Interview – FSB Racing

Introduce your team briefly.

FSB Racing Team is the first Croatian Formula Student team founded in 2003 at the Faculty of Mechanical Engineering and Naval Architecture, University of Zagreb, Croatia. The team has currently around 100 members, students, from different faculties at the University of Zagreb. For example, the Faculty of Mechanical Engineering and Naval Architecture, Faculty of Economics, Faculty of Electrical Engineering and Computing, Design Studies, and many more.

Over the past 17 years, we have designed 8 Formula Student cars and took part in various Formula Student competitions.

The results are getting better year by year and our team and the overall project is today considered as the biggest student project in Croatia. With the first student formula car „Kuna“ we started a tradition of naming our cars by the names of wild animal species living on the territory of the Republic of Croatia.

How did the cancellation of the formula student competitions impact your team?

We are currently focusing more on the static events as the in-person competitions were canceled. We got also more time to focus on the static events as our workshop was completely closed because of the COVID-19 pandemic. Overall, we are practicing our skills for the static part of the competitions, which is also not that bad.

How did your team deal with the situation, what challenges did you face and how did you resolve them?

Right after our Faculty was closed, we started with online meetings and online work. As the current situation affected mostly our final work on the car, work in the workshop, and manufacturing, we started with the first concepts for the next car for 2021 to keep track of the time. The team seemed at first very demotivated and we tried to keep them on track with meetings who were more often held. It was hard to know when we will be back in our workshop so that we can plan our next steps. So, we decided to focus on things we can do outside of the workshop. We made a new team structure and focused on new online working-methods. Also, we implemented a whole new system for gathering our reports and information. The idea was when things go back to normal, we are start-ready!

What will you do differently for the online event?

We will surely focus more on the online events. We have more time and more motivation to do them properly. We will not do anything hugely different as we want to learn how to do them properly for the next years to come. To have good reports and a good base for future generations.

What is your biggest achievement in Formula Student so far?

Our biggest achievement was 2014 – FS UK, Silverstone, 10. place of 97 teams in total.

Do you believe the future of Formula Student can adapt to the COVID-19 crisis and how?  

Probably yes. The static events will get more attention and will be the priority. Which has also its pros and cons. The dynamic events will be missed but it is better to adapt to the new “normal” than to cancel the events in full. We think it was a good decision to keep the static events online.

What can the Formula Student organizing bodies do to help the struggling teams due to the current events?

We would say that our biggest current problem is the finances due to the crisis which came with COVID-19 and probably it is the same for the other teams. Good financial support for the events for next year would be appreciated. With everything else we can deal in one way or another, we will find a solution, but good support also from the head organization would be very much appreciated.

Do you think there are any positive outcomes for the competition from the current situation?

The static events will get the attention they need. All the teams are focusing on the dynamic events and completely forget how important the static events are.

Do you think it is beneficial for the teams to participate in an online competition and why?

The online events have their pros and cons. Unfortunately, an online event cannot compete with a real-life competition. The competition-atmosphere cannot be shown in an online event as it can be in the real-life event. But we can take this as a way to learn better for the future and future events. The dynamic part and real-life part will be missed, but we will appreciate the future competitions more!

Personal Statement

It was not easy for us to stay at home after we invested so much time and energy in our project VulpesR (FSB-RT06R) but we are now continuing  with the work in our workshop.

The idea for this and the next year is to finish the project we have started, take part on the competitions’ static events we enrolled in (FS Netherlands, FS Switzerland, FS UK) and to finish the next generation FS car for the season 2021.

As the past circumstances did not let us finish the project for 2020as planned, we were giving more attention to the static events for this year and the concepts for the new generation for 2021, safely from our homes.

The team’s main focus right now are the static events which will be held online for this year. Also, this years FS car will be finished and we will do a major testing on it so that we can have a better insight for the next generation. All the concepts which were newly implemented and later will be tested on our VulpesR will also be a good base for testing all the concepts for 2021. After all, the main team’s task is to learn and pass on the knowledge to the next generation. We decided that COVID-19 will not stop us on our mission and we will continue to do our best.

We also wanted to thank everyone who helped us on our mission and we promise that we will do our best to keep you proud! But safety first!