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Team Bosses Expecting Challenges with New Car

Team bosses expecting challenges as teams get to grips with new second-gen car…

Photo: Formula E

The second-gen ABB FIA Formula E Championship car will provide new challenges as manufacturers and teams get to grips with the new machinery this month, according to two current team principals.

Andretti’s Roger Griffiths and Audi Sport ABT Schaeffler’s Allan McNish have described to e-racing365 challenging aspects they expect the Season Five cars to present as they learn about the new hardware.

Manufacturers now have the new futuristic design and are readying them to be transported to Monteblanco for the first group test session.

As manufacturers have constructed their new cars it is understood that some have raised concerns about the amount of damage that could be inflicted on the front one-piece body.

E-racing365 understands that the one-piece all-connected bodywork section which includes the arches over the front wheel is especially stiff.

“For sure bigger sections of bodywork in my experience, coming from sports cars, will be a challenge,” Griffiths told e-racing365.

“When you have a huge splitter and all the rest of the bodywork, there can be up to two days’ work just to build the whole assembly.

“We just don’t know how complex the assembly of the bodywork is going to be to work with at this stage especially in the pressure cooker of a race weekend.”

The new larger battery, which will be supplied and engineer supported by McLaren Applied Technologies, should be easier to assemble with the whole package thanks to its new accessibility from beneath the chassis.

This will enable teams to leave all of the powertrain connected and provide the possibility to remove or fit the battery from the base of the car.

In the current Formula E cars a change of the battery is believed to be more time-consuming due to the need to disengage the powertrain from the back of the battery.

“I think from a practical perspective I like the idea of the battery going in from underneath,” said Griffiths.

“I remember when we did the initial tender specification that the target given was to be able to change the battery in 30 to 40 minutes.

“The major changes coming in mean that we will only have one car so if you have a problem with the battery you will have to do a battery change between sessions which is why this target time is important.”

E-racing365 has also learned that some teams have raised concerns about the prospect of rebuilding cars during the tight timetable of race days in their current format should they remain for Season Five.

With just an hour between Free Practice 2 and qualifying, and less than three hours between Super Pole and the race, teams will have little time for rebuilds, especially as the buffer of extra time owing to the use of two cars so far in the championship will be eradicated next season.

“If you take an example like Alex Lynn shunting in FP2 in Mexico and then he went into qualifying just over an hour later, then I’m not sure that can happen in Season Five,” McNish told e-racing365.

“There will not be the buffer of having two cars next season so I think the preparation points next season will be key.

Sam Smith is e-racing365's Formula E Editor. A 20-year veteran in motorsports media, including press officer roles in both the FIA Sportscar Championship and at Lola Group, Smith is a well-known face in the Formula E paddock, where he served as series editor for Motorsport.com from 2014-17. Contact Sam

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