The next generation of ABB FIA Formula E Championship car may not be completely defined until spring next year, while BMW Motorsport Director Jens Marquardt says manufacturers should avoid rushing into the development.
E-racing365 understands that the biggest sticking point that is delaying Technical Working Group talks is the split opinion between an all-wheel-drive or rear-wheel drive platform.
This is likely to delay the final concept and formalization of the 2021 car until spring 2019.
“The biggest thing is that we are talking about Gen-3 when Gen-2 has not run [in races] yet,” Marquardt told e-racing365.
“What we all want is an evolutionary development of the championship, so how much can we say about what Gen-3 should look like when Season Five yet hasn’t happened?
“How about we just get the first few races done with Gen-2 cars before we fix what Gen-3 looks like. A concept like this perhaps needs more time.”
“We have to be careful because the way Formula E has developed so far is healthy and good but we have also seen other motorsport develop in an unhealthy way with loads of money in development without any real value to the spectator.”
Other areas of disagreement include the limitation of regenerating energy with only RWD, and the visible attraction of cars being driven at the limit.
“The thing that makes Formula E cars so exciting is that the cars are difficult to drive and they are not running on rails like many other cars do,” he said.
“A thousand horsepower in an F1 car is almost invisible because the cars are on rails [because of the aerodynamics]. People want to see the guy behind the wheel really having a hard job.”
E-racing365 understands that while the FIA is largely open to the specific technical format, Nissan and Formula E Founder and CEO Alejandro Agag are leaning more toward a non-AWD solution.
Several other manufacturers are lobbying strongly for an AWD design but with the potential for it to be limited to start launches and straights, which would in itself enhance regen capabilities while also negating some of the inherent handling enhancements.
An AWD design around the 450 kW mark for regen is believed to be an attractive option for many manufacturers as they look to use the advanced systems to accelerate technical and marketing plans around their automotive lines.