Author: BVN Madhu, Alumnus of Camber Racing, SRM University & Business Event Lead at Formula Bharat 2018
When participating at Formula Student Germany back in 2015, our team needed quite a bit of help to pass scrutineering. When we approached other participating teams, they all went above and beyond to help us out – whether it was providing a spare part or even advice. We felt that they made our problem, theirs, and that our success was as important as their own.
We had a contrasting experience at an Indian competition. On the first day of FSI 2016, we needed a small bit of help to clear Tech Inspection. The part required was something sort of an aluminium tape or an M5 bolt. So one of our team members approached a member from another participating team, who we thought, would have this part on-hand. We were turned away instead after being told, “Dude, understand that this is a competition and we should not be helping our competitors”. We thanked him anyways and returned to our pit.
This brings me to the following point: most of our [Indian] teams consider other participating teams as enemies and we try to make them lose by restricting aid especially when we can offer it. Yes, this is a competition and by that, I mean, we should try to win, but not intentionally make others lose. The act of lifting each other is probably one of the most beautiful aspects of Formula Student and the very moment you try to do the contrary, you are destroying that opportunity of fraternization and hence prevent yourself from learning and growing.
In my opinion, all the European teams understand a simple fact that we all are of the same kind,
trying to achieve something very similar. We all work hard with our blood, sweat and tears, and yes, we all put in the same 100% effort and channel it into x% productive output; except that, this ‘x’ varies from team to team and it is dependent on strategy, planning and project management. This is the only dissimilarity wherein each of us follow a different route to get to that fixed point called winning.
A team from Deggendorf, called Fast Forest hosted us in Germany. They helped us in every possible way and were happy to share their resources too. They believed that despite the vast linguistic, cultural and geographical differences, we all are all still the same.
So here’s what I believe you and I can wholly agree on: In order for Indian teams as a whole to rise to the global Formula Student platform, we need to keep the rivalry just between the cars and friendship between teams.
We can create wonders together.