The new FIA Formula E begins this year in Beijing. The electric race cars have been designed and built by Spark Racing Technology, the SRT 01E has a monocoque chassis produced by Dallara from carbon fiber and aluminum which complies with the 2014 FIA crash tests. McLaren Electronics Systems is in charge of providing the electric motor, gearbox and electronics, while Williams Advanced Engineering takes care of the design, battery supply and battery management system.
The electric Formula E car has an output of 268 bhp (200 kW) and comes with custom 18 inch treaded tires developed by Michelin which will be used for both dry and wet conditions. Renault will be responsible for seeing all the parts put together, as well as dealing with performance optimization and powertrain electrical safety.
All 10 teams and 20 drivers will use the same cars to compete next year in the Formula E Championship. This will apply only for the inaugural season as Formula E wants to be an open championship which encourages automakers to build their own electric racers.
There will be an Indian Team from Mahindra, better known for light trucks, with the drivers being Bruno Senna and Karun Chandhok. With new technology, as well as unknown city street circuits to contend with, Senna gave his thoughts about the championship and the technology.
“The commitment of the Mahindra factory and the key personnel has been very inspirational for us; to come to a new championship and see that everyone behind the scenes are completely on board and want to win as much as you do is great. As a driver you go into every championship wanting to win so seeing the same attitude in the garage and in Mahindra’s top personnel fills you with confidence.
“There are a few things that excite me (about the Formula E championship). First off, I love driving single seater race cars so that’s definitely a very big pull for more alongside the venues where we will have the opportunity to race – street circuits always throw up some fantastic racing. But it’s also very important to be involved in a championship which is developing technology which could potentially be used in the road cars of the future in order to make lives more sustainable. It’s certainly a pioneering enterprise and something I’m very interested in as well as the fantastic technology surrounding it.
“I had two years driving the Formula 1 car with KERS so I understood that aspect of the car and hopefully this will be good experience in Formula E. It is different but there are always aspects that you can take with you and work on. Formula E is an efficiency race so the more I know the better. I’m aiming to get as much homework done before the season so that I can maximize our potential and get the extra knowledge.
“You will probably never convert the hard-core Formula One fans – they like their screaming engines. However for general motorsport fans who enjoy single seaters, touring cars and endurance racing all together I think they’ll be more open to it because it’s another great motorsport series.
“I think the big draw for the Championship is that the visual aspect of the racing is going to be incredible – the cars racing around streets of cities will have such an impact that you will concentrate only on the spectacular sight on track.
“If we had started Formula One with electric motors and suddenly changed to a combustion engine the shock would be the same. It’s just a case of getting used to the differences and embracing them.”
|Formula E calendar (subject to change!)|
|13-Dec||Punta del Este||Punta del Este|
|10 Jan ‘15||Buenos Aires||Buenos Aires|
|14 Feb ‘15||Los Angeles||Los Angeles|
|14 Mar ’15||Miami||Miami|
|4 Apr ‘15||Long Beach||Long Beach|
|9 May ‘15||Monaco||Monte Carlo|
|30 May ’15||Berlin||Berlin|
|27 Jun ‘15||London||London|