At full throttle

An interview with Anurag, a former member of the Formula Student Team and an alumni of Uni Stuttgart.

The Formula Student Team at Uni Stuttgart is one of the most happening student clubs and has been at the top of the Formula Student Competitions consistently for several years. It is exciting to be a part of this passionate team and drive it to success consistently. But how does one become a member of the Formula Student Team? What goes on in this team? I explore these and many other questions with Anurag, a former member of the racing team and an alumni of Uni Stuttgart.

Race car with cups won

First things first, tell us a bit about what the racing team does.

The Rennteam Uni Stuttgart e.V., or the Formula Student Team of Uni Stuttgart designs, builds and tests a race car and participates in the International Formula Student competitions every year. With a technical team to design and manufacture the car and a management team to gather sponsors and presenters, the Formula Student Team at Uni Stuttgart is multifaceted with students from different fields of study. A unique aspect about the Uni Stuttgart Formula Student Team is that a student is allowed to take a year-long semester break from studies to work full-time with the team.

What was your motivation to join the racing team?

Anurag, former member of the racing team

During my undergrad days in India, I was part of my University’s Baja team, where we built All-Terrain Vehicles. Watching our vehicle race against other cars in the Baja competitions ignited a spark in me: that’s when I got passionate about motor sports (reminisces). I then aimed to become a part of the best Formula Student Team in the world. A simple Google search was enough to know that the Formula Student Team at Uni Stuttgart is the best in the world and I was all set to move to Germany just to be a part of the team. I was allured by their consistent position in the rankings. So, as soon as I got an admit into the Computational Mechanics program in Uni Stuttgart I got in touch with the then Formula Student Team captain to express my interest and after meeting me in person, I was asked to come on board.

What was your first impression about the team and what are some of the challenges you faced?

My first impression once I joined the team, initially as a part-time member, was that despite being university students the members were very professional and disciplined. The dedication of the members reassured me that I was in the right place. So I started preparing myself to become a full-time member. I planned my studies and finances in such a way that I can dedicate my second year completely to building a racecar.  My biggest challenge was improving my German language skills as almost all meetings and presentations are held in German. Within a year’s time, I had improved my German, came on board full-time, and helped build the F0711-13 car along with my team.

It certainly sounds like an interesting journey. What was your biggest achievement as a team?

The biggest highlight of our team was winning the competitions on home ground. For a few years before that, the Rennteam Uni Stuttgart had won all but the Formula Student competition in Germany. Among all the Formula Student competitions, the one in Germany is the biggest, so we take immense pride in winning the competition.

The team has around 40 members.

You have participated in a lot of competitions. How were those experiences useful to you?

The Formula Student Teams are usually sponsored by companies. As Stuttgart is the industrial capital of Germany and the birthplace of Mercedes-Benz, they were one of our biggest sponsors. The Formula Student competitions usually go on for an entire week and are not just limited to racing but also include design and cost presentations - these presentations are presided over by representatives from various sponsors. After one such presentation, the judge who was from Mercedes-Benz offered me a Master Thesis topic under his supervision at Mercedes-Benz formerly known as Daimler AG. It completely shaped my career and had it not been for the Formula Student Team, I would have lost an opportunity of a lifetime.

What are the qualities a student must possess to be a part of the Formula Student Team, Uni Stuttgart?

Honestly, it is just passion, dedication and willingness to work as a team towards a common goal. Although one of the exceptional things about the Rennteam Uni Stuttgart is that the team will build the qualities in you as long as you show some interest; you will be tamed (laughs).

Last question to you: What is the mission of the Formula Student Team, Uni Stuttgart?

Our mission is: Complete.Finish.Win. And we always strive to be the best team.

Thank you for sharing your experience with us,  Anurag.

To students who are interested in being a part of the Rennteam Uni Stuttgart e.V, we welcome you to check out the webpage of Rennteam Uni Stuttgart to know more about how to apply.

Ghayathri 

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