Declining space for corporate or team identities on both the existing and new Formula E cars is “a major concern” according to one of the leading commercial bosses competing in Formula E.
Techeetah’s Commercial Manager Keith Smout has told e-racing365 that he is concerned about the decreasing amount of surface space on the cars and that “a solution of some sort should be found for teams, if they are to stay financially healthy.”
The dramatic look of the new ‘Gen 2’ Formula E car has not been met with universal approval due to the reduction in commercially viable space for teams partners.
The new FIA managed Formula E challenger was unveiled yesterday and showed a shape that is set to prove a challenge for teams to showcase their partners in traditional areas around the vehicle.
The ABB Formula E Championship through the promoters and organisers Formula E Holdings Ltd have stipulations within the Sporting Regulations on areas of the car for Formula E, Formula E affiliate partners and other branding and numbering purposes.
These include on the front wing, nosecone, mirrors, cockpit surround, on-board camera, rear-wing and drivers’ helmets and overalls.
“Even with the current car there is a percentage owned by the series and now with ABB coming on board as a title partner there is added pressure to have additional corporate identity on the car too,” Smout told e-racing365.
“The current alignment on the car is not great as you have an area like the top of the engine cover, which is worth a lot and is a primary location along with the rear-wing and sidepod, not available because we have the driver name abbreviations.”
Smout believes that there will be up to 25% less advertising space on the 2018/19 Formula E car and that independent and customer teams will lose out because of it.
“Looking at the new car it is even less space and we have no rear-wing at all, so in my opinion we’ve lost approximately 25% of space,” explained Smout.
“It is a real concern as we are at present an independent team and the reality is we have to find our budgets mostly through sponsorships.”