Revhead Ramblings: Formula E is the light at the end of the ICE tunnel
- November 20, 2018
- Posted by: Alex Baker
- Category: Revhead Ramblings
Formula 1 has paved the way for plenty of technology for our road cars, with increasingly economical yet powerful engines and even gearboxes finding their place in our cars.
Now the same hopes lie with Formula E, as we’ve accepted EVs as our future, the electric racing series is our best bet for developing truly exciting electric vehicles for the road!
Developing Technology for the Road
Everything from more powerful batteries to better steering feel can be honed in our most promising racing series. Therefore, it’s our duty as car enthusiasts to get behind it and give it the attention it deserves!
Manufacturers have latched on to the series en masse because it’s an easy place to develop electric technology, not to mention a cost-effective way for their PR teams to say they’re committed to the environment.
Some, such as Faraday Future, have a technical partnership with a team for key drivetrain components that they say contributes to the development of a road car. Others, such as Jaguar, are running full works teams.
The Racing is Truly Engaging
With electric technology, there aren’t a lot of ways for teams to get an advantage over one another, this makes for some of the closest racing you can hope for from a competition. Pole position for the Berlin ePrix was decided by 0.001 second, in Mexico the winner of the race started from last place!
The Gen2 cars have eliminated the need to swap cars part way through the race, making the races even tighter come December. Overtaking is common place here, a breath of fresh air from the boring and strict F1.
All New Challenges
When you look at the likes of Spa and Silverstone, their tracks are unbelievably smooth, not so for the street circuits Formula E uses… Undulating terrain, slow corners and high kerbs make for a very different set of challenges for these racers.
Ex-Honda F1 test driver James Rossiter said, “The weight management on a bumpy circuit I found challenging and fun – the car moves around a bit, you’re in between walls, the kerbs can be taken at the apex,” he says.
“With the bouncy track, the weight of the car and the lack of grip, if you go over the limit and the car starts sliding, it just carries on sliding. If you brake too late or carry too much speed, there’s nothing you can do as a driver to recover it. That’s what struck me most.”
Formula E is definitely in its infancy and has plenty of kinks still to work out, having said that, it has a very young fan base and is sure to have the backing of governments and big businesses alike for its green outlook. This makes it one of the most exciting prospects we have in motor racing, providing it’s marketed to work alongside F1 rather than replace it; there’s no substitute for engine noise!
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