Imagine sitting in your self-made race car at the starting line at Hockenheimring. It’s a dream that many people have that can actually come true at Formula Student Germany (FSG). Over 110 student teams from all over the world meet up every year to participate in a racing series with their own designed race cars. MAN has been part of this event since 2011 sponsoring four different teams - with great success, we’d like to add! At the peak of the season in Hockenheim, our team from the Technical University of Munich and Karlsruhe Institute of Technology came out on top. Our social media team and the departments who were on site were always in the thick of the action and worked close with the students, which allowed them to be involved in many interesting topics. The informative and diverse reporting on the Facebook MAN career page was received with great interest by the FSG community, as were our contests and surveys. We were particularly pleased that the new MAN Instagram career account has been growing its followers ever since.
Part of an international technology community
The idea behind Formula Student is as fascinating as it is simple. Students from various degree programs form design teams that are given a challenging mission: to develop and build a single-seater race car. The teams then take the prototype they’ve built on tour and compete against the other teams’ vehicles on race tracks around the globe.
The design of the vehicle is the most difficult – but definitely not the only – challenge faced by the student teams. At the end of the day, it will not necessarily be the teams with the fastest cars standing on the podium, but those with the best overall package. The students themselves are entirely responsible for financing and organizing the project. That means they have to write business plans, find sponsors and spend much of their free time developing and building their vehicle. In order to ensure a certain level on the playing field, there are certain technical specifications applicable to all of the design teams worldwide.
Planning as a team – winning as a team
Each team has approximately 60 to 80 members, so organizing the team, assigning roles and responsibilities and coordinating a project plan is already an enormous challenge. Just like in a company, there are project managers, development teams, buyers, financial controllers and communication staff who take care of disseminating information, arranging team meetings, and also attracting sponsors.
The big event: Hockenheim
And then there’s Hockenheim. Each year, the pinnacle of the FS series for the student teams and their numerous supporters and fans come together during a total of five colorful, exciting and action-packed days. The teams participate in four disciplines in which the various qualities of the racing cars are tested. Before the event, the pits are consumed with frantic activity and excitement. Can the vehicle, which was created with such meticulous care, deliver the desired result when it counts? Which driver will be behind the wheel during which competition? Everyone is putting on the finishing touches, adding one more screw to the race car and straightening their helmets. The tires are squealing. It’s pure adrenalin time.
Our social media reporters captured every moment during live interviews and surveys with our own camera teams. Our daily reporting on Facebook and Instagram was very well received. The thrilling videos showed the very human side of the participants and provided the viewers with the impression of the atmosphere during the races.
A quiz contest with informative and humorous questions alike was used to convey additional information about MAN as a company and to position us as an attractive employer for up-and-coming young talent. All in all it has been an exciting weekend with a lot of adrenaline, passion and engineering skills.