Career Magazine

Formula Student Germany 2022:
Feel the energy

Career Magazine

Formula Student Germany 2022:
Feel the energy

The sun flickers high in the sky above the Hockenheimring, the team shirt clinging to the skin. The smell of rubber abrasion increases from lap to lap. The tension is at a boiling point. The other teams can be heard in the background – some are relaxing on the roof terrace of the Volkswagen pavilion, others are getting help with optimizing their cars – but there's no time for that now. The chequered flag is coming closer and closer. Everybody knows how important these last few deciding meters are. A glance at the timing, it's getting close, very close. The crowd in the stands sits up, they too realize that the last few meters can make all the difference. The chequered flag is in sight, the team once again gives its all to cheer on the driver. One last push, the tires squeal, the car is at the finish. All eyes turn to the timing board – one, two, three seconds pass, then the result: best time!

The team's joy is written all over their faces, and they laugh and applaud each other. But they don't have much time for joy. The car is immediately pushed back into the pits. All the components were thoroughly checked before the event, because the experts in the automotive industry take a very close look at every car. What does the chassis look like? Can the engine withstand the stresses of the various tests without overheating? Everyone knows that the jury won’t miss a thing. In the background, the next timing session begins, which means only one thing: Formula Student Germany is back and almost as it was before the pandemic-related restrictions. For almost 100 teams with 2,600 students from 23 nations, the toughest test of the year was on the horizon when they had to put their bolides to the test from August 15 to 21, 2022. 

Once again, FSG's main focus was the electric powertrain, with an additional focus on autonomous driving in this year's strategy.

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But it's not only on the track that the Formula Student competition is hot. The teams also have to master a number of challenges off the asphalt. For example, the students not only have to demonstrate their acquired knowledge in the construction of the cars. No! They also have to submit a detailed cost breakdown, present their business model and defend every single one of their design decisions to a jury of experts. That's where the pulse sometimes shoots up. The framework conditions are constantly changing, so the teams become familiar with the time and cost pressures of the automotive industry from the very first minute - you can't get more practical experience than that. The demands and quality standards of the teams and cars speak for themselves. Success at FSG cannot be achieved without team spirit and cooperation. 

"A highlight for me is always that the teams – even though they are immediate competitors – support each other when they see someone having problems," reports Clemens, part of the Volkswagen Talent Marketing Team. "That's exactly the spirit we live by at Volkswagen and what we look for in new employees."

One man's joy, another man's sorrow – you won't find anything like that at Formula Student. Cooperation, even between the different teams, is not unusual. If a team has a problem, helping hands are found. Competitive thinking is not the first priority. The exchange of knowledge happens all by itself. In addition, close friendships and useful networks develop over time.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The last point in particular has suffered greatly in recent years due to the pandemic. Personal exchange and the development of one's own network was not possible at all or only to a very limited extent. Motivating and recruiting team members has proved to be a real challenge. All the more impressive are the results that the teams have brought to the stage after 12 months of hard work. 

"You could tell a lot of the team members were very interested in getting back in touch with each other in person. Especially in recruiting, this still plays a big role," says Clemens.

The crowds at the Volkswagen stand were once again overwhelming. Volkswagen experts were on hand to answer all their questions. Tips for starting a career, a check of application documents or simply networking and making new contacts. All doors were open to the students and the opportunities offered were duly taken advantage of again this year.

 

 

 

 

 

 

In addition to keynote presentations on battery development and autonomous driving, there was a very special highlight this year. Racing driver Benny Leuchter and tuning expert Sidney Hoffmann were guests at FSG and assisted the students with advice, autographs and photos. The good weather, the super atmosphere and the great guests made the Volkswagen roof terrace the perfect place for the short moments of relaxation that the otherwise exciting Formula Student weekend provided. 

Looking for some more insights? Feel free to follow our current events on our Instagram channel. You can also find impressions of past events in the highlights.

 

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