MAD Formula Team Interview

Introduce your team briefly.
We are MAD Formula Team, the Formula Student team from University Carlos III of Madrid. Our 2021 season, when we will use the brand new MFT01, will mark the 5th car the team builds since our first appearance in Formula Student competitions back in 2016. We are a group of more than 50 highly motivated students, trying to learn and do the best we can while we enjoy the journey, and push ourselves to the limit.

Tell us about your team’s history with Formula Student. 
We have participated in Formula Student competitions since 2016 under the name of Formula UC3M, racing every season in FSS. We have been continuously improving and growing as a team, and in 2019 we competed in FSG as well. This year we are looking forward to joining FSA and FSN for the first time, and 2021 will be the first season we race as MAD Formula Team, marking a new era for us. 

 

What does join Formula Student Netherlands mean to you? 
Formula Student Netherlands is one of the most prestigious and competitive events in Europe, so it has always been our goal to classify for FSN and race in Assen. We are extremely excited about the opportunity, it is a great milestone for a small team like ours

What are your main goals for this year?
-In 2021 the team is introducing a brand new car, the MFT01 (nicknamed “Phoenix”), and it introduces plenty of innovations and new concepts. Our goal is to develop a reliable car that allows us to complete the dynamic events. We are a small team, so we know we won’t be fighting for wins, so we hope we can maximize our package and validate the concepts introduced this year for further development in upcoming seasons.
· What made you think of/choose FSN?
-It was down to a variety of reasons. First of all, it is the first event among the European competitions, which made it very appealing. The trip from Leganés to Assen is relatively short in comparison to other events. But it mainly comes down to the competition itself, and the high standard of the event, being as professional and enjoyable as it can be.

What makes you different than the other teams?

We want to introduce an outside the box approach to Formula Student. Our lack of resources means we won’t be able to compete against the grid if we stick to the norm. From the organization of the team to the development of the car, we have been doing things in a different way, and we hope this will pay off when competitions take place

What is your biggest achievement in Formula Student so far?
-We’re a young team, and luck has never been on our side. Results until now have not shown the performance of the car as we have suffered plenty of reliability issues in competitions.
But 2021 will be different, doing more testing than ever before prior to the events, and hopefully, we will be able to show what we are capable of.

Describe your car in three words.
Phoenix is FANtastic

How did COVID-19 affect your team and how did you deal with it?
-The pandemic forced a couple of sponsors to pull out of their deals with the team. Furthermore, our university was forced to cut our budget as well, meaning we had to get creative to raise the funds necessary to race. We created plenty of team merchandising, and we created a Go Fund Me campaign to fund our 2021 project. This campaign was a success thanks to the appearances we made in Spanish radio programs, a sim racing event with our virtual racecar and in collaboration with one of the biggest platforms in sim racing, Racedepartment. These events allowed us to spread the word and make our campaign a success.

As to the working environment, we had to adapt to working from home. We transitioned as soon as the pandemic began to a fully online working environment for the design phase of the project, hosting weekly online meetings with all members of the team.
When the manufacturing phase of the project began, we had the collaboration from our university and sponsors, that provided the necessary spaces and machinery to safely create the MFT01, working in reduced groups and always respecting strict safety measures