What is Formula student ?
Founded thirty seven years ago by the Society of Automotive Engineers (SAE), Formula Student gives the chance to engineering students around the world to conceptualize and build a prototype race car to compete with other universities in world class competitions.
When joining the Formula Student Team, students are given the opportunity to prove their technical abilities regarding the design and manufacture of a prototype race car. An adventure of such scale allows the discovery of teamwork, financial and team management within a professional setting.
This well renowned high-end engineering challenge, aimed at university students, is often part of an engineer’s life course. Formula Student is the most educational automobile competition in Europe. It is managed by the Institution of Mechanical Engineers, and supported by the entire automobile industry and some of its leading names, such as Ross Brawn (former Mercedes AMG Formula 1 team director).
Not only does this adventure include the design of a race car, but also nine contests taking place all around the world. The world’s best universities compete by testing the performance of their vehicle in both static and dynamic events. The static events, mostly focused on the technology implemented, rate the cost management and business plan of the vehicle, whereas the dynamic events target the physical capabilities of the car such as its acceleration, fuel efficiency, endurance, handling, and overall performance on both dry and wet surfaces.
Static events - 325 points
Formula Student isn’t just about racing. It is above all an engineering competition. Out of 1000 points, 325 points can be awarded for the so called “static events”:
- Business plan – 75 points
- Engineering Design – 150 points
- Cost and Manufacturing – 100 points
At the Business Plan presentation, two students will present a mock business plan to potential investors. They will pretend that they intend to produce 1000 units of Orion, to be then sold to private customers.
The Engineering Design event gathers automotive industry and motorsport experts around the car, whose smallest bolt will be carefully examined. Cleanest and most efficient designs will be awarded the best grade.
The Cost and Manufacturing event will assess the team understanding of the manufacturing processes they used for their different parts, and the cost associated.
Dynamic events - 675 points
Two thirds of the points are awarded during the “dynamic events”, where the car is actually moving:
- SkidPad – 75 points
- Acceleration – 75 points
- Autocross – 100 points
- Endurance – 325 points
- Efficiency – 100 points
The Skidpad is a 8-shaped track, where the car turns at the limit of its grip abilities.
The Acceleration event measure the car’s fastes time on a 75-meter straight.
Autocross is a 1-km sprint.
Endurance is a 22-km time trial, this is the most intense race, as it tests the good resistance of the mechanical parts of the car to an extended drive, as well as the good cooling of the brakes, motor, and battery pack.
Efficiency measures the energy used for the endurance race, as well as the energy recovered while under braking. Most energy-saving cars are awarded the best grade.