Formula Student - World Ranking Lists

Due to the variance of the international competitions and with respect to the growing size of the Formula SAE/Formula Student network and scene the FS-world team discussed and decided to come up with a way to consolidate the results of all competitions that are carried out with respect to the official rules of FSAE/Formula Student.

The clear target was and is to allow any team to see and communicate upon its development and its success as well in comparison to teams that are due to financial and/or geographical reasons out of any reach for a team of students to step into direct competition. Additionally to that the world ranking is established in the very first moment with a significant history over the last years. Target is to allow all teams to see how it is developing and to identify the consistency in working and developing each team's performance.

Even if the world ranking shows and respects results and points in this ranking there are no winners, only placed teams. For us, the FS-world team, any team that manages to design and build a car besides their studies, to assemble it, to test it and to show up at any event in the world is a clear winner.

WRP = World Ranking Points
n = event index, 1 = latest event, 2 = second latest event, …
sn0 = normalized season factor for event n
an0 = normalized actuality factor for event n
Pn = overall Points from event n
cn = competitiveness of event n

The world ranking list is established according to the following regulations

  1. After every single event the world ranking list is being revised. It then remains unchanged until the following event in the same class.
  2. At the maximum, only results of the last 3 seasons are being taken into account.
  3. For each team the last 6 events are taken into account.
  4. In case teams participated in less then 6 events over the last 3 seasons, less then 6 results are taken into account.
  5. The overall results of each team are being taken into account.
  6. Only events with at least 10 participating teams are taken into account.
  7. The overall results are being rated according to three aspects: Competitiveness of the Competition, Season & Actuality.

Requirements for the competitions

  1. The competition must be offered in English. A second language is fine as long as it does not cause any disadvantages for the remaining participants.
  2. The competition must be based on the official Formula Student rules and all disciplines must be offered to participate for every team.
  3. The maximum possible score must be 1000 points.
  4. A complete, extensive and documented inspection on site and in advance is of course required.
  5. Only one team per class, per university may participate.
  6. At least 10 teams must complete per class.

Competitiveness of the Competition

  1. At the beginning of each event, the overall points of the world’s top ten are being compared to the overall world ranking list points of the 10 best starters at the event.
  2. If the ratio is 1, the points achieved at the event are weighed with 1.
  3. If the ratio is 0.6 or less, the points achieved at the event are weighed with 0.85.
  4. If the ratio is between 1 and 0.6, the event is weighed linearly between 1 and 0.85.
  5. This aspect is not being normalized!
  6. If the event is a mixture of classes where two or more classes compete for the same points, the competitiveness will be based on a combined world ranking list.


  1. Current season (from the current event to the precedent years‘ one) weighed with 6.
  2. Last year‘s season (from last year’s event to the one two years ago) weighed with 5.
  3. Prepreseason (from the event two years ago to the one three years ago) weighed with 4.


  1. The latest event is weighed with 1.
  2. The second latest event is weighed with 0,6.
  3. The third latest event is weighed with 0.6*0.6=0.36.
  4. etc.
  5. Each of these aspects is being normalized.

Frequently Asked Questions

Why is the worst result of the last 6 events not eliminated?

Why should one bad result be eliminated, whereas the others should count? To finish first, first you must finish. Having a reliable car is a vital part of the competition. Due to the actuality factor it is possible to compensate an endurance failure quite quickly. The averaging over 6 events also helps not to fall back too much after a failure.

Why are events within a year also weighted with the actuality factor?

The actuality factor assures the fluidity of the list, the season factor helps results from the last 12 month not to fade too quickly. For example: if a team is competing in three events per year, the third to last event counts more than the third to last event of a team, competing only once a year. Unlike Formula One for example, there is no predefined „season“ in the FS-World. Therefore the world ranking is updated after every event and not only at the end of the year. With the actuality factor fluctuactions are damped out, rating the latest results the most.

Why is the actuality factor 0.6?

Most teams are competing in one, maybe two events per year. In most cases older results were scored by a different team and a different car. Therefore these results should not affect the actual scoring that much. With this system, serious changes in the performance of a team affect its world ranking while the people responsible for the results are still in charge.

Why is 85% the lowest possible competitive factor?

In case a Top Team attends an event with the lowest competitiveness factor, and is able to score 1000 points, this will count as 850 for the world ranking. This is about the average winner scoring of an event, rated with a competitiveness factor of 100%.

Why do you use a competitiveness factor?

The competitiveness factor balances the fact, that with the same performance it’s easier to score many points in a smaller event with less Top teams. For that reason, the points scored in such an event are rated with the factor to meet the level of a strong event. So you get the same amount of world ranking points with the same performance, irrespective of at which of the events around the world you were competing.

Why don't you just take the winners scoring as an indicator of the competiveness of an event?

Not in every case a lower winner scoring means a stronger competition. Imagine the possible competition winner (which is often the endurance winner) failing in endurance. This would reduce the overall winner’s score. However, the competitiveness (the difficulty to score high) would be lower than in the case the team would have finished (and won) the endurance.

Why is the position in the overall ranking of an event not used in the formula?

The performance of a team can be fully expressed in terms of points (weighted with the competitiveness factor), because the scoring system of the event always relates your team’s score to that of the best performing team.

Is there an advantage for teams that are competing in many events?

The ranking is more dynamic for teams that are competing in many events, as they just “produce” more results. That can be an advantage, but it can be a disadvantage too (depending in which direction the performance is changing). Competing in many events increases the possibility of failing in endurance. This risk can be taken to gain further experience in competing. If you gain this experience and use it to score well, you’re a good team and this will be reflected in your world ranking score. BUT: Whether you are steadily scoring points once a year, or four times a year, your World ranking points will be the same in both cases!

Feedback or any questions?

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