MAD Formula Team, a student association from the Universidad Carlos III de Madrid (UC3M)'s School of Engineering (EPS, in its Spanish acronym), has presented its new racing car to compete in the 2023 Formula Student season, the most established single-seater university competition in Europe.
The single-seater, called "MFT03", was presented at an event held at the UC3M Leganés Campus Auditorium, with the participation of members of the MAD Formula Team, representatives of the School of Engineering, as well as the rector and several vice-rectors of UC3M. This vehicle, which integrates various innovative systems to maximise its performance, will represent the University this summer in the international Formula Student competition, facing teams from other European universities on circuits in Germany, Austria, the Netherlands and Portugal. With this new prototype, they will seek to remain the best team in Madrid and will fight to be one of the best teams in Europe, according to team sources.
After the good results achieved last season with their MFT02 single-seater (they won first prize in Cost & Manufacturing, placed second in the skidpad test and third in the Formula Student Spain Engineering Design), this year they have again gone for a traditional aerodynamic package in this competition, which consists of a front and rear wing without the use of fans (to force the flow). "The MFT03 is the result of nine months of hard work and the improvement of a base which is as solid and competitive as last year's car", says the MAD Formula Team. All the aerodynamic components used are optimised through computational fluid dynamics programmes and made of carbon fibre, with the aim of achieving the highest aerodynamic efficiency and reducing weight as much as possible. In fact, the vehicle's monocoque weighs just 32 kg. "We have achieved this with extensive use of pre-preg fibre, a core based on an aluminium 'honeycomb' and very precise autoclave curing cycles, all thanks to our main sponsors: Gurit and Fidamc," they add.
This new prototype will be put to the test at the first official event on the calendar: from the 8th to the 13th of July at the Assen Circuit in the Netherlands. After this first competition, they will take part in Formula Student Austria (in Spielberg, from the 22nd to the 27th of July), in Formula Student Portugal (in Lisbon, from the 31st of July to the 6th of August) and will finish in Formula Student Germany (in Hockenheim, from the 14th to the 20th of August).
A multidisciplinary team
The MAD Formula Team, made up of almost a hundred students from different UC3M degrees, has working groups specialised in different parts of the car, such as aerodynamics, chassis, dynamics, electronics, driving technologies or the powertrain, without forgetting its marketing department or team management. In addition to the various engineering specialities, this is a project that requires extensive interdisciplinary knowledge and skills. For this reason, other fields such as business administration and management, audiovisual communication, economics or journalism, among others, converge. Apart from designing and manufacturing the car, the students also participate in cost analysis, the search for sponsors and programming, among other tasks.
The origins of this UC3M team go back more than a decade, when the vehicle was first conceived, and in 2016 it took part in a competition for the first time under the name Formula UC3M. "Since then, the team has evolved a lot, always with the enthusiasm that new members bring and showing that it is a true pool of talent and innovation, without forgetting all the former members who have made the team grow," says the founder and academic director of the UC3M MAD Formula Team, Daniel García-Pozuelo, professor in the Dept. of Mechanical Engineering and researcher at the University's "Duque de Santomauro" Motor Vehicle Safety Institute. "This project", he adds, "is an opportunity for students to develop academically, personally and professionally".
"For me, MAD Formula Team is the perfect complement to my studies at university," says Diego Rosado Barbero, a member of the team's Dynamics Department and a Mechanical Engineering Degree student at UC3M. "Being able to put into practice all the knowledge acquired during my degree is very positive, especially when it comes to such an exciting, ambitious and complete project, both at an academic and human level", he explains.
A university competition
When designing a single-seater of this type, it is important that the vehicle is "safe for the driver, as well as for the team members working around the car, guaranteeing sufficient reliability so that it does not fail before the end of the competition", says Daniel García-Pozuelo. Not surprisingly, one of the requirements for achieving a good score is to complete all the tests.
This competition consists of two types of tests: static, based on aspects such as the design and innovation of vehicle parts, cost analysis and business plan; and dynamics, which take into account the effectiveness and efficiency of the car in aspects such as acceleration, handling, stability and resistance.
Formula Student SAE (Society of Automotive Engineers) is an international inter-university competition organised by the Institution of Mechanical Engineers (IMechE), an independent mechanical engineering society based in London (UK) which aims to develop and inspire young engineers to be entrepreneurs and innovators. For this event, teams from each institution conceive, design and manufacture a single-seater car which they then race at renowned circuits such as Assen (Netherlands), Hockenheim , Montmeló (Spain) and Silverstone (UK), among others. It is a relevant competition at the university and professional level, with the support and collaboration of sponsoring multinational companies, which offers the opportunity to demonstrate and test both the creativity and skills of engineering students, as well as giving them the opportunity to create ties for a future professional career. https://www.madformulateam.com/