Institution news

Formula Student returns to Silverstone – 21-25 July 2021

Formula Student Team

FS2019 event photo
FS2019 event photo

Formula Student, the student engineering competition organised by the Institution of Mechanical Engineers, will see students from around the world come together to take part in a live event this July.

  • More than 140 teams worldwide participating this year
  • Competition returns to Silverstone following first ever Virtual Formula Student in 2020
  • Autonomous competition grows in popularity

Returning to the home of British Motorsport at Silverstone race circuit, the competition challenges university teams from across the world to design, build and run the best single seater race car, with internal combustion, electric, hybrid and autonomous vehicles set to compete.

Through multiple events, cars are judged on their acceleration, handling and efficiency, while engineers are assessed for their design, costing and business presentation skills. By applying engineering theories to a year-long project, the competition continues to address the current skills gap in industry and provide invaluable practical experience to young engineers.

The return to a traditional live event follows the success of 2020’s virtual event, where restrictions associated with COVID-19 made holding a live event impossible. In order for a live event to be possible this year, organisers will work closely with the venue and the industry governing body Motorsport UK to ensure the event adheres to the most up to date and applicable COVID-safe protocols.

Acknowledging that COVID-19 continues to affect teams’ ability to source materials and build their vehicles, the organising committee are allowing teams who are affected in this way to enter cars developed for previous competition years, provided they comply with the most up to date ruleset. Similarly, preparations are also being made for international teams affected by travel restrictions to compete virtually in the design, costing and business presentation events. This will ensure that as many students as possible will be able to participate and benefit from the learning opportunities the competition provides.

“We are delighted to announce the live competition this year after the hard work and organisation of the committee and the Institution,” said Andrew Deakin, chairman of the FS committee. “As the world returns to normality, Formula Student remains as important an opportunity as ever for students to learn to work collaboratively and gain practical skills on a real-world engineering project.”

“We are delighted that the FS-AI class continues to grow, with several new teams taking on the task of developing autonomous driving systems and vehicles,” he continued. “Given the growing demand in industry for engineers with these skills, the competition is well placed for young engineers to get valuable experience ahead of their first roles in industry.”

“The live event will once again give students the opportunity to demonstrate their skills and expertise as the next generation of professional engineers,” said Lucy Killington, project manager for the competition. “Formula Student remains the biggest event in the Institution’s calendar and we are delighted to provide teams with options and opportunities to compete, despite the impact of COVID.”

The Formula Student 2021 competition is sponsored by GKN Innovation Center, Babcock International and IPG Automotive.

WHEN:            Wednesday 21 July – Sunday 25 July 2021. The main dynamic events will take place on Saturday and Sunday.
WHERE:          Silverstone Race Circuit, Northampton
ONLINE:         Formula Student – 

Notes to Editors

  • Contact the Institution of Mechanical Engineers’ Press Office on +44 (0)20 7304 6877 or email
  • The Institution of Mechanical Engineers was established in 1847 and has some of the world’s greatest engineers in its history books. It is one of the fastest growing professional engineering institutions. Headquartered in London, we have operations around the world and over 120,000 members in more than 140 countries working at the heart of the most important and dynamic industries such as the automotive, rail, aerospace, medical, power and construction industries.

Read more related articles

Professional Engineering magazine

Professional Engineering app

  • Industry features and content
  • Engineering and Institution news
  • News and features exclusive to app users

Download our Professional Engineering app

Professional Engineering newsletter

A weekly round-up of the most popular and topical stories featured on our website, so you won't miss anything

Subscribe to Professional Engineering newsletter

Opt into your industry sector newsletter

Related articles