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Thread: FS Italy 2016

  1. #1

    FS Italy 2016

    Hey together

    I am Frederik Werner from DHBW Engineering Stuttgart.
    As the Competition in Italy is over I just wanted to give a short review on how it went.

    To speak for the competition in general we really like it and attended several years in a row. Sadly the amount of top teams decreased over the years, but I hope this will change again in the future.
    For those who never been to FS Italy it is located on a small Formel 3/brand cup/ driving experience track called Ricardo Paletti circuit located in the wider area of Milano.
    As almost every year the weather was great the most days except a few hours of rain on the Autocross day.
    The accommodation is on a nearby campground with good electricity supply and facilities which got cleaned every day.
    Every event on the schedule was almost on time with only minor delays. There is no battery scrutineering like at FSG but the electrical scrutineering was quite comprising with 200 + items which got checked. This took most of the Teams at least 3 hours.
    The mechanical scrutineering was rather easy to pass if you had your stuff together and could be passed in less than one hour. In my opinion more attention on details could prepare the teams a little better for other events. But that was only one of the few flaws of the competition.
    There is not much to say about Rain, Tilt, Noise and Brake except Tilt where the flange of the table is only as high as a penny which causes me a little heartattack every year, but so far I never heard of any car which slipped over the edge.
    Design Judges came from many well know companies like Ferrari, Lamborghini, Dallara, Mercedes and often from positions like head of (…), CEO, project manager for(…). The used scoring sheet was the official one from FSAE and the Feedback was also pretty detailed and was given to every team by the judges who came to their pit. Also Pat Clarke attended FS Italy for the first time which also was really appreciated.
    I can’t say anything about the business plan judging as I did not attend, but I also did not hear anything negative about it as well as the cost event.
    The dynamics were quite unusual on Sunday and Monday, but that doesn’t make any difference to me.
    Acceleration was on the main strait and could be watched on the grandstands. For the times they usually set up a big screen which breaks down every hour but works 95% of the time
    Skid Pad is on the very end of the track and challenges the pushbar guy of every team regarding the distance and temperature. Surface quality of the tarmac is good providing good grip and the track is pretty narrow overall.
    The testing area was opened from Friday to Sunday which is on a circle and also allows tests at higher speeds compared to other testing areas.
    The autocross track was challenging with windy bits and a lot of slaloms and lane change gates. The layout changes from year to year, but is also limited to the real track, as it is not a really wide track. There is one banked corner with a slalom and fast corners which was especially fun to drive.
    Endurance on the next day had the same base layout although a lot of the slaloms disappeared or lost one or two cones. It was very nice to drive and it had different elements like lane changes, fast chicanes, tight hairpins. All of the drivers I could talk to really liked the layout and you could see some really fast times especially of some combustion cars.
    All in all the competition was really harmonic and international and there was a nice atmosphere also on the campground.
    Hopefully we will see many of you again next year!
    What did others think of the competition?
    Pat, any impressions or a brief summary on the event?

  2. #2
    Hi Frederik,

    interesting to hear your thoughts.

    So far, what we witnessed is that more and more top teams are pulling out of Italy as the competition was actually really questionable in quality.

    We participated in 2013 for the last time there as we could not attend Spain (our typical season final due to overlaps with Austria).

    Scrutineering was questionable. Luckily all cars that drove there passed Scruti at Germany, Austria or UK before...

    Statics were horrible. Yes there still were this "big names" from Dallara and Ferrari, but e.g. Design was with 3-4 judges. One of them was just strolling around and if you asked him what he would like to know his answer was "nothing".
    Design Finals were questionable with "every team has 10 minutes to talk about its car".
    Cost was done after 5 minutes.
    Business (I won that ) was also without real tough questions. They scored me high because I was pushing back on critique very hard...

    In Accel we set a record of 3.1s which probably will stay for a long time as the staging was questionable.
    Was good to view though.

    AutoX is basically driving slaloms.

    Endurance was set so tight that they had to black-flag some cars. 3 hairpins with minimum radius after one another was a bit questionable.

    They gave us 2 Off-Courses in Endurance which we could prove with on-boards that they did not happen, but they didn't care. (And so we lost against Stuttgart).
    They scored the Driver Change wrong (did not subtract the time but added it) so we were 3rd on the ceremony and then got promoted to 2nd afterwards and had to exchange awards with Zwickau. I still have my 3rd place medal though

    All in all it was a fun party afterwards.

    Now the problem is, that all top teams want to prepare for Austria or Germany and don't want to have Italy in between.

    Rennteam (and we back in 2009) had the issue with the E85 as well.

    So all in all you see why people find better alternatives (UK, Germany, Austria, Spain, Hungary...) then FS Italy.
    Now it is a vicious cycle.. if you cannot compete with the Delfts, and Greenteams, and Zurichs, and Rennteams and Karlsruhes of this world, why go there..

    But maybe your impressions help on this

    Last edited by JulianH; 07-27-2016 at 08:38 PM.
    AMZ Racing
    ETH Zürich

    2010-2011: Suspension
    2012: Aerodynamics
    2013: Technical Lead

    2014: FSA Engineering Design Judge

  3. #3
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Mar 2003
    Sydney Australia

    The reason I was at FSAE-I was to attempt to improve the Design Judging. I didn't manage to do that as I was 24/7 in Pat's Corner,
    and satisfying as that was I was shattered to find how the 'Design Final' was conducted.
    I spoke with the Head Judge, Andrea Toso from Dallara, who said they wanted FSAE-I to have it's unique flavour.

    I explained how those who don't know the differing procedures then ridicule FS judging as 'subjective' and lacking depth.
    I asked him to join us in Germany but he demurred due to other commitments.

    As he will be in the USA in May (Indy week), I have organised for him to be a judge at Michigan, where he will have first hand experience on how it's done.
    I will have him handcuffed to Steve Fox :-)

    I am preparing a lengthy feedback document for the organisers. FSAE-I might be a nice event, but as we say in Australia, it's not 'fair dinkum'.

    The trick is... There is no trick

  4. #4
    Sadly, not all E85 is created equal.
    Kettering University Vehicle Dynamics
    Formula SAE 2010 - 2015
    Clean Snowmobile Powertrain 2012 - 2015

    Boogityland 2015 - Present

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