It could hardly have gone better for the Formula Student Germany teams at Hockenheimring on August 8-13: University of Stuttgart’s “GreenTeam” and ETH Zürich’s “AMZ Racing Team”, both sponsored by Schaeffler, took the top two places in the ‘electric vehicle’ class at the German version of the design competition for students.
How Winners Look…
The young engineers from Zurich were unbeatable in the category of ‘autonomous driving’, which premiered at the competition. With the “KA-RaceIng Driverless” team from Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (KIT), second place was also captured by a Schaeffler team. In the ‘internal combustion engines’ category, the University of Stuttgart’s racing team came in third.
Schaeffler has been supporting Formula Student teams since 2006. The technology company provides funding as well as products and technical expertise. Schaeffler organizes an annual Motorsport Academy, which brings together Formula Student participants in workshops and discussion rounds with high-caliber partners such as DTM champion Mike Rockenfeller. Schaeffler has also been one of the main sponsors of the Formula Student Germany since 2014.
Roaring Engines, Buzzing Heads
This year 115 teams from 24 countries converged on Hockenheimring. The task is easier said than done: young engineers from all over the world have to develop, build, and market their own racing cars within a year. With the cars, the university teams then race against each other in various disciplines in competitions throughout the world. For example, they have to master the infamous ‘Wet Pad’, a narrow figure-eight course that is continuously sprayed with water, as quickly and with as few errors as possible, or the ‘Endurance’ test, which has sealed the fate of many a racing car.
In the Formula Student, it is not just the horsepower that counts. At least as important as the driving characteristics and the technology are economic aspects. With their fictive companies, the students also simulate the marketing and selling of their cars, create business plans, and keep costs under control. Technical expertise, proficiency in design and production, and social skills such as teamwork and time management are all needed.
The “Formula Student” Formula for Success
The Formula Student is known for its spirit of open-mindedness and collaboration among competitors. At the fan meeting in the Recharge Zone, Schaeffler Brand Ambassador Mike Rockenfeller summed up Schaeffler’s role in the Formula Student Germany as follows: “I have the greatest respect for how these young people can put so much blood, sweat, and tears into delivering a tough competition – and still remain a tightly knit community.”
This formula for success makes the competition’s participants extremely interesting for companies such as Schaeffler: “Whoever wants to be among the best there needs passion, curiosity, inventiveness, and a team spirit,” said Corinna Schittenhelm, Chief Human Resources Officer at Schaeffler AG. “These are exactly the characteristics that Schaeffler and its work force have always stood for and that secure our future.”
Fit for the Working World
Schaeffler’s extensive commitment to the Formula Student is an investment that pays off in the long run because, thanks to the contacts made there, good people continuously find their way to the company: “In the Formula Student, young engineers can try new things and find out where their talents lie. They learn how to use and market technology – under realistic conditions and in competition with others,” said Prof. Dr.-Ing. Peter Gutzmer, Chief Technology Officer at Schaeffler AG. “In this way, a unique interface between university and industry is created.”
To coincide with the competition, Schaeffler and the Springer Vieweg publishing company presented the latest edition of the five-volume standard work “Handbook of Race Car Technology” at Hockenheimring. Practical and with detailed illustrations, the books treat all of the topics that are relevant to racing car construction. Schaeffler’s Chief Technology Officer, Prof. Dr.-Ing. Peter Gutzmer, contributed a brief welcoming text.