It’s the event for young people studying vehicle engineering: the annual “Formula Student Germany” car-making competition at the legendary Hockenheimring racetrack. Around 120 university teams participated from August 6-12 to connect theory with practice. Each team had a year to develop its vehicle and concept – ranging from electric powertrain and internal combustion engines to human driver or computer algorithm for the “Driverless” category of autonomous race cars.
There are many different Formula Students around the world, but the German competition is the premium event. “Formula Student Germany is the best and most difficult,” says Daan Schopmeijer, 23, who has a bachelor’s degree in physics and leads the team from Delft University of Technology. “The vehicle tests in particular, the scrutineering – that’s really tough here.” That is to say, not every race car makes the cut.All of the cars are painstakingly tested while the teams stand nervously to one side, praying that everything goes well.