Formula Student: Understand technology. Design collaboratively. Contest competition.

Are you a student who enjoys technical challenges that can be experienced in vehicle applications? Then the Formula Student (FS) is right up your street. Audi has been sponsoring the international design competition since 2007 and assists students with expert knowledge.

Reading Time: 5 min

Participants of the Formula Student Germany at the award ceremony

Categories and competitions of the Formula Student

At the FS, students build formula racing cars in line with corresponding regulations. The aim of the FS is to supplement studies with experience in design and manufacturing, as well as with the economic aspects of automotive construction. At the competition, students can compete in the categories FS Combustion, FS Electric and FS Driverless.

The teams and their self-produced vehicles compete against each other in several disciplines. The students work with a focus on moving the vehicles as quickly as possible through the various tasks and racking up as many points as possible.

Self built race car on the track

© Formula Student Austria

In the SkidPad, for example, the aim is to drive through a figure of eight marked out by traffic cones as quickly and flawlessly as possible. Traction and steering precision play a decisive role here.

 

Another task is the Endurance Run, which usually takes place at the end of each Formula Student event. There, the students have to drive around 20 kilometers in the fastest possible time.

In addition to the dynamic events, participants also have to master static challenges. The teams not only have to present multi-page documentation of their vehicle at each event, but also answer questions about costs and business planning.

 

To determine the winning team, a jury consisting of experts from the motorsport, automotive and supplier industries evaluates the team's design, cost and business plan in the static disciplines.

Our engagement in the Formula Student

Audi has been an integral part of FS Germany since 2007 and act as a sponsor of the event and as a partner of the TUfast-Racing team of the TU München. The financial sponsoring of the teams is only one aspect. Equally important is the technical support as well as the provision of resources, such as access to the Audi test tracks.

Group shot of the TUfast racing team of the TU Munich
© TUfast e.V.

For us, the Formula Student offers an ideal opportunity to get to know talented students and to bind them to the company in the long term. The close cooperation and intensive exchange with the teams have already enabled numerous students to join the Audi team.

 

The commitment within the Formula Student as well as the sponsorship of the successful TUfast team is Audi's largest commitment in the student sector overall. We are represented at FS Germany, FS Italy and FS Austria as a partner of the racing series.  Our judges, who come from various disciplines, evaluate the technical and business concepts as well as the design perspectives of the students.

For us, the FS offers an ideal opportunity to get to know talented students and to bind them to the company in the long term.

Thomas Hanisch, Audi Concept development brake by wire systems, FS-Judge vehicle engineering

We are represented at the Formula Student venues with our exhibition stand. There, we present interested parties with various exhibits such as the e-rickshaw. The students have the opportunity to talk directly to our employees. In doing so, they can find out more about entry-level opportunities such as internships, trainee positions and dual study programs at Audi.

Thomas Hanisch smiling in the camera

"The young people are motivated and bring new approaches and ideas to the team with their fresh outlook."

Thomas Hanisch, Audi Concept development brake by wire systems, FS-Judge vehicle engineering

Interview: Thomas Hanisch

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Interview: Thomas Hanisch

“This makes it easy for us to see who's pulling the strings, who's setting the tone and who's getting stuck in.”

Thomas Hanisch, Audi Concept development brake by wire systems, FS-Judge vehicle engineering

Thomas Hanisch is also a fan of the Formula Student. He has been at Audi for 21 years and is currently involved in concept development for future true brake-by-wire braking systems. He has been involved in the FS Germany as a judge since 2015. In the area of engineering, he evaluates the brakes, the suspension, the steering system and the chassis. "While doing this, I can ask the students questions directly: Question their approaches and ask about what's behind the implementation. I suss them out, so to speak. This often leads to exciting conversations," says Hanisch.

 

What is so special about the Formula Student? Hanisch can answer this without hesitation, because for him the FS is more than just a project − it's a passion: "I was team manager of a private racing team for a long time, which was able to participate in 24-hour and endurance races in the alternative fuel category thanks to Audi's support. That's precisely what makes the FS so exciting for me," says Hanisch. "I also think it's good because it offers students the opportunity to complete an overall project from start to finish."

 

What Hanisch finds particularly interesting is that he not only sees the finished presentations, but can also take a look into the paddock and observe how the team communicates and works together on the vehicle. "This makes it easy for us to see who's pulling the strings, who's setting the tone and who's getting stuck in. That gives us at Audi the opportunity to get in touch with people directly and possibly get them involved for theses or something similar."

 

Every year, the FS judge is positively surprised by the students: "The young people are motivated and bring new approaches and ideas to the team with their fresh outlook. They work at a really high level, so it's a real pleasure to have this exchange," says Hanisch. "I enjoy working with those who have already gained experience outside of their studies. Of course, it's also exciting to see how the students get involved within the team. We can always use people who drive the team forward, and they are interesting for us, for Audi as an employer."

Portrait of Christian Stark

„It's wonderful practice and the highly motivated students grab this chance to show us what they're capable of."

Christian Stark (Talent Marketing, Project Leader Formula Student Commitment Audi)

 

Interview: Christian Stark

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Interview: Christian Stark

“It's not difficult for me to convince others of the four rings, because I'm a full-blooded Audi employee myself.”

Christian Stark (Talent Marketing, Project Leader Formula Student Commitment Audi)

For Christian Stark, Audi Project Leader for Formula Student and responsible for external and internal appearances such as trade fairs, university and HR marketing, the FS is a very special event series and ideal for getting to know young talents. He has been working for Audi since 2011 and since 2020 has been responsible, among other things, for the Formula Student and other event formats as Event Manager.

 

Stark experiences the evolution from combustion engine to e-mobility first-hand every day. This transformation is a huge challenge. Because the search for young developers who are needed for electric vehicles is tough. After all, the entire automotive industry is increasingly on the lookout for employees with development skills. But Stark is optimistic: "It's not difficult for me to convince others of the four rings, because I'm a full-blooded Audi employee myself. The product we work for every day can be experienced and driven in everyday life. That triggers emotions and sets us apart from other industries."

 

The project leader is convinced that the Formula Student offers Audi an ideal opportunity for finding young talents: "The construction of this vehicle is actually nothing other than what we do at Audi every day. From the idea, to the construction, the homologation and release of the vehicle as well as the driving. It's wonderful practice and the highly motivated students grab this chance to show us what they're capable of." After all, cooperation between specialists from different areas such as mechanical engineering, IT and technical business administration is also necessary in everyday work at Audi.

We can always use people who drive the team forward, and they are interesting for us, for Audi as an employer.

Thomas Hanisch, Audi Concept development brake by wire systems, FS-Judge vehicle engineering

Audi is present at these FS events

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