The ABB FIA Formula E Championship must have continued gradual growth and rules stability in order to thrive, according to a senior figure at DS Performance.
Technical manager Xavier Mestelan Pinon believes an opening-up of the technical possibilities in electric engineering must be “managed correctly”.
“Formula E is actually still fragile,” he told e-racing365. “Today it is the place to be and there are many manufacturers are now involved but what will happen in five years’ time we don’t know.
“Maybe there will only be two or three manufacturers. We need to be sure that there are many teams that are able to fight for the victory.
“Look at last year when a private team (Techeetah) won, it is good for the health of the series.”
Many of the series’ founding manufacturers share fears that costs will begin to escalate in its third generation, which will get underway in 2021.
Technical planning meetings have been taking place since last fall to find an agreed concept for the next hardware package, which will be implemented after three seasons with the new Gen 2 cars.
E-racing365 understands that the findings of these meetings will form an initial concept for the 2021 cars are should approach finalization this fall.
“I’m afraid the cost becomes so important if we open everything that we could,” said Mestelan Pinon.
“The way it is going at the moment is the right way, we know this. Yes, we should always look at options but we have to be very aware of the big picture of the championship and its future.”
He cited the increased investment in the series’ sporting strategy and the technical apparatus with which manufacturers will compete as vital for the long-term health of the formula.
“There are two big aspects,” he explained. “Firstly the race and the show and why the fans are following us.
“Secondly it is the technology and clearly the manufacturers need to be involved in Formula E to improve knowledge of electric vehicles.
“We need to continue like we have before, with the FIA and the promoter, to keep the series as simple as possible because what is important is the return on investment.”
Home-sourced battery technology is presumed to be a long way off for manufacturers to invest in and utilize and Mestelan Pinon also warned against opening up this area of development,
“Maybe in the future it could be completely open but from a manufacturer point of view it is too early, especially from the battery point of view,” he said.
“If a manufacturer produces really great [battery] cells it could kill the championship.”