FIA Formula E Championship CEO Alejandro Agag has this week detailed his vision for the growth of the series beyond the inaugural season.
Speaking in both an online interview and fan forum Agag reinforced his philosophy for the series to become a hot bed of electric vehicle technology, by allowing teams and other constructors to develop their own powertrains and battery units.
Currently a one make series with all ten teams using the Spark-Renault SRT_01E car, Agag described would like to see additional constructors involved from as soon as the championship’s second season, to be run across 2015/2016.
“In year two (2015-16) the teams will be able to build their own batteries and their own motors. They could build their own whole car if they wanted. But the regulations are quite strict and they don’t allow a lot of development in aerodynamics, but they do allow development in motor and battery. I would hope that we have three or four different makers of motors and batteries in the championship for year two,” he said.
There are several automotive manufacturers with their electric vehicle technology already linked to the championship. Renault are not only a series technical partner, overseeing systems integration within the current Formula E car, but are also a major sponsor of the eDAMS team. Audi have a strong link with the Audi Sport ABT team (in both Formula E and DTM), and BMW currently supply the electric i3 and i8 models used as the series’ course and safety cars.
It is likely that additional traditional race car constructors would join the championship; Dallara currently produce the control chassis tub and bodywork for the Spark-Renault SRT_01E, so it would not be unexpected for their competitors to join the series as the rules are opened. In the launch video for the Project Brabham initiative, David Brabham mentioned the possibility of joining as a constructor in Formula E, as a stepping stone towards the brand’s return to Formula 1. The inclusion of additional manufacturers would also allow Formula E to apply for FIA World Championship status, a requirement of which is a minimum of four different manufacturers competing.
With this continual development of battery energy storage & usage technology by teams on constructors eventually likely to eliminate the need for the mid-race car change pit stops, Agag felt the easier logistics of moving fewer cars internationally would allow the series to increase the number of competitors.
“The number of entries is 20 because we race with two cars per driver, so to move 40 cars around the world is already a lot. But I think when we go down to one car per race, when the batteries can last long, and can last for that amount of time, I think we can add two other teams, so that would be a total of 24 drivers.”
Beyond allowing constructor technology development, Agag also outlined his goal to increase the number of events in the championship calendar, beyond the 10 scheduled for the current season (one location of which is still to be finalised).
“There are plans to go to more than 10 cities. Next year we will probably be in 12, and we want to grow slowly to get to a figure of around 18 races per year. We are talking to many cities, after Beijing we probably received requests from over 40 or 50 cities from all over the world to host a race, so that’s been really positive.”
Each ePrix is currently held on an inner-city street circuit, a feature the series has promoted as a key feature throughout its development, so it is likely any additional rounds in the future will also occur on temporary tracks.
The second round of the inaugural FIA Formula E will be held in Putrajaya, Malaysia on November 22.
Image via FIA Formula E Championship
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