fastest of the team’s runs used an air cushion device at the start gate, an innovation designed by Colossus F1 to minimize air loss when the car was released.

The team, however, believe that another of their ground-breaking innovations - a unique water tunnel test programme - also gave them the edge which produced the world record time.

Colossus F1 team manager Vicky Waterfield said: "We’re absolutely ecstatic. It was an amazing feeling, to be up on the stage collecting the trophy for England.

"We’ve worked so hard to get to this point and we’re just so happy with the result.

"We haven’t been able to do much track testing but our water tunnel testing, which no other F1 in Schools team has ever done before, has certainly paid off.”

Team member Charlie Flynn added: "Maths, physics and engineering elements are crucial to the success of the project.

"It also requires quick reaction times, great team participation, leadership, good presentation skills and sheer determination."

Robert May's School headteacher Joanna West said everyone was delighted for the team, whose members also include Emma Baldry, Rachael Matthews, Dan Warnes and Paul Cumner.

"They've worked hard on this and they deserve it," she added.

"The international competition was very strong and we are very proud of Colossus.

"They have blazed a trail for others in England to follow."