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Thread: Formula SAE Italy 2013

  1. #1
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Sep 2009
    Livorno - Italy

    Formula SAE Italy 2013

    "Red flag because the track was too narrow and couldn't be handled by any car so far. #fsaeitaly2013"


    Learing from previous editions' errors for someone is very hard...
    Lorenzo Pessa

    D-Team UniPisa (alumni of E-Team - Università di Pisa)
    FSG & FSAE-I 2009-2010

  2. #2
    That was the weirdest reason for a red flag I've heard since 2007 when I started attending FSAE! Does anyone know if detailed dynamic results will be published? We got some strange scoring, not exactly what we calculated..

  3. #3
    The results of the Endurance are quite wrong. According to our calculations, the organizers did not subtract the time in the pitlane (lap 15) from the total time but instead added this time to the total time once more... Therefore the times are so slow and the field is messed up. We think we will receive about 80 points more...


    Additionally, the Energy Consumption is wrong. It seems as the organizers did not account for regenerative braking. Therefore these results are also wrong...

    We informed the FSAE committee and wait to see what happens.
    AMZ Racing
    ETH Zürich

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

    2014: FSA Engineering Design Judge

  4. #4
    Which committee did you inform? The FSAE Italy guys or the FSAE Rules committee?


    Formula Student Germany
    FSE Rules & Organisation

    Not many people know the difference between resolution and accuracy.

  5. #5
    The Italians of course. Sorry for not making that clear.
    AMZ Racing
    ETH Zürich

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

    2014: FSA Engineering Design Judge

  6. #6
    Well, the competition was dissapointing...at least! Apart to the general lack of organization (compared to all competitions the team had participated so far) there were obvious mistakes by the organizers and/or track workers which costed us (and some others I am sure) a few points. Also the overall safety of the competition and the competitors is questionable. In a nutshell:

    -The e-scrutineers were almost untrained. This resulted in waiting too long for e-scrutineering and also raised questions about whether the cars were appropriately checked.

    -The tilt test structure seemed rather unstable and dangerous.

    -The testing area was available only for one day, making teams which were back in the e-sruti queue (like us, 18th) to lose valuable testing-setup time.

    -There were no separate areas for charging the e-cars and also no special place to repair/work in the accumulator container if needed, raising further safety-related questions.

    -The design judges in our group obviously lacked knowledge regarding electric powertrain and aspects of an electric car.

    -There was a "feedback desk" but the team had a hard time getting the actual feedback because the judges were not there, we had to search them.

    -Drivers had a hard time communicating with track marshals/workers because most of them did not speak English.

    -We got a DOC 20sec penalty added to our second (best) AutoX time, while it was on the 1st (there is on-board video proof available on that)

    -Energy meter measurements (and build quality/waterproofness) is also questioned. The organizers themselves sometime admitted they think about cancelling all electric car dynamics under rain because they were worried about the unit.

    -The two successive U-turns (within 10 meters) at the end of the endurance run were a total fiasco! I am not sure of how many teams were blackflagged there (quite a few I am sure), but I can share our story. We got blackflagged on our 6th lap. On the first lap our driver made a mistake there, hitting 2 cones. Second lap went OK, came through really quickly (the only way to get through really was sliding the car). On lap 3 he was yellowflagged (almost stopped) due to a slower car, so we got another 2-3 cones. On fourth lap there was another car stopped, so we were forced on a full stop. 5th lap, another stopped car, we were forced to stop again. The track marshals came in and pushed the car off track, our driver asked to let him continue, so they did eventually, but blackflagged us a lap later! IMO that was a black flag pulled on us too easy and quick, as the car could negotiate with that part of the track if we were let to actually race.

    All and all, we are utterly disappointed, and most probably won't be coming back again...

  7. #7
    I would like to echo the comments from Harry.

    The tilt table was definitely a point for concern. First of all there was only about a 20mm lip at the bottom for the tire to rest against, which should hold any car. Esslingen was the first car to get on the tilt table, and they attached the safety belt between the non-moving part of the table and our roll hoop. At some point (if we didnt say anything) it would have lifted the inside tires over the lip and sent our car sliding off the table. After lifting the car to 45deg, the belt was still too tight, so they basically completely removed it for the rollover portion of the test. Not to mention the very close call with breaking our rear wing completely off.

    The fact that the combustion and electric pits were completely mixed together is also a point for concern. If you have enough space for all the cars, there is no point in mixing them together.

    I got the feeling from my team that the design judges were heavily biased towards electronics this year (on the combustion side of things). On top of that, only having three design judges, where a suspension "specialist" judges the power train and doesn't know that you CAN measure cylinder pressure, and the other doesn't want to listen to what you have to say after 10 minutes, is more than disappointing. (I know, its design in Italy, but come on!). Add to that the public design finals presentation, which all show and had nothing to do with judging the knowledge and work of the teams on a fair playing ground.

    The last thing that I have to say is regarding the track layout. The goal (according to the organizers) was to reduce speeds in that area of the track for safety reasons. The failed to achieve this as the put the timing system and track marshals on the OUTSIDE of the second hairpin, which is exactly where an uncontrolled car is going to go in such a corner. The problem with putting two minimum radius corners with about 5m separating the apexes, is that it starts to become a slalom with 4.5m distance separating the cones. This is (AFAIK) NOT in the rules. Even if you manage to get through the first one, most cars will have a very hard time getting through the second, because the car is just not on a good racing line. There were cars there that could have made it through the original track layout, but not very many (i would guess a 5% finish rate, at most).

    To make things worse, even after they changed the track, some teams (or drivers) still did not make it through, or had to drift around the corner (which is even more dangerous for the people standing on the outside of the track IMO) than just making a track that the (mostly inexperiences) drivers could drive. As Harry mentioned, it was also a choke point for cars to get bunched up, resulting in much too close racing in the ensuing 100km/h section right after the start/finish.

    For an event with 9 years experience, I expected more. (Have the Italians ever visited another event around the world to see how it is run and get ideas on how to improve?)
    Stefan Nasello
    Queens University Racing - Project Manager 2009
    Rennstall Esslingen - Suspension Team 2010


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