About Formula Student
Formula Student is an international student competition in which student teams design, construct, test, and race with prototypes of racing cars. Cars and their production are evaluated through a series of rules determined by IMECHE (Institution of Mechanical Engineers) and SAE (Association of Automotive Engineers).
FS is one of the most prestigious competitions in which student teams demonstrate theoretical knowledge in action. The first FS competition was held in 1981 under the organization of SAE. For the next 18 years, the competition was held in the USA, but due to its popularity, the project was extended to Great Britain, Australia, Japan, and then to some of the European countries. It came to Croatia in 2017 under the name FS Alpe Adria. The purpose of Formula Student is to provide engineering students with a platform on which they can construct, experience, and learn. Participation provides a unique opportunity in which theoretical knowledge is demonstrated in action. The project is a transition platform for final year students to their future employers and a “ticket” to the world of engineers, which combines practical experience, communication skills, and business planning.
About Formula Student Alpe Adria
Formula Student Alpe Adria is part of the international educational project Formula Student, which aims to educate students, develop new technologies, expand the STEM area and networking. FS Alpe Adria is an official competition (since 2022) and the only competition of its kind in the region. The competition attracts numerous European and global teams, all with the aim of self-promotion and promoting STEM areas, student activism and business networking. Domestic audiences, as well as foreign ones, get the opportunity to get acquainted with the charms of the Formula Student world. Students get the opportunity to connect and exchange experiences in order to rank better in the labor market in the near future. Also, competitors have the opportunity to learn from top experts from the automotive industry since the judges come from world-renowned automotive companies. According to the number of experts from Formula 1 and the automotive industry, the FSAA is at the very top of Formula Student. The importance of the project lies in creating opportunities for young enthusiasts who are the future of the STEM area.
Evolution of FS Alpe Adria
The first event was held in late September 2017 with the idea of joining regional teams and companies. Teams from Rijeka, Zagreb, Split, Belgrade, Ljubljana, and Maribor attended, and the race was held on the karting track Bura in Rijeka. Teams competed in three disciplines; Acceleration, Autocross, and Endurance Race. The event lasted for 2 days and was attended by more than 100 people.
The second event was held at the end of August on the same track as the previous year, but this time with more registered teams. 9 teams participated; Rijeka, Zagreb, Ljubljana, Maribor, Belgrade, Split, and three new teams from Sofia, Mostar, and Podgorica. This time, students also competed in 2 additional static disciplines; Business plan and Engineering design, just like official FS competitions. The organizers of the event were alumni members of the Formula Student teams from Croatia, Serbia, and Austria, and the co-organizer was the Technical Faculty of the University of Rijeka.
The third event was held on August 26-29, 2021. in Novi Marof on the karting track St Rauš organized by the Varaždin association FSAA. The event lasted 4 days and was attended by 37 teams from 15 European countries, numerous judges from the top of the automotive industry and Formula 1, and, according to estimates, more than 5,000 spectators. The previous event was a turning point for the Croatian Formula Student mission and, ultimately, resulted in recognition from the main organization of the FS competition. By investing in attractiveness and quality, increasing number of judges from renowned companies (such as Porsche Motorsport, Porsche Engineering, Ferrari, Mercedes-Benz AG, Aston Martin Lagonda, and Hyundai Motorsport), we have reached the very top of the Formula Student competition and there is a visible growth.
After three events, this year’s edition will be the first official one. The expected number of registered teams exceeds 50, which means more than 1,000 students from all over the world. The venue is the karting track St Rauš in Novi Marof, as previous year, and will last five days (August 23 – August 28) in order to give teams more time for technical inspections so that the number of cars participating in the race would be higher.
Concept of the competition
Following the example of other Formula Student competitions, FS Alpe Adria respects all the rules and the competition itself consists of two types of disciplines: static and dynamic.
Teams must show innovation, efficiency and show the “product” in the best possible way in order to have a better rank on the overall ranking list. The goal is to develop the best racing car through the systematic advancement of team members in a unique way that tests theoretical knowledge. Students systematically work throughout the year on the construction of racing cars to participate in Formula Student competitions and receive the ultimate recognition.
Engineering design – a discipline in which construction solutions are presented. Each team has half an hour to explain their concept.
Cost and Manufacturing – a discipline in which the cost of the vehicle is represented. It is necessary to create a document in which each part of the vehicle is located. Team that creates the most quality product with the least resources, usually wins.
Business Plan Presentation – teams present their plan, which must contain all the steps so that a fictitious company wishes to buy it. It is necessary to make financial plans, market analysis, marketing plans, make a return-on-investment budget …
Acceleration – a discipline in which the vehicle accelerates in the direction of 75 meters.
Skidpad – the vehicle moves on the track in the form of number 8, and the emphasis is placed on the settings of the suspension and the mechanical “grip” that the formula produces.
Autocross – the vehicle rides one lap on the track, and the formula that is the fastest has the best starting position the next day.
Endurance race – the vehicle must drive 22 km on the track with a change of driver at the 11th kilometer. It is the most difficult dynamic discipline and only the best prepared formulas complete it.
The organization of the event involves 20 organizers and about 50 volunteers in the preparation of the track and during the race. The organizers themselves work within several areas; Marketing, Sponsorships, PR, Dynamic Disciplines, Static Disciplines, and Team Management.
Teams whose work is related to marketing, sponsorships and PR work throughout the year on the promotion of the event, providing financial and material resources, work on public relations and the production of materials needed to acquaint the public with our work.
Dynamic disciplines deal with all activities related to the track. This team ensures the trail and the conduct of all activities on it. They are in charge of volunteers, track schedule and dynamic disciplines, all technical tests required for participation, and ensuring that the event itself went smoothly regardless of external influences.
Static disciplines are jobs related to contact with experts from the automotive industry and the economy to ensure the presence of judges at the event, organization and collection of all necessary documentation so that teams can attend the event.
Team management takes care of the arrival of teams at the event, all matters related to applications, invoices, pro forma invoices and the accommodation of participants. Also, this team collects information about potential participants in the event to secure as many participants as possible.
Contribution to community
The project is useful for both students and spectators. The FSAA is an opportunity for students across Europe to demonstrate their knowledge, promote their work and knowledge, learn from automotive experts and get in touch with potential future employers. Teams gain a wealth of experience and knowledge that will benefit them in the future; teamwork, pressure work, and self-promotion. With this type of competition, the audience gets educated about the Formula Student world and its novelties. Through teamwork, desire, and perseverance, the popularity of the project as well as the STEM area is successfully spreading. The FSAA is a platform that prepares students for future education and employment. Also, the event contributes to the promotion of the local community, in which it is held, in the form of media exposure, promotion of culture and sights and an additional source of income generated by the participants of the event. The competition also promotes Croatia and puts it on the map as a country of science, technology, and innovation.
Mission and Vision
Formula Student Alpe Adria is a competition with a strong mission and vision. Strong desire to progress and clear goals lead us to the ultimate goal. Last year’s goal was achieved – FS Alpe Adria has become an official competition! Constantly expanding the number of participants and constantly working on quality, attractiveness and providing participants (teams, sponsors, spectators) with the opportunity for a unique experience of enjoying FS charms, is our uncompromising goal. Also, the plan is to introduce a “driverless” class in the foreseeable future, thus paving the way for new technologies and their promotion.
From a small event, the FSAA has grown into the only competition of its kind in the region, all in a short period of time. From the first 2017 event to last year’s event, there has been a big increase in the number of registered teams, the number of disciplines in which teams compete, the number of sponsors and donors as well as the number of judges who responded to the call. Last year’s event brought together 37 teams and top experts from the automotive industry and Formula 1 who approached the event voluntarily and gave even greater importance to the project. Great encouragement is also given by sponsors and donors who have realized the value and sustainability of this type of event. FS Alpe Adria 2022 will bring together an even larger number of teams – approximately 50, and they come from all over the world. The number of organizers and volunteers is growing in line with the growth of the infrastructure.
The project is funded exclusively by sponsorships and donations and the payment of team membership fees. By investing in this type of project, it ensures the possibility of advancement of young engineers as well as the development of innovations in Croatia and the region.