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Thread: 2016 Formula Student Germany

  1. #31
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Sep 2002
    Perth, Western Australia
    Am I right in saying at least one team was DQ'd for aero out of bounds by 4mm?

    I am wondering why there isn't an up-roar over the penalty and ongoing technical inspections. Is it that the teams have accepted it? Or that they don't mind as much when it is not them? Or when FSG does it, it can't be related to Brexit? Or did FSG somehow deal with it better, maybe benefiting from the events of FSUK?

    While the questions maybe a little cheeky I am genuinely curious as to how this was conducted and why there appears to be so little backlash.


  2. #32
    Junior Member
    Join Date
    Aug 2016
    Hanover, Germany

    well I see that it looks like there is a link. I don't want to exclude the possibility that the new tire design has affected the likeliness of this incident under the given circumstances.
    Basically everything that increases the lateral load on the tire does so.

    To any concerned team:
    The best tip that I have is basically what I have written before:
    - Tubeless tires should be mounted on rims designed for bead retention. Make sure you have a proper hump contour on the outside of the rim (Hump H or at least Flat Hump FH).
    - Teams that manufacture their own rims should ensure that they stick to the available standards, guidelines and tolerances.
    - If the rim contour doesn't feature a proper hump, get new rims or do something about it, e.g. taking the measures described by the others
    - Don't run inflation pressures below our recommendations (teams with Conti tires will find it in our documentation, next year they will also find recommended rim contours )

    Best regards,
    Baltic Racing
    UAS Stralsund

    2009: Head of Suspension & Vehicle Dynamics
    2010: Technical Director

  3. #33
    Quote Originally Posted by Claude Rouelle View Post
    Thijs and all,

    Australian team members are for sure as well educated, disciplined and passionate as any other team members in the world.

    They do not have as much potential sponsors, they not have the manufacturing habits/excellence that we can see in Germany (but it is not as if Australian manufacturing is bad) and the distance to Europe and the US is an issue...
    .....but I do not believe that explains the lack of performance in foreign competitions.
    I think the main issue is that, in simple words, the professionalism of the best FS teams has been exponential while the Australian teams progression is linear.
    The constant weight (if not in fact an increasing weight) of Monash car is an illustration of this low performance slope.
    In other words, it seems Australian students do not know what they do not know and I am not sure they do whatever is possible to discover what is missing.
    The few Australian teams I know well seem to be having a good team spirit, a good cohesion, they know how to have fun (it is important) but the awareness of the level of needed excellence to be competitive seems to be not well defined and/or not well integrated.
    Formula student is about offering the students the opportunity to learn by doing, but in a competitive and connected world it is also about learning quickly.
    I agree we have very limited sponsorship opportunities in Australia, FSAE-A have been contancted by international sponsors that would like to employ Australian engineers overseas, the Australian automotive/engineering industry here just isn't interested in what we are doing.
    Distance makes things a bit harder but no excuse really, with a good host university normally our team excels as we are all in a foreign country and have no friends or family to worry about and our workload increases by 20-30%
    But I do disagree with a blanket statement of all Australian teams...
    ECU was continually told how high our professionalism was throughout the competition, it was actually specifically mentioned when we won the cost event at FSUK.
    Also we have a 4 cylinder car, with aero that weighs 184 kilos, does 3.8 second acceleration times, 5 second dry skidpad and if it was not for an engine failure and we had of completed Acceleration and Skidpad (Assuming the same times as FSAE-A 15') we would have come third overall.

    Not to mention we are a team of 20 students who do this while completing 4 units a semester whereas the Dutch and German team's were telling us the university gives them a year off mid degree to complete a year of FS then fall into a advisory role from then on. (Totally hearsay.)
    Is this in the spirit of the competition? It's Formula Student but if you are not completing units are you still considered a student?
    Last edited by NathVanVugt; 08-18-2016 at 09:42 AM.
    Nathan Van Vugt

    Edith Cowan University

    Team Leader 2015 - 2016

  4. #34
    Hi Kevin,

    I guess you’re addressing me. Although you at least addressed some of my points in our exchange over the DQ's at FSUK, I unfortunately never got a response from Mr. Royce, so I’m a little bit done with the whole subject.

    Also, I actually wasn't aware that a team had been disqualified for 4mm oversized wings at FSG, but sure, I’ll bite.

    FSG had clearly learned from the situation at FSUK. There were some crucial differences, especially in how they communicated in advance how cases with aero non-rule compliance would be handled.
    The following message was communicated during the opening cermony:
    • Scrutineers will at no point during normal scrutineering measure the aerodynamics.
    • ‘More responsibility will be put with the teams this year’
    • ‘If a car has a sticker, that means that it is safe, not that it complies with the rules’
    • ‘If your aero pack is too large, we don’t measure it. If we see it, and we have the impression it might be too large, and we measure afterwards, tough shit’
    • ‘We will randomly check [after dynamic events]’
    The stated primary goal here was to make scrutineering more efficient in an effort to get more teams through inspection before Friday afternoon.

    In addition, it was made clear in the scrutineering briefing what the penalty would be when non-compliance would be found after a specific dynamic event: DQ for that event.

    This sends a much clearer signal than stating twice to a team that their aero is rule compliant, but then deciding to go by the third measurement that finds something else, and inventing a penalty measure on the spot.
    I still consider the penalty to be harsh. But so is a DQ after being over the power limit for 501ms rather than 499. However, if it has been defined clearly beforehand, like in the power limit rule (which for aero it isn’t in the rules, but which it was at the start of FSG), I won’t complain afterwards.

    I would consider the German approach clearer and more pragmatic than the one at FSUK.
    Also (crucially) fairer, to the extent that the ‘random’ part which was mentioned is quite important.
    First of all, many teams were checked at FSG. (Some barely made it through and benefited from a bit of realism, such as the team that was granted quite a few attempts to show that their ground clearance was rule compliant. The officials were strict, but clearly not eager to hand out DQ’s.)
    Teams up and down ‘the ranks’ got DQ’d, and they got their penalties for breaking a variety of rules.
    I maintain that that looks very different from 4 out of the top 5 fastest teams being disqualified for the same issue, and no one else (apart from power violations which are checked and caught 100% of the time).
    Last edited by Thijs; 08-18-2016 at 03:36 PM.
    Formula Student Team Delft

    2007 - 2008: Powertrain, Suspension
    2009: Technical Lead
    2010 - present: Grumpy Old Fart/Concerned Citizen

  5. #35
    Hi all,

    I was a Scrutineer at this year's FSG and I can tell you that we as former team members, tried everything to not DQ any team.
    We give the team's the chance to show us, that their design is rule compliant and e.g. let them measure their aero packages by theirself if it was critical.

    But at some point we have to draw the line and for example a BOTS that can't be actuated by the brake pedal, even when one brake circuit is opened is not rule-compliant at all.

    Also we give a fair warning to the team's before Wet Pad - we measured the min. ground clearance of 30mm.
    When it was tight we said drive and we will check if it fits afterwards and when not get an DNF or go back to the pit, adjust your suspension and come back.


  6. #36
    Not all the teams were allowed to show the scrutineers that their design is rule compliant, or as stated from the competition that this year the teams has to appoint one team member who will be responsible for the technical inspection.
    for some teams the scurtineering went as the traditional way, two or three scurtineers hold the TIS and do the process

    But i have to say, that FSG has one of the best and toughest scurtineering among all the formula student competitions.
    Last edited by Ahmad Rezq; 08-18-2016 at 02:50 PM.

  7. #37
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Sep 2002
    Perth, Western Australia

    I wasn't actually directing my question to you (or any particular person), as there were a lot of people upset about what happened at the UK, not just those directly associated with the teams. However thank you for your clear response.

    It appears that there is agreement between the comps as to the penalty for non-compliance. I wonder if the clear communication from the organisers of FSG is something that was informed by the situation at FSUK, or if they always intended to do so.


    So I guess Formula Student (at least UK and Germany) is now a place where technical inspection happens at any time and the penalty for non-compliance is a DQ. As long as this is communicated clearly to the teams and it affects everybody then there aren't too many complaints.


  8. #38
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Sep 2002
    Perth, Western Australia
    On the issue of Monash:

    I think they should be held up as an example of a great team following FSG. They have had a horror campaign in Europe, with a failure at both UK and Austria. The car had a lot of little niggles, which cost a lot of performance, but they pushed through and made sure the car got over the line in Germany.

    The team had its best performance during the big wing era which shows how much they know about developing aerodynamic packages. With the change to the rules they have produced one of their most unique cars with a lot of great ideas, although probably not implemented as well as they would have liked. They have always been heavier than other top Australasian teams, and it is an area they need to address.

    To put their efforts into perspective they entered the top ten world rankings in 2009, which they stayed through to 2015, being as high as 1st (for a brief moment). Teams like Stuttgart and GFR were in and out during this period.

    Yet instead of applauding them as a good example of Australian engineering they are used as an example of how our engineering is somehow failing????


    On the other hand I see the compliment Claude has made by making the assumption that a country of 24 million people whose primary export is dirt should be doing better on the world stage. His assumption of expecting good Australian engineering is probably founded on the fact that since 1998 only 14 teams have won a major competition that was not their home competition, 3 of which were Australian.

    I will admit that it is very difficult to keep up the development pace that we see out of Europe at the moment. There are some well resourced teams with incredibly intelligent and creative students. Nor would I expect that we could match the pace of Chinese team improvements. But lets try and keep a little perspective as to what we should expect from our nation.

    Lets keep in mind that since 2008 there has not been a completely US team (GFR having international involvement) win Michigan, and UK teams have never won their own competition. A number of competing nations have not produced a top ranked team.

    Instead of trying to use this to denigrate the engineering ability of whole people groups instead see it for what it is, a small number of highly professional teams doing an amazing job, and just about everyone else left in their shadow.


  9. #39
    Your post got me interested Kev and so I decided I had to compare countries, even if I felt a little bit Trumpish doing it. I used the data from the top 250 teams on the FS combustion world rankings and calculated the percentage of teams for each country in the top 20. For the sake of extra confusion I made GFR 50/50 US/DE.

    67% Austria (ie: 67% of Austrian teams in the top 250 are in the top 20)
    33% New Zealand
    17% Japan
    13% Australia
    12% Germany
    8% UK
    5% USA

    Bit more interesting by region:
    16% Oceania (ie: 16% of Oceania teams in the top 250 are in the top 20)
    12% Asia
    9% Europe (If you perform a BREXIT this number pretty much stays the same)
    4% America

    For a country/region with zero automotive industry that exports dirt we are represented pretty well. Obviously being just combustion data this is thrown a little, but interesting anyway.
    Last edited by Mitchell; 08-18-2016 at 11:44 PM.
    UQ Racing

  10. #40
    Quote Originally Posted by Kevin Hayward View Post
    UK teams have never won their own competition.
    I was about to mention this myself, and pick you up on it, but then re-read and saw you'd said "their own competition" not "a competition". As Bath's recent success at FS Czech has now muddied the waters on the statement I'm sure so many UK teams make at the start of a new year: "We could be the first UK team to ever win a competition!"

    I say muddied the waters, because Czech is not an official FSAE event, and with only 29 teams in attendance, the competition is a little less fierce. I don't want to downplay Bath's success, I congratulate them, I believe at present they are the best UK team. But with so few of the big teams actually attending the event, and setting faster times that would bump Bath down the leader board, the scores are not really comparable to FSG.

    All this to say that the country that can arguable be called the home of motorsport, that has the universities that produce the largest number of graduates that go on to work in Formula 1, is giving a poor showing in FSAE. Some might argue that the it's the university academic culture, and the employment/sponsorship gap. And while that may play some part, I don't believe it's a good enough excuse.
    I think too many UK team members see this as mini F1, an opportunity to have some fun before getting a proper job. Like tinkering with an old banger racer on the weekends. If there was an added degree of professionalism, and a willingness to actually learn and apply skills more at home in industry than in your own garage, UK teams would be more consistent and much more successful.
    Last edited by Dunk Mckay; 08-19-2016 at 02:57 AM.
    Brunel Racing
    2010-11 - Drivetrain Development Engineer
    2011-12 - Consultant and Long Distance Dogsbody
    2012-13 - Chassis, Bodywork & Aerodynamics manager

    2014-present - Engineer at Jaguar Land Rover

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