The days of the ubiquitous cup trophies could be limited. Austrian steel technology company voestalpine AG will be awarding the winner of the “voestalpine European Races” with a one-of-a-kind 3D printed trophy. The race series, sponsored by the company, is part of the second half of the ABB FIA Formula E Championship.
With the first half of the ABB FIA Formula E Championship 2018/2019 wrapped up, the racing competition is preparing to head into its European leg. As part of the season, voestalpine will, for the first time, host five “European Races” in Rome, Paris, Monaco, Berlin and Bern.
The first voestalpine race will be held on April 13th in Rome. In the lead-up to the first race, Formula E stopped in Vienna to present the 3D printed trophy alongside the steel tech company. The trophy, which will be awarded to the best driver of the five European races, was unveiled by Formula E driver Lucas di Grassi, Sporting Director Frederic Espinos and voestalpine CEO Wolfgang Eder.
“At this point we are still in the pits, but we are preparing feverishly for the first of this season’s ‘voestalpine European Races’ held in Europe,” said Eder. “The voestalpine Group is already playing a significant part in shaping the future of e-mobility with our innovations and technologies. A vision of resource-efficient mobility is what connects us with the key participants in Formula E, and we intend to use the ‘voestalpine European Races’ to communicate this future-oriented technology to a broader public.”
The trophy—which will be handed off after the final race in Bern on June 22nd—was specially designed and manufactured by voestalpine using 3D design and printing technologies. According to the company, the trophy is made up of 5,500 metal layers (from a metal powder from its Kapfenberg facility), measures 25 cm in height and weighs 156 grams. The one-of-a-kind trophy not only exemplifies the company’s additive manufacturing expertise, but also highlights how Formula E racing and innovative technologies such as AM are intimately tied.
“The introduction of the ‘voestalpine European Races’ is an indication of the importance of Formula E to the development of new technologies for e-mobility specifically in Europe,” added di Grassi, who drives for the German team Audi Sport ABT Schaeffler. “For us drivers, this is an additional challenge, but also an incentive to win this prestigious trophy alongside the overall Championship. The specially produced trophy is unique and truly an additional motivation.”
Espinos, Sporting Director of Formula E, shared the sentiment, saying: “Formula E is an ideal platform for the development of technological innovations in e-mobility. The partnership with voestalpine and this special prize is also in itself an innovation and unique to the ABB FIA Formula E Championship. I’m very much looking forward to seeing who will be the first to be entered on the list of best drivers of the ‘voestalpine European Races’ and who will lift the voestalpine trophy in Bern.”
Interestingly, roughly 50% of voestalpine’s 13 million euros in revenue is generated through the mobility market. Within that, the company says that e-mobility is gaining in importance. To meet the growing segment, the company provides advanced electrical steel for e-motor components as well as lightweight automotive components for e-cars.