Mahindra Racing’s Nick Heidfeld believes that the ABB FIA Formula E Championship is in a better position to cope with an influx of major manufacturers than any other series.
Heidfeld has previously driven for both Mercedes and BMW as a factory driver, and the German thinks that Formula E is in a solid position to ward off the boom-and-bust cycle that has afflicted many past racing series.
“I think having so many manufacturers coming in to Formula E is great because it makes things more professional and you get better people in with more possibility for development,” Heidfeld told e-racing365.
“There will be more publicity and, as a consequence, more fans, but then there is also a risk of a downside with it all becoming too expensive.
“Racing has always been like this but Formula E has a bit of an advantage now compared to any other series because the regulations are tight as now we have 200 kW and 180 kW in qualifying and race and not like in F1 where one team has 1000 bhp and the other 850 bhp.
“Here it is about efficiency, not how much you spend on a powertrain.”
Formula E’s most experienced driver conceded that the technical and R&D capabilities that manufacturers have at their disposal can escalate costs and destabilize series.
“Manufacturers that have great facilities – and most do have them – will get an advantage, especially in personnel and R&D,” he explained.
“But you cannot reduce everything so much by regulation, it’s impossible.
“It is a danger because you cannot cap spending completely. In my opinion it will be exciting and interesting to watch how everything matures in the coming years.
“The better teams will always find an advantage and a benefit through different components or aspects of their powertrain in Formula E too but they will not be as a big, so I think Formula E has a good chance of maintaining things through its technical roadmap.”
Heidfeld, who is in his third consecutive season with the Mahindra team, says he has already discussed the team’s future strategy in Formula E with his Team Principal Dilbagh Gill.
“I have spoken to Dilbagh about it before, because Mahindra is quite new to motorsport,” explained Heidfeld.
“They are doing fantastically well but they do not have the experience in other series where other manufacturers do have.
“What resources they put in and how they spend will be important. I think it is important to look ahead and know where everything is going in future years. On the whole things look very exciting.”