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Formula E teams warn against ‘arms race’

15 August 2017

Despite a wave of new manufacturer involvement, current Formula E teams have called for the championship to maintain its strict technical development path.

The series has, thus far, restricted the development of the cars in several areas, including aerodynamics, and the second generation of cars will run with spec batteries until the end of the seventh season.

Companies which already compete in the series, such as Renault, Audi, Jaguar and BMW are concerned that the addition of Mercedes and Porsche, which left DTM and the WEC respectively to compete in Formula E, will push costs up for everyone.

“The bigger costs that could come in the future is definitely a concern,” said Renault technical chief Vincent Gaillardot.

“We have to control the costs of any arms race through the rules which are controlled by the FIA. We don’t want to open [development of] the chassis, the aero, [or] the battery.

“The championship is still young and we have to be careful as it is still a young child. We really have to take care and some of the new guys coming in have already stated they would like to see more freedoms…We have to be strong on these areas, otherwise it will hurt the rise of Formula E.”

Among the teams’ chief concerns is the potential effects of the eventual plan to allow manufacturers to build, develop and supply their own batteries.

“A lot of people underestimate the complexity of the battery,” cautioned Gaillardot. “We know that some manufacturers will push for open battery competition but we need to wait and know when to do that in the future, but only the longer future.”

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