Faculty of Engineering

Formula Student 2021

University Of Nottingham Racing Team has best electric vehicle at Formula Student competition

Frankie at Wollaton Hall

Engineering students from the University of Nottingham Racing Team competed against over 100 other student teams from universities around the world at the Formula Student competition, which is run by the Institution of Mechanical Engineers at Silverstone Race Circuit.   

At this year’s race, in July 2021, the team and its car – Frankie – were ranked third overall. They were also the highest classified electric vehicle and came first in the Business Presentation competition. Frankie is a 2WD electric car, weighing in at just under 300kg and with a top speed of 80mph.

Formula Student is a competition for single-seat racing vehicles designed and built by students, with support from academics and industry sponsors. The competition returned in 2021 after a break last year due to the pandemic. A total of 35 teams participated with their cars, alongside a further 65 virtual concept entries.

The first achievement for the team was to pass scrutineering, showing that the car was fit to run and met all the stringent Formula Student rules. The team then went on to win the Business Plan event, where they presented their strategy for successfully moving from prototype production into an electric go-karting business. Frankie was then the only EV to complete the endurance event, which covered a total of 22km around the racing circuit. The car also came second in the fuel efficiency event.

Frankie and his team

Retiring from its stellar performance at Silverstone, the car will remain a crucial part of the team for testing and exhibition. The team is looking to the future with development projects focusing on a new, lightweight drive unit, custom inverters for 4WD, and upgrading to a carbon fibre chassis and suspension.  

Project Lead, Prof Alasdair Cairns, summed up the University of Nottingham’s reaction to the success, “This year was an excellent achievement built upon a solid foundation. We are all extremely proud of the team and looking forward to the next year.”

The role of the students and their teamwork is highlighted by outgoing Team Principal, Chris Smout, who said, “This has been the culmination of 3 years very hard work […] and all the students involved over the past 3 years should take credit for what the team has been able to produce.”

The team is eager to build on the successes at Silverstone and are open to discussions with anyone interested in supporting our journey.

Formula Student race team


About UoN Racing Team 

UoN Racing Team is a dynamic and driven group that focuses on electric vehicle development for the future. We have two projects: the Formula Student racing car and a new addition, the Solar Challenge car. Our aims are to provide students with opportunities to practise real-world interdisciplinary engineering, to build networks with industry and student racing teams from around the world, and to ultimately contribute to the next generation of sustainable transport.



Shreeja Basak, PR Lead 

Surojit Sen, Team Principal 


Faculty of Engineering

The University of Nottingham
University Park
Nottingham, NG7 2RD

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