BMW’s Head of Motorsport believes that the ABB FIA Formula E Championship is identifying and positively exploiting new tastes in motorsports fan experiences.
Describing the all-electric series as “new-school” racing, Jens Marquardt identified both bringing racing to city centers and linking virtual and real-world motorsport as key areas that have attracted manufacturers to the growing series.
“I think that Formula E has a very good thing, which is bringing electric mobility and everything related to electric mobility to the people in the city,” Marquardt told e-racing365.
“We are attracting definitely a much bigger and very different audience than let’s say classic racing is doing right now and so we need to listen to those people, rather than doing what we have all done for the last twenty years, every year lap times a second more blah, blah, blah; aero here and there.
“I think this is really different so we have to be cautious, we have to listen and we have to use the platform in the best way.”
Marquardt, who previously worked as an engineer in motorsport for both Ilmor and Toyota before joining BMW in 2011, believes that there is huge potential in what fans interact with at home on games consoles and what Formula E drivers and teams racing in some of the world’s most iconic cities.
“I think the simulator races that we see are really well received with the fans and the audience, the fanboost and all those kind of things,” he said.
“So, in my opinion, rather than going old-school on Formula E, we should go new-school and we should really venture into all of those areas as there is really a vast field that we can go into.”
Marquardt in Favor of Season Five Race Format
The Season Five race format of having a period of ‘extra kilowatt boost’ in a specific timeframe parameter during the races next season has been received with cautious positivity by Marquardt.
The favored plans, which are yet to be officially confirmed or ratified by regulation, could see the higher power mode result in a “performance gain of approximately one second per lap”, according to the last WMSC decisions which were confirmed last month.
It is believed that an extra 20-25 kW is set to be used for the higher power mode during the races.
“What we have now with the pit stop and the car swap, some people thought it was a good thing,” said Marquardt. “It was giving a little bit of let’s say chaos to the race.”
“With the cars going the whole distance, which I think is a good thing to show people that hey, when it comes to E-mobility, range is not really the question and especially not in a city.
“I think putting a bit of unknown into the race format is important to the entertainment and I feel that some of the ideas are really good and maybe that boost system with getting into a certain mode is probably a good idea.”