Zip, zap…IIT Delhi’s F1 car for Silverstone circuit

April 19th, 2008 - 11:49 am ICT by admin  

By Prashant K. Nanda
New Delhi, April 19 (IANS) A Formula 1 car designed by students of the Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) Delhi will zip zap zoom on the famous Silverstone circuit - which hosts the British Grand Prix - in July. IIT Delhi’s next generation F1 car will race in the Formula Student category at the circuit. The event will take place between July 10 and 13. It will be among 103 institutes from all over the world that will take part.

The car with a 600 cc sports bike engine has multipoint fuel injection facility to help save time during the race. The car also has an electronic control unit with an aerodynamically designed body.

“Earlier we had developed an all terrain vehicle and it has been participating in international competitions for the last three years. Now our students have developed a formula car,” said Sudipto Mukerjee, a professor of mechanical engineering at IIT Delhi.

Mukerjee, who has overseen the work, said it took almost a year before he and his team of 16 students could come out with the complete product. “It’s experimentation by our students to learn something new and bring it to the market.”

With an investment of over Rs.3 million, the metal body car weighs around 400 kg and can reach a peak speed of 90 km in nearly 10 seconds from ignition.

“We gave technical assistance to the students, allowed them to use the laboratory but our support in terms of money was limited. They went and talked to companies and came out with sponsorships.

“Maruti helped them a lot. They also extended technical support to us in putting together the parts,” the professor said.

Formula Student aims at building future engineering talent by designing and producing a single-seater racing car, not just in design and manufacture but also in management, marketing and people skills.

According to the Formula Student official website, 103 universities and institutes like University of Birmingham, University of Liverpool (both in Britain), Universitat Stuttgart (Germany) and Karlstad University (Sweden) are participating in the event. IIT Delhi is ranked at 11 and its car number is tagged as 73.

“We are airlifting the car to Britain. We are not dreaming of winning the race, but it will certainly give us the confidence to work better. It will be a proud moment for us to race on the Silverstone circuit,” Mukerjee added.

(Prashant Nanda can be contacted at

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