...from Győr to the world

“I’m driven by the same thing I was in Formula Student: to develop something unique.”

2024. 04. 15.

Crazy passion, incredible humility, endless creativity and expertise - perhaps these are the words that best describe Formula Student, one of the most outstanding university venues in motorsport. Last July, our development engineer colleague Dániel Dén, joined us from the BME Motorsport team in Budapest, and with the usual Formula Student enthusiasm, he told us about his past and about the present at Audi.

Dani, to what extent do you draw parallels between your life at “Formula Student” and at Audi?


As different these two worlds are, I can see as many parallels between them. The first and most important is the emotional aspect. I’m talking about the feeling when you have the opportunity to turn the world you’ve designed into reality and, thanks to your hard work, your ideas can take shape. That feeling is strong at both Formula Student and Audi Hungaria.


As chief engineer at BME Motorsport, I was responsible for all the components of our race cars, but before that there was a period when I was specifically responsible for chassis development. The complexity of the chassis is very interesting for me: it can be a challenge from day to day. Thanks to my team work, I was able to gain a lot of useful experience during my university years. So, when I found out that I could now work on chassis development at the Győr Powerdrive Systems Development, I thought to myself, “This is my time!” I immediately submitted my application.

New organisation

To make the story complete, during my university years I moved from the BME Formula Racing Team to the newly formed BME Motorsport because the possibility of setting up a completely new team appealed to me. A completely new organisation, with a fresh structure, atmosphere and culture that I could build together with my teammates. After my interview at Audi, I saw the same potential in the Drive Systems Development - I learned that I was about to enter a newly formed field here as well, full of potential.

Well, Dani, the momentum of your words makes you sound like quite an innovator.

Indeed, looking back on my professional career, I have never shied away from challenges, no matter how impossible they may have seemed. For example, when I became chief engineer at BME Motorsport, I set myself the goal of redesigning a racing car at an elemental level. A so-called ‘white sheet of paper’ project, which would result in a car built according to completely different guidelines, following a completely different philosophy in both design and execution. No part of the vehicle was left untouched. We replaced the engine manufacturer, redesigned the intake and lubrication systems, and turned the entire powertrain into a reliable and competitive design. And the innovative and featherweight carbon fibre monocoque and improved chassis geometry impressed even the international judges.


But it wasn’t just a vehicle I had to help create. We needed a lot more that season. We needed a team that spared no effort or time to achieve a goal that sometimes seemed impossible. The fact that I was able to assess and realise the potential of my teammates in that situation is one of my greatest victories.

In 2022, we were finally able to roll out onto the Formula Student grid with a car that could easily challenge teams with even decades of experience. I’ll certainly bring this desire to innovate to Audi! Whether I’m thinking about my own product or the project processes within the team, it’s great to have the opportunity to experience it in a newly established field.

What’s it like to go from the magic of Formula Student to the challenges of a multinational company? I imagine it is not entirely easy.

You are right. Formula Student can really be like an addiction: you get hooked. It’s hard to get it back in any place, but in the long term you can’t keep the ‘magic’ going, because life doesn’t work like that, you can’t always be revving at full speed.

However... I am now involved in the entire development process of a large international company, and not only am I involved, but I am also intensively affecting it. I’m a component engineer, dealing with the development process of the wheels. From the first brushstrokes of the designers, to the birth of the wheel in virtual space, to the development of strict requirements and the evaluation of tests, every single stage of the process happens in front of my eyes. In fact, from the first designs to series production, the project belongs to me and a colleague.

I have always been fascinated by the world of chassis design and the relationship between the wheel and the asphalt. And why is that? Because everything related to the chassis and wheels affects the movement of the whole vehicle. Fundamentally, I’ve always been most interested in how a vehicle moves, how it turns - and I know that the key to that is in the chassis. It’s a very complex system and there are a lot of challenges in it to this day. The same applies to the wheels. It requires a very deep knowledge of a lot of areas - from casting and forging to mechanical and material science measurements, a lot of processes and technologies are essential for us. Of course, you also need the right expertise, because I approve the designs and take responsibility for them. However, I am still driven by the same thing I was in Formula Student: to develop something unique.


I can’t wait to see the parts we’re currently developing hitting the streets in a few years’ time, people using them and me showing my friends my ‘own’ wheels, which are still secret at the moment.

You studied in Budapest, you live in Budapest, but you work in Győr. How can all this be carried out?

The logistical part is very simple. Initially I used the Audi shuttle bus service, but for a while now I’ve been driving to work. The company subsidises part of the travel costs and I can finance the rest from my cafeteria allowance. Otherwise, I work from home 2-3 days a week - it’s a system that works well for us in Development.

It was not a difficult decision for me to come to Győr, as I was already in contact with Audi during my years at BME Motorsport and received a lot of inspiration from them - both through the team and personally. The company was a diamond level sponsor in the life of the team, so I could already see that it was part of the company’s ethos to support development and innovation. We were trusted from the moment the team was formed! So, at that time, Audi was a big part of what enabled us to finance the costs of our races and to have the starting flag flying in front of our car.

I knew where I was arriving! I knew where I was arriving! Every year, we took part in a series of events called “Uni Race Day” with the Formula Student teams, where we always had the opportunity to ‘create’ something with our own hands. My first such experience was when we got to disassemble an engine, but it was even more defining for me when we raced for 24 hours with the other sponsored university teams on Audi challenges within the factory walls. So on my first day here, I didn’t arrive in a strange environment.

What do you think? How well did you find your place?

The principles I experienced in Formula Student work very well here. Diligence and perseverance allow you to progress, which is why I find Audi Hungaria a competitive and attractive place to work. In addition to professional skills, I would like to improve my project management skills and I feel that in Győr I have every opportunity to do so.

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