We are happy to tell you that season 2022 marked the finish of HPF021. Metropolia Motorsport’s newest electric racecar is the team’s first four wheel drive vehicle with torque vectoring.
With these changes a lot of parts compared to our predecessor HPF019 had to be redesigned and developed. The biggest changes were in drivetrain with the four wheel drive, in-hub motors and planetary gears for each corner. Other breakthroughs were made in the electrics subsystem with torque vectoring and launch control systems, and new inverters to control the hub motors.
For aerodynamics, HPF021 has rear and front wing endplates, new sidewings and a new diffuser. The brakes subsystem adapted the pedal box to the shorter frame and created a mechanical solution to actuate regenerative braking. New suspension geometry was designed, and the pushrods were relocated to front and back.
The car was launched officially at a Rollout event in VM Karting Center on 3.5.2022. This marked the start of the testing season, which saw many Mondays spent at Vihti Karting Track in May and June.
At the start of July, we had an important visitor. The Vauhdin Maailma magazine brought a previous Finnish F1 driver, Jyrki Järvilehto, to test HPF021 at Vihti. The video can be found here (in Finnish).
HPF021 was put to test in the past summer’s competitions. The team competed in three official competitions during the season, starting with FS Switzerland (13.7-17.7). Following FS Switzerland was FS Czech Republic (18.7-24-7) and finally, the largest of the competitions, FS Germany (15.8-21.8).
Our team arrived in Switzerland Zürich four days after departing from Finland. During opening day we unloaded our truck and set up our pit and camping site, and prepared for the inspections. Alarm clock was set to 6:00 and after breakfast FS Switzerland had officially started.
After some small pits and tweaks to for example fasteners and stickers, mechanical inspection was successful. Our team's electric department didn’t share the same luck. We had a PCB broken which was a big drawback. Due to not passing the electrical inspection we were not able to attempt brake or rain tests nor any dynamic events.
After all, we didn't have to leave Switzerland empty handed. Thanks to our brilliant and broad presentation in the Cost and Manufacturing category we got awarded 3rd place. We also learned that Formula Student isn’t just any motorsport as we got huge help from other teams.
And despite our unfortunate luck with the car our tent sauna was much welcomed and before we knew it there was a long line formed outside the sauna by other participants and even officials there. Being the first competition of the year and the first Formula Student competition for the members of this year’s competition crew, this was also a great learning experience when it came to life on road - pit area organisation, cooking and life at camp.
Next we drove 600 km to FS Czech that was held in Autodrom Most. We were able to get through the accumulator and mechanical inspection with no major problems in the first few days. Next up was the electrical inspection which we were able to pass.
Unfortunately we ran into issues with our TSAL (Tractive System Alarm Light). During the competition, we discovered that our problems lied deep in the design of the TSAL: the COVID pandemic delayed the car’s manufacturing process and the TSAL was originally designed to follow the 2021 season’s rulebook. It would’ve required major changes and performing those while on the road in Europe was tricky and took us a lot of time.
We were not able to attempt the brake and rain tests. Our Cost and Manufacturing presentation was once again successful: we fell just 3 points short of making it to the podium again.
Formula Student Germany was the biggest competition for us in the 2022 season with 66 other EV teams and 17 Metropolia Motorsport members attending. The season’s last official competition was held in the legendary Hockenheimring.
Our days at FSG were spent troubleshooting and solving the issues with the TSAL. We managed to pass all the scrutineering, except for the brake test. We didn’t get the results we wanted, but we can assure that it wasn’t from a lack of effort: our team was working around the clock to get the car to run and attend dynamic events.
Due to so many team members attending, the team spirit was at an all time high and we had an amazing race experience getting to mingle with other teams from around the world, cooking delicious pasta and enjoying the atmosphere at the Hockenheimring.
Baltic Open 2022
Our season’s last event was the unofficial competition Baltic Open 2022 held in Aravete, Estonia. After struggling the whole summer with TSAL issues we were finally able to pass all the inspections and compete on track with our car.
In its totality the competition went very well. We finished third on Super Slalom and fourth on Autocross, and got the first trophy of the season from dynamic events.
Baltic Open 2022 was a superb event for us. Ending the season and seeing our car on track competing against others was really rewarding.
The new season
Metropolia Motorsport will be kicking off the upcoming season with a lot more knowledge gained in the competitions, and is working hard to develop the new car to be better than the last.
With the season changing it’s time to set new goals as well. For next season building a rule compliant and competitive car sticking to the schedule will be the number one goal. The team will also focus on the transfer of knowledge and teaching the new members.
HPF023 will have a couple of major design changes, the first one being transition from a steel tube space frame to a carbon fiber monocoque. Another major design change will be the decoupled roll & heave suspension with individual dampers and springs for each motion. Changes will also be made in every subsystem with a goal to improve and build on top of the knowledge gathered during the past season.
We want to give a huge thank you to our sponsors for making this whole adventure possible and giving every one of us one of a kind life experience. Next season will be full of more experiences and great moments, and we are excited to have you joining us for that adventure!