What is Formula Student?

Formula student is an engineering challenge involving the design and build of a single-seater open wheel race car. The finished car is then taken to compete at one or more of the eight competitions worldwide, each competition sees the team tested in both static and dynamic events. The static events assess the team’s presentation of the design, cost and business of the project. Dynamic events test the car in acceleration, cornering, reliability and efficiency. The competition combines the need for innovative engineering, careful project management and organised teamwork.

Our successes

1st place

Dynamics Event, Formula Student UK 2017

2nd place

Overall at Formula student UK 2017

Static events

The  Formula  Student   competition  is  designed  to  introduce  the  participating  students  to  the  interdisciplinary approach of today’s automotive  industry.  This  not  only  includes  technical    understanding,    but    also    economic   and   communication   abilities  such  as  presentation  techniques  or financial planning skills. This is why the three static events demand collaboration across the team in the areas of design  and  layout,  construction,  marketing  and  pricing  of  a  product.  They  also require specialised expertise from different technical and financial courses  of  study.  Each individual event  is  weighted  differently.  A  panel  of experienced experts from the automobile, motorsport, and supply industries  judge  the  performance  of  each  team.

Soruce: https://formulastudent.de

Cost is a decisive factor in the design of  any  product.  In  the  cost  analysis  event,  the  teams  must  grapple  with  the  calculative  size  of  the  vehicle,  its  components,  and  the  necessary  manufacturing steps and record all of this in  a  written  cost  report.  The  students  must  then  answer  questions  from  the  judges  relating  to  the  cost  report  on  their  prototype.  In  addition  to  considering the thoroughness of the written report,  the  students’  understanding  of the manufacturing process and the total cost calculation will be assessed.

Each team presents their business plan for the constructed prototype to a fictitious company represented by judges. During a ten minute presentation, the team must demonstrate why their design best fulfils the demands of their target group and show how their design can be successfully marketed. The presentation will be followed by a five minute discussion and question round with the judges. In this event the content, structure, and editing of the pres-entation, as well as the team‘s performance in delivering it, will be evaluated alongside their answers to the panel‘s questions.

At the start of the engineering design competition,  the  students  must  hand  in an eight-page technical description of  their  car. FSD teams must additionally provide a maximum five-page description about the autonomous system. The documents must  show  both  their  design  and  how  the  design  will  be  applied  to  their  chosen  construction.  On  the  basis  of  these  documents,  the  members  of  the  jury  will  evaluate  the  layout,  technical  design,  construction  and implementation of the production of  the  actual  vehicle.  Then,  there  will  be  a  discussion  where  the  teams  are  questioned  by  the  judges.  These  discussions  focus  on  clarifying  technical  details,  exploring  the  thinking  behind  the  chosen  design,  as  well  as  the  corresponding   technical   understanding   of the students. The evaluation will not only assess the quality of the technical solution  in  question  but  also  the  reasons behind it.

All components and accessories of the car relevant for safety are scrutineered. Starting with the chassis, the suspension is checked as well as the steering, the brakes and the rims and the tires. But also details like the placement of fuel lines, the fastening of the intake system or the correct operation of the emergency switch will be checked.

The tilt table test checks if the vehicle complies with the rules for fuel spillage and rollover stability. At this point the teams have to present their cars in ‘ready to race’ condition. This includes all liquids to be filled to the level at which the car will be operated, all components of the car are mounted and it is fuelled to the max.

After being fuelled up, the vehicle will be placed upon the table with the tallest driver aboard. The table will be tilted to an angle of 45 degrees. There must be no fuel (or other fluid) leakage at this angle. If the vehicle passes this test, the angle is increased to 60 degrees. This angle is used to represent a cornering force of 1.7 Gs. If the upper wheels remain on the table the vehicle passes.

The vehicle will be checked for compliance with the sound level restrictions. It will be placed with the engine running and the transmission in neutral. The testing rpm depends on the engine type and has to be held constant during the noise evaluation. Sound level must not exceed 110dBA.

If the vehicle passes the test, the team will be provided with the third “tech” sticker. The noise level can be re-measured at any time during the dynamic events.

Dynamic events

The  cars  that  the  students  design  will  not only be assessed when stationary. Their  performance  on  the  racetrack  will  also  be  put  to  the  test.  Each  dynamic event tests different features of the  vehicles.  In  addition  to  the  maximum longitudinal and lateral acceleration, race performance, efficiency and endurance  of  the  formula  cars  will  be  examined  and  evaluated.  For  the  Acceleration,  Skid  Pad  and  Autocross  events,  each  car  starts  with  two  drivers,  each  of  whom  is  allowed  two  at-tempts. The best attempt is the one on which  the  car  will  be  scored.

Source: https://formulastudent.de

During the Skid Pad event, the cars must drive a figure of 8 circuit lined with track cones, performing two laps of each circle. In each case, the sec-ond lap will be measured. The lap time gives a comparative value for the maximum possible lateral acceleration of the car. Most of the cars use aerodynamics to raise the contact pressure and thus, increase lateral acceleration. As with all the dynamic events, knocking over any of the cones results in a time penalty.

The vehicle‘s acceleration from a standing start is measured over a 75 metre straight. In addition to traction, the correct engine design is especially important, either in terms of greater power or for the highest possible torque. The fastest cars cross the line in less than four seconds and can reach speeds of over 100 km/h by the end of the stretch.

In the autocross event, the FSC and FSE cars traverse  a  kilometre-long, the FSD cars traverse a 500 meter track  with  straights, curves, and chicanes. A fast lap time is a sign of high driving dynamics, precise handling and good acceleration and braking ability. Once again, time penalties occur for those who knock over any cones. The autocross rankings decide the starting positions for the endurance competition that follows.

Providing the highest number of points, the Endurance is the main discipline. Over a distance of 22 kilometers the cars have to prove their durability under long-term conditions. Acceleration, speed, handling, dynamics, fuel economy, reliability ‒ the cars have to prove it all. The Endurance also demands handling skills of the driver because there can be up to four cars on the track at the same time. Each team has only one attempt, the drivers change after 11 kilometers.

During the endurance race (FSC, FSE) and track drive event (FSD), fuel consumption (combustion cars) or energy consumption (electric cars) is precisely recorded. However, the absolute fuel and energy consumption is not what is used to calculate the efficiency score, but rather the consumption relative to speed. This is to prevent teams from driving particularly slowly in the en-durance competition in order to score as highly as possible in the efficiency category

Scoring

Teams are judged by experienced industry specialists. A maximum of 1000 points may be awarded for all of the disciplines and the team with the highest overall number of points wins the competition. This table shows the distribution of points between the disciplines. FSC applies to teams using internal combustion engines, FSE to electric teams and FSD to autonomous/driverless teams.

Discipline

FSC, FSE          FSD
Statics

         

Business Plan         75 points75 points
Cost and Manufacturing100 points100 points
Engineering Design150 points150 points
Dynamics










Acceleration75 points75 points
Skid Pad75 points75 points
Autocross100 points100 points
Endurance325 points---
Track Drive---250 points
Efficiency100 points75 points
Overall
1000 points
1000 points

Official rules

If you would like to know more and really get into the details of Formula Student, we recommend reading the official FSG rulebook, the link to which we have posted below. It explains in great depth all of the aspects of the competition and help the teams determine the design constraints for their cars. The data is correct as of June 2019.