Existing teams call for Formula E technical stability

Speedcafe.com

Tuesday 15th August, 2017 - 9:50am

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Formula E

Existing Formula E teams have called for the championship to maintain its strict technical development path despite the wave of new manufacturer involvement.

Formula E has thus far limited development, particularly concerning aerodynamics, and the second generation of cars will run with spec batteries until the end of the seventh season (2020/21).

Mercedes and Porsche both recently announced that they will move into the series, at the expense of their DTM and WEC LMP1 programs respectively, in 2019/20.

They will join manufacturers such as Renault, Audi, Jaguar, and BMW, the latter of which will step up its involvement with the Andretti squad to a full factory operation from next season.

“The bigger costs that could come in the future is definitely a concern,” said Renault technical chief Vincent Gaillardot.

“We have to control the costs of any arms race through the rules which are controlled by the FIA.

“We don’t want to open (development of) the chassis, the aero, (or) the battery.

“The championship is still young and we have to be careful as it is still a young child. We really have to take care and some of the new guys coming in have already stated they would like to see more freedoms.

“We have to be strong on these areas, otherwise it will hurt the rise of Formula E.”

One of the biggest fears among existing teams is how the eventual plan to allow manufacturers to build, develop and supply their own batteries will affect the field.

“A lot of people underestimate the complexity of the battery,” continued Gaillardot.

“Williams did a really great job with the first battery.

“Yes, there were a few criticisms but overall they did a great job and I am sure McLaren are also a great choice for generation two of the battery.

“We know that some manufacturers will push for open battery competition but we need to wait and know when to do that in the future, but only the longer future.”

DS Virgin Racing Team Principal Alex Tai believes the continued management of the FIA’s roadmap is vital and necessary for safeguarding the current and future prosperity of the championship.

“Formula E has probably got the brightest future because these are the cars we’re going to be driving in the future, so the fact we have the interest of Mercedes and others that are coming in is just an endorsement to that,” said Tai.

“It will drive more interest for all our partners to drive innovation harder. We relish the challenge.

“It’s up to the stakeholders to battle against (a blowout in budgets).

“We have to keep an even playing field, so the principles of keeping Formula E exciting and keeping the growth going are kept to.”

It is understood that a recent modification was made to the structure of the Formula E Commercial Working Group, which was founded in 2016.

This body comprises the promoter, manufacturers and teams, and was updated with a revised structure to bring it in line with the current Formula E Technical and Sporting Working Groups.

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