Formula Student Netherlands 2019
July 11th 2019 is the last day of Formula Student Netherlands and it ends officially the first (and so very full) year of UPB Drive Formula Student Team.
Depending on the route, there are either 2,176 km or 2,225 km between University POLITEHNICA of Bucharest and TT Circuit Assen. Ten members of the team – Adrian, Adriana, Alexandru, Andrei, Cătălin, Claudia, Daniel, Denis, Mădălina and Paul – started on July 5 the most-expected trip of the year. All tired, but all excited.
How did we get here?
On July 15 2018, Adrian, Paul, Cristina and Daniel came back from their Erasmus scholarships from The Netherlands. To be honest, it felt like an extended team building, where they made friends and found out so much about both another country, and about yourselves. Most importantly, they came home with one dream: starting a Formula Student Team at their University and participating in at least one FSAE competition. Less than one year later, here we are: back in The Netherlands, on the TT Circuit Assen, as UPB Drive Formula Student Team.
We honestly can tell that passion is the key to any success. In this year, we had encountered all kind of situations that maybe we would not pass if we did not have this passion for Motorsport. Not the type to brag, but we can say this: this team has a lot of courage.
All the paperwork to put this NGO in legal terms took much longer that we expected, but this was the smallest problem we were facing. The major problem was the money, which we hardly had until three weeks before the competition. We will always remember our 2018 - 2019 partners and sponsors: University POLITEHNICA Bucharest, Academia TITI AUR, MARCO & ALEX, Salonul Auto București, Credo, PiAdvisor, GROUPE RENAULT, SIEMENS, MIRAS International, BADI, Motorpark Romania, MSC Software, MOTUL, DTA Fast, Microchip, SIMSCALE, UPT Racing Team, ASER, BEST, Brutal Stacs, Rail Pro Trading, Broderia București, Polytex.
This year was a continuous struggle for each member, but definitely the most beautiful journey. All the days and nights spent either in our ”office” or in the garage, while studying, learning, just trying to build our first car, brought us all closer one to another. We honestly did the best we could, giving the circumstances. There is always place for better, and yet, we think we did a lot in this one year.
We created a community of students who have trained themselves - both personally, and professionally. Working on a project like this implies a lot of self-disciplines, giving the amount of work that is needed, and puts you in business situations, where you have to learn to sell your idea to big companies, to gain their trust and, very important, to deliver what you promised in those 20 minutes talk.
This final team was the result of two recruiting processes, in September 2018 and April 2019 – a total of 100 applicants, around 60 individual interviews, and only 20 active new members. From the 1st of October we were ready to put our wheels in motion and get started with this project. Since then, our departments – Technical and Operations - had a weekly general meeting. Diving in, each team from each department had their own weekly meeting – Chassis, Engine, Electronics, Marketing, and Fundraising. Both departments intertwined well due to clear communication channels and organization.
Every day this year there was always something to do, and we all managed to survive these assiduous months, not to mention the demanding daily life as students.
In the end, we gave back what we promised at the end of September 2018: the environment in which passionate and dedicated students have the opportunity to put into practice their theoretical knowledge acquired during their studies, in a “hands-on” project that implies designing and manufacturing a Formula Student race car, and participating in a FSAE-ruled event.
Again, special many thanks go to all of our partners and sponsors, families and people who just believed in us and encouraged us.
Formula Student Netherlands
Day 1 - truly excited to experience the team's first competition! After the Opening Ceremony, we were right on our way to the paddock, where we split up between assembling the car and preparing for the Business Plan Presentation.
Day 2 - Business Plan Presentation and a lot of hard work - everybody contributed how they could.
Day 3 - Master the day. Then just keep doing that every day.
This was our first year as a Formula Student team, our first year participating in a real competition and we are not gonna hide it - we were in many ways unprepared.
And yet, the feeling of unfulfillment quickly turned into ambition. The team had managed to transform the parts they had when leaving Romania into a car - after 2 days, we had our DR-01.
DR-01 is in unfinished state, so we only scored in the Business Plan event: 58,3/100 points, being on the 10th position from the CV Class (out of 34 teams participating). A good thing was that we had the chance to do a Cost Report simulation. Even if our CR was... naked, so to say, we got clarifications on what was missing and how we can do it right.
We are still constantly working, because we have so much to learn yet. We want to learn and we will learn. That is why, while some of the members were in the garage, others paid attention to the Dynamic Events that were taking place in that day.
Day 4 – Can’t believe this is over! The last day was for us a bit free and we were both happy and exhausted. We are going on a well-deserved (yet small) break!
What our students said about this experience?
Adrian, Technical Leader
There are many very fine cars, almost you can not even believe that they were built by students. We still have a lot of work to get to their level, but it was a good starting point for us and we had a lot to learn from both other teams and scrutineers and judges.
The team worked daily from morning till evening to our car and managed to fit everything we had with us. We have a lot to improve when we arrive home and we have some ideas on how to make that. Otherwise, it is cold living in a tent. Very cold.
Daniel, Chassis & Aerodynamic Team Leader
Truly an engineer feeling I had when I saw all the tools, the cars and the brains behind what it seems to be the simulation of Formula 1, but on a student scale.
Florin C., Electronics Team
There is something really cool about the team, we have done a bunch of things in few months, which I do not think many have done in years.
Călin, Chassis Team
Basically, the assembly of the car happened in less than a month, everything was done super fast, and, miraculously, things interconnected well (more or less). It's really cool, and now we can do something even more cool and good. After all, we have just started the journey on this road, and we started right.
Where do we go? Where do we go now?
The best ideas start as conversations, says Johnathan Ive, Apple’s Chief Design Officer.
Our conversation has just started.
The passion for Motorsport and a thirst for innovation in this field is what brought us all together and made this project happen.
Hats off to all of our members!
UPB Drive Formula Student Team