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Thread: FSAE World Ranking: Who is Number 1 worldwide?

  1. #21
    Originally posted by Wesley:
    ... We have a low budget comparatively, and we do okay. ...
    First, if you know how you compare, you must have some of the information you're looking for
    Second, how does having a low budget make you a better team? It's not a constant! It's your job to get enough money to compete.


    I get the idea that most people who are complaining about the list haven't even read the website with the explanation of the formula.

    I think there might be a tiny bug in the formula, competitiveness. If there is a row of at least two events that are in the same region (make that continent), e.g. Virginia and Michigan, the second event might get a higher competitiveness rating because of the first event. Now sure how big this effect is, though.

  2. #22
    Budget is a good indication of what people can farm out, and what they have to come up with their own solutions for.

    We've got a few indications of budget from judges, and yeah, it's our job to get the money. Having a low budget doesn't make you a better team. Getting more points does! So knowing how many points a team earned given a budget, in my opinion, reflects on how well a team manages that money, how innovative they are in spending it, and how well managed they are in terms of cost overruns.

    If team A can make the same points as team B with 50,000 less dollars, team A is a better team.
    Wesley
    OU Sooner Racing Team Alum '09

    connecting-rods.blogspot.com

  3. #23
    Plus, money is a totally different game in the states, people don't just throw money at the programs like they do in Europe....
    J.R.
    University at Buffalo Alum.
    Safety Wire Team Leader

    "Most of the things worth doing in the world had been declared impossible before they were done."
    Louis D. Brandeis

  4. #24
    Yep, the only reason companies have money here is because they're stingy with it.

    Europe has a thing called pride - they want to see the schools go out and kick ass. All they see here is a drain on resources.
    Wesley
    OU Sooner Racing Team Alum '09

    connecting-rods.blogspot.com

  5. #25
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    If you think, that companies give us money because of pride, you're extreme wrong.
    They give us money because they want to get into contact with talented future engineers, because if a company wants to stay innovative, they need motivated and talented employees.
    I don't know the situation in the states, but here in Germany is a significant lack of engineers and a lot of companies have problems to find enough good people.
    And as I said before, we use a lot of money to go to overseas competitions (that doesn't make us a better team) and compared to a lot of other teams not so much for high tech features at our car.
    At competitions I often talk to people who tell me the same thing, they don't have our budget (would be interesting to know where they have that information from), so they can't really compete with us. But by a look at their car I see quite a lot of design errors, which has nothing at all to do with the budget.
    Teams in the USA should think about the fact that at FSAE we got second behind Western Australia with the second car we ever built. There was not one thing at that car, which is really expensive. Aluminum rims, space frame, almost no elctronics which aren't essential for running the car...

    You are right, you have to make the best out of the money you have. But money doesn't win competitions. You need a deep understanding of what's going on while your car is running around the track and what the basic things are which make a car fast.
    Rennteam Uni Stuttgart
    2008: Seat and Bodywork
    2009: Team captain

    GreenTeam Uni Stuttgart
    2010: Seat and Bodywork / Lamination whore

    Formula Student Austria
    2012: Operative Team

  6. #26
    I suppose that makes sense too, engineers are still in demand here, but pretty much for a dime a dozen.

    I know a lot of the international teams spend a lot on travel - we spend half of our budget on travel, and we only go to the two US competitions. And I also agree that having money won't make you fast. But it certainly helps.

    Second, the level of corporate sponsorship seems to be better overseas. As in, companies that are willing to donate time and labor DURING the design process, designing and making a part with the team's input, instead of just donating a part. Is that true at all?
    Wesley
    OU Sooner Racing Team Alum '09

    connecting-rods.blogspot.com

  7. #27
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    In general we design all our parts on our own. In some cases we get support from our partners, but only general advise, the design process itself is always our own work.
    We also try to manufacture as much as possible on our own. Of course in some cases that's not possible. To have casted uprights we need a partner who makes them. But that's a good example for something really cool, but not necessary to win.
    My experience is, that you just have to ask a lot of companies and you will get a lot of parts for free or at least cheaper. That's of course extra work, but it helps you to be successful, so it is as important as any work on the car itself.
    Rennteam Uni Stuttgart
    2008: Seat and Bodywork
    2009: Team captain

    GreenTeam Uni Stuttgart
    2010: Seat and Bodywork / Lamination whore

    Formula Student Austria
    2012: Operative Team

  8. #28
    Interesting diversion to the original topic. I'd say there could almost be another whole topic based around the idea of money is king. All a team needs are some clever engineers with some clever people to run the 'business' aspects (sponsorship, etc...) and you can have a competitive car. In my experience, "he who plans to be first, must first plan." It's very clear to me when you look at the cars that have been well thought out... they are typically very clean with attention to detail. Those are the cars you see doing well in design, and rocking out in endurance (barring a helmet to far off the seat DNF or plain bad luck.) Most of you that believe a budget makes everything would probably be surprised how much a well though out (non-full carbon monocoque) car really costs to make.
    2003-2008 UF FSAE

  9. #29
    Most of you that believe a budget makes everything would probably be surprised how much a well though out (non-full carbon monocoque) car really costs to make.
    A full monocoque need not add much cost at all. The amount of carbon required to build a well designed FSAE monocoque is suprisingly small, and if you can get a good deal from a sponsor then someone on a smallish budget could pull it off (I doubt Deakin University from Australia have a very large budget, based on the size of their team, and they've been doing them for years)
    Malcolm Graham
    University of Auckland '06-'09
    www.fsae.co.nz

  10. #30
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    It's very clear to me when you look at the cars that have been well thought out... they are typically very clean with attention to detail. Those are the cars you see doing well in design, and rocking out in endurance....
    Agreed. We see it time and time again. Judges don't necessarily care what components you run, what your chassis is, or the type of engine that you're running. They want to see justifications for your designs. Sure, trick systems that work as advertised are a boost in design, but in the end it comes down to being able to justify whatever it is you run. If you've got brake lines and stray wires and control cables and whatnot running everywhere, your car may work, but does it look professional? Judges are going to notice these things. With that being said, I would seriously like to see a team try to justify drum brakes...

    As far as money vs. performance goes, I have two points to say on the subject.

    First, I do not believe that we have reached a "budget cap" on FSAE yet. What I mean by this is that if I were going to start an F1 team, I would need several million dollars ($268 millon, to be exact, per 2009 rules) to be competitive. No way around it. There's simply not a chance that I could even come close to competing in the sport without a significant bank account. Does this exist in FSAE? I don't think so. I think that we are all still within the point of good engineering far outweighing budget discrepancies. I see many teams on the top 10 list (Stuttgart, Wisconsin, Florida) that run simple steel space frames that anyone can build and don't have many "trick" systems. They build reliable, simple cars that handle well and manage to finish most of their races. In the end, if your car DNFs because the rod end that you left in bending fails (right, Pat? ;-) ) no amount of money in the world could have fixed the bad engineering choice there. If you can't make successful systems from steel and aluminum, what makes you think that a budget for titanium and magnesium and carbon will make any difference?

    The second thing I have to say about money is that if you still feel like you are not competitive due to a lack of funding, then it is your job to get the funding you need to be competitive. Just like we have to optimize our cars to get the greatest possible percentage of those 1000 possible points, we have to optimize our time to build a that very car. If you feel that your time is better spent taking a week off from car construction/testing and forcing your team to call possible sponsors, then do it. Otherwise, stop complaining. There are too many successful teams in the world (and in the US, yes?) that have the budget to build competitive cars and take them to multiple competitions to complain that a lack of funding is the reason you are not fast. If you have a lack of funding, then the blame rests on no one except yourself.

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