Audi, BMW, Mercedes: Why are so many manufacturers quitting Formula E?


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‘Win on Sunday, sell on Monday’ is the decades-old adage trotted out by marketing types whenever they are called upon by number-crunchers in suits to justify the relationship between motorsport and car sales. ‘Racing improves the breed’ is the engineering equivalent, and when tabled in unison the two slogans provide powerful boardroom ammunition in support of a motorsport programme.

There are, of course, caveats, not least that the targeted championship should match the chosen brand’s image and its aspirations – it would make little sense for, say, family-orientated Skoda to enter Formula 1; while a Rolls-Royce is surely out of place on the Safari Rally – and that category’s technology provides a relevant platform.

For the rest it is fundamentally a numbers game, one of return on investment – and it follows that the lower the costs of entry and competing and the more relevant the regulations, the better the ROI – while a global spread of events provides further appeal.

As the world has become increasingly environmentally and ecologically aware so motorsport’s regulations have been adapted, with every major series incorporating or planning to soon adopt some ‘green’ element or other, whether that be full electric, hybrid, e-fuels, bio-fuels or another form of alternative energy such as hydrogen – with the latter able to power internal combustion engines or charge fuel cells.

Porsche remain, but Mercedes are following BMW and Audi out
Discussing the subject at the FIA’s recent annual member club conference in Monte Carlo, secretary-general for sport Peter Bayer runs out of fingers as he lists the number of potential options: fossil- or synthetic-fuelled spark, compression or rotary ICEs; ditto with hybrid elements and/or powered by hydrogen or compressed natural gas; and purely electric motors, in turn energised by one of three variants, namely battery, hydrogen fuel cell, or range-extended batteries charged by any of the ICE types listed above.

That potentially makes for ten basic power unit alternatives, each with at least one sub-option. It is, as Bayer freely admitted, “a power unit jungle out there”, with none of the options providing a universal solution, whether for sporting, transportation or commuter applications.

All of the above should surely make Formula E is a prime target for motor manufacturers, for not only are the costs of entry substantially lower than those of F1, but its raison d’être is to provide a ‘green’ global alternative to the FIA’s premier series. The fact FE ticked the various boxes was underscored by the influx of manufacturers the series has attracted during its short life.

Having started in 2014, FE morphed into a full world championship, theoretically equal in status to F1, WEC and WRC for its most recent season. Since then, it has attracted ‘works’ entries from, in alphabetical order Audi, BMW, DS (Citroen), Jaguar, Mahindra, Mercedes, Nissan, Porsche, Renault plus a number of emerging brands.

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That is a seriously impressive rollcall for a series so young even if Nissan replaced fellow alliance brand Renault and Mahindra is hardly a fully global brand. More impressive is the number of premium brands, all of whom have F1 pedigrees, or have been linked to the series. Indeed, Mercedes ran its Formula E programme in parallel with its F1 campaign, and not only won the former with Nyck de Vries, but currently leads the latter.

Zak Brown, McLaren, Bahrain International Circuit, 2021
McLaren will enter Extreme E but not Formula E – yet
So much for the good news; now for the bad: Audi and BMW previously gave notice of their exits in late 2020, while Mercedes failed to commit ahead of winning the inaugural world championship, and last week confirmed it will leave at the end of next season.

Audi canned its operation after failing to find takers although the former BMW team will continue as Andretti, which effectively ran the operation on behalf of the Munich-based manufacturer. But, with all due respects to the USA’s first racing family, their surname does not have quite the same ring to it as the company which once sold its cars under the ‘Sheer Driving Pleasure’ strapline.

As for the Mercedes EQ team, various alternatives are currently being explored although it is not inconceivable that it follows the same fate as Audi. The knock-on effects are significant, too: The massed departure of three premium German sporty brands had made potential entrants nervous about committing. McLaren, which has expanded to other categories including FE’s off-road spin-off Extreme E, is a prime example.

“On Formula E, we are looking to see how it continues to develop,” McLaren Racing CEO Zak Brown told RaceFans even before Mercedes confirmed its exit. “Obviously, with Audi and BMW leaving it’s a bit of a concern. We’re not quite sure what Mercedes is going to do and when we make a decision, ‘is it commercially viable?’ We’re still looking at that…”

Motor manufacturers come and go in line with their constantly shifting marketing objectives, so the exit of one of the trio was inevitable. However, why have no fewer than three premium brands, all fully committed to their respective electric vehicle sub-brands – e-Tron (Audi), i (BMW) and EQ (Mercedes) – departed a world championship that on the surface ticks all boxes: environmentally, financially, globally and technologically?

Allan McNish, Audi R10 TDI, Le Mans, 2008
Audi is planning a return to Le Mans
For starters, accountants get jittery when their brand competes in a packed manufacturer field for it follows that one of their number will finish behind the rest despite the tens of millions being thrown at the programme. Worse, odds are strong that some or other privateer team will beat a ‘works’ entry – as happened this season past, when Envision Virgin Racing finished ahead of BMW and Venturi out-ranked Porsche…

Then there is the question of finances: F1 distributes a portion of its income to competing teams as prize monies based on overall performance, in turn off-setting team operating costs. While direct comparisons between the two championships are meaningless, the average amount distributed to F1 teams from this year amounts to roughly half their $145m (capped) spend. That goes a long way towards keeping the bean-counters onside.

During an exclusive interview with FE founder and then-CEO (now chairman) Alejandro Agag in January 2019 he acknowledged the need for a strong independent team base to step into the breach should one or more manufacturers leave, which in turn raised the next question: At which point does Formula E start sharing revenues with teams?

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“I know the system, and so on and so forth,” replied Agag, who owned the 2011 GP2 championship-winning team Addax and was a potential F1 entrant at one stage. “I can see it from both sides of the fence. Here, what you have to do is apply common sense. We’ve invested a big amount of effort, but cash funds this venture.

BMW saw little scope for development in Formula E
“What makes sense is that first we recover our investment, then we make some profit from our investment, and then we start the conversation with the teams on how we’re going to do [any] distribution.”

However, RaceFans understands that little, if any, progress has been made in this regard since.

Finally, there is the question of technology and the road relevance of FE’s hardware. Here BMW’s statement at the time of giving notice is particularly telling for the company implied that it could learn no more from its FE campaign, so restrictive are the regulations – predominantly to reduce costs by standardising chassis and battery packs.

“As a partner from the word ‘go’, BMW has been instrumental in the success story of Formula E,” the company said in its December 2020 statement, which followed hot on the heels of Audi’s withdrawal announcement.

“However, when it comes to the development of e-drivetrains, BMW Group has essentially exhausted the opportunities for this form of technology transfer in the competitive environment of Formula E.”

The alternative is for FE to open up battery development, but that is sure to result in burgeoning budgets. Yet FE plans to cap costs. “In partnership with the FIA, we will introduce financial regulations to enhance the financial sustainability for Formula E’s teams and manufacturers, ensuring our sport continues to serve as the driving force in the shift to electric mobility,” said FE CEO Jamie Reigle in the wake of Mercedes’ exit.

The problem is that battery technology is developing at a ferocious pace and potentially overtaking FE. Dr Burkhard Goeschel, president of the FIA Manufacturers Commission, former technical head of BMW and long-standing alternate energy proponent predicts that solid state batteries will be the next big thing across the industry.

Honda RA619H power unit, 2019
F1’s high-tech hybrids will remain for the time being
The primary difference between the two is that Li-ion uses liquid electrolytic solutions to regulate current flow, while solid-state cells, which pack up to thrice the energy density, rely on solid electrolytes. These are also less combustible and rely on less toxic materials. Although they present manufacturing and scaling challenges, ongoing research could resolve these sooner rather than later.

Porsche CEO Oliver Blume has called the battery cell “tomorrow’s combustion chamber”. The implication is clear: Far from being just an add-in commodity, battery cells are as much a performance differentiator as the combustion engine ever was.

At VW Group’s recent Power Day, the company said it was developing three main cathode chemistries. These are Lithium iron phosphate (LFP) for use in its entry level (non-performance) ranges, high manganese for volume models and high nickel for premium and high-performance solutions, such as its Audi, Porsche and Lamborghini brands.

According to Automotive News, Tesla has similar plans to the above, with the strategies announced during Renault’s eWays ElectroPop event in June; at the Stellantis’ EV Day in July; and with Daimler’s EV July strategy announcement all being largely in line. Who needs FE with its prescriptive battery packs when such impressive technologies are being developed away from the circuit?

While paddock innuendo at the time linked Audi’s exit to notional internal VW policies that prevent sister brands from competing against each other – suggesting Porsche was mandated to remain in FE – the opposite applies: the two brands are aggressive market competitors; thus squaring up on-track serves to improve their combined brand images over the external competition. Plus, they may eventually go head-to-head in F1…

However, where BMW has basically dropped out of top-level motorsport – it simultaneously withdrew from WEC – Audi has replaced FE with two ambitious programmes: LMDh, which enables the Four Rings to compete both at Le Mans and in the USA’s IMSA series with fundamentally the same car, and a ‘range-extender’ Dakar programme.

Audi will use DTM engine technology in its Dakar bid
The latter is particularly intriguing: the Audi RS Q e-Tron combines a 600bhp ex-DTM internal combustion engine with an FE-derived motor-generator, which in turn charges 52kWh batteries that power two 335bhp FE electric motors. Thus, the car can complete stages without regular charging although the plan is for overnight charging via auxiliary generators. Range extenders could race at Le Mans: A project combining a Mazda rotary running at constant speed to charge batteries has been rumoured.

In announcing his company’s withdrawal from FE, Marcus Schaefer, the Mercedes board member for research and development, said “Formula E has been a good driver for proving our expertise and establishing our Mercedes EQ brand, but in future we will keep pushing technological progress – especially on the electric drive side – focusing on Formula 1.

“It is the arena where we constantly test our technology in the most intense competition the automotive world has to offer – and the three-pointed star hardly shines brighter anywhere else. F1 offers rich potential for technology transfer.”

The implications are obvious and introduce a neat twist: While FE loses manufacturers due to its restrictive technologies, Alfa Romeo, Alpine/Renault and Mercedes have reaffirmed their commitments to F1 despite corporate plans to go the all-electric route for future product ranges. These manufacturers clearly believe F1’s hybrid tech could play a pivotal role in accelerating battery development, thus serving hybrids and EVs.

Formula E’s 24-car grid will shrink next year
Crucially, they chose to do so despite F1’s freeze on power unit development until (at least) the end of 2024, more likely a year later. This suggests F1’s regulations are less restrictive even when ‘frozen’ and permit greater development of technologies – and once its incoming new engine formula are in place, which make provision for up to 300kW in recovered energy, this applies all the more.

Just when it seemed FE had the brighter future of the two the tables have turned rather quickly, with the advantage now seemingly resting with F1, which is currently gearing up for that new ‘hyper hybrid’ era which could conceivably include Audi or Porsche – perhaps even both.

Such inter-formula rivalry, though, benefits all of motorsport and ultimately provides the road car relevance that sells on Mondays. FE will need to evolve to remain pertinent – a status that faded as costs and technologies overtook this once-pioneering series and reduced its ROI – and will be all the stronger as a result. Racing truly does improve the breed.


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Dieter Rencken
Dieter Rencken has held full FIA Formula 1 media accreditation since 2000, during which period he has reported from over 300 grands prix, plus...

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41 comments on “Audi, BMW, Mercedes: Why are so many manufacturers quitting Formula E?”

  1. Clearly the new LMH/LMDH rules the ACO and IMSA have brought together, along with more technical leeway, and the possibility of hydrogen power makes sportscar racing a more attractive long-term prospect. If so, the ACO and IMSA have played a blinder and deservedly so.

    Formula E has also, in my opinion, always had something of a smug, self-righteous and sanctimonious feel to it, and it’s never gripped me as a series despite the manufacturer support and driving talent behind it. It’s motor racing for people who don’t like motor racing, and that’s why it’s struggled to gain a foothold.

    Sportscar racing, on the other hand, has the natural history and tradition of development and innovation behind it, Le Mans especially, but in the spirit of authentic evolution and competing against pedigree in the most challenging possible environment.

    That’s not to say there haven’t been exoduses in the past, and also the same in Formula One as well, but if there is enough dialogue between manufacturers, rule-maker and fans, then enough of a balance can be struck to entice them back for another cycle.

    1. Pedantry but: there isn’t technical leeway in LMDh; the powertrain (MGU is Bosch, battery is Williams) is spec, the chassis are spec, it’s only the ICE (which most brands are abandoning development on for road cars) that can be developed by manufacturers.

      1. @hazelsouthwell

        The irony is the only development allowed for the 670hp LMDh power unit is the ICE.

        The green technology bits are frozen from development and supplied by their one source. Not exactly a situation to help develop new aspects of what they’re trying to promote nor create an environment for developing new cutting edge technology and improve the green aspects that could trickle down eventually to green street cars.

        I get it that they’re trying to keep costs way down and avoid an arms race like what Toyota & Porsche did in LMP but would be nice if they created some sort of plan as a group to develop green power technology for the racing to help the cause they’re promoting and not just freeze it. I know there’s no easy answer to this.

        Side note: Williams and Bosch must be smiling ear to ear.

    2. For a while it seemed like making a series for people who don’t like racing would be a good USP for FE. No noise, no fumes, target a similar market to cycle racing – bring the event to cities. I don’t know many people who know the teams in the peloton, but they turn out for cycle races. Trouble is the FE tracks have been really fiddly and too samey looking, just look at that Berlin course. All that expanse of Tempelhof Airfield and on TV it is just a mass of walls and fences.

      1. Formula E daren’t hold their races on a circuit used for ICE powered cars for it would give a direct comparison and therefore show up just how slow they are. They have the power:weight ratio of a Formula Ford..

        IMO as a keen cyclist in addition to motor racing fan, the city-centre criterium cycle race series is free to watch, you can get extremely close to the action and the level of fitness and bravery of the competitors is plain to see. No comparison in terms of spectator appeal.

  2. I’m sure internal politics, dissatisfaction with Formula E’s format and tech and finance came into play but I still wouldn’t trust a manufacturer team. BMW saying they’ve essentially exhausted what can be done with this technology and then packing up and leaving sums the whole thing up. Manufacturer teams are here to make money, promote their brand and showcase their tech – if they can’t do that they’ll walk. They do that in F1 and they did that here. There’s no loyalty to the sport, no interest in competing – it’s just what they can take but they offer little in return other than the ‘honour’ of having them there.

    Slightly off topic, but F1 manufacturers committing to the sport means nothing either as usually they can walk away whenever they like. Equally there’s only really Ferrari, Renault and Mercedes now as Honda are selling off to Red Bull and Alfa Romeo, Alpine and Aston Martin are branding only. Motorsports need to invest far harder in keeping and protecting their private teams as that’s how motorsport survives – far more than attracting works teams that walk whenever it suits them.

    1. I have read previously that Ineos are interested in buying out Mercedes, not sure if Merc would be keen on staying as an engine only supplier.

      1. @johnrkh I think it is inevitable, They seem to be intent on selling off their share in the F1 team to Wolff and Ineos, but keeping MercedesHPP (or whatever it is called this year), which would suggest that they see their near future as solely a PU supplier.

      2. That’s exactly what they have done with McLaren in the late 90s/early 2000s

    2. E X A C T L Y !
      You have to court & promote the pure-and-only sportspeople, the private-owned race stables.
      Imagine what brand image / assets the likes of Brabham, Ligier, Lotus, Tyrrell would have today …
      Imagine what unique companies they might have become — imagine their fan base …
      If only the money distribution would have been far more fair, more fairplay-like.

  3. Martin Elliott
    25th August 2021, 13:12

    Yes you can produce a long list of power trains for propulsion and add even more of those used in last century.
    The question is which are financially and practically viable.

    BMW are quite right that the current BEV has little opportunity to be more practical. Poor initial design/freedom allowed some, but now all have adopted, or been forced to adopt similar solutions.

    The big restriction is weight and energy density. It was due to become free development, but ‘manufacturers’ know real significant development is a long way off and probably very expensive. Hence the move to postpone that as promised.

    So thank you very much for some limited cheap publicity, but little if any technical information.

    How is Extreme-E any different? How are the vehicles any different to EWRC?
    Not sure about the real spin of taking a ‘circus’ to threatened natural locations to advertise the dangers to them!!

    Sounds about as sensible as Greenpeace tramping all over the Nazcar Desert/Lines.

    1. The big restriction is weight and energy density.

      Exactly right. It’s all good and well to talk of hydrogen as a fuel, but energy density is so low the volume required to equal the 100 kg petrol energy is huge, not to mention containment of a cryogenic fuel in a racing environment…. Fuel cells have many issues, including weight and energy extraction rates. Hydrogen might work for buses or trucks, but in a race car similar to an F1 car there are just too many issues. This has been discussed before and I don’t feel like doing the math again, but some suggested solutions just won’t work in a race car for technical reasons….

      1. The reality, is that Hydrogen is an energy storage system, not really a fuel.
        I had the pleasure of working on an H2 fueling project some years ago. We got the gas free as the byproduct of an industrial electrolysis plant (chlorine). By the time the gas was de-oxidized, cleaned, dried, compressed and cooled, there was more electrical energy invested in the compressed H2 than you could ever get out with fuel cells even at 100% efficiency. Something they definitely are not.
        The project did eventually die, but we confirmed the process and technology. Yipeeee.
        The only thing keeping Hydrogen going today is political funding. A much more pragmatic and efficient energy storage is batteries. Don’t convert electricity to H2, just store it.
        As for range extenders on trucks, good idea, but for large trucks, the weight and volume of the H2 storage system is counter to what truckers want, space and weight capacity.
        The counter to this is the carbon fiber storage cylinders. Incredible pieces of work, but to drag half a dozen 12 foot long 6000 psi storage tanks around on a highway truck, requires a significant structural containment system for crash protection. That is where the weight turns up and lots of it.
        Bottom line, Hydrogen will eventually die. Not today, but it will die.
        As a race car fuel, not a chance.

  4. I would not be surprised if the f1 leaders have a date pencilled in for moving to full electric, it’s only 9 years until some countries ban the sale of petrol cars altogether. Formula E’s problem was that in never developed quick enough. It needed to get electric cars lapping Spa quicker than an F1 car to verify the championship.

    1. Moving F1 to full electric by 2030-2035 would make sense

    2. Formula E currently have the exclusive rights to an all electric, FIA series, until 2039. Personal body this is the only thing it’s got in its favour. No other FIA Championship can go full electric. What I can see happening, is formula E realising that they are losing people fast (more importantly sponsorship money) and agreeing to pair up with Formula One.

      It would be interesting to see whether they could get round the restriction in other championships by simply having, as mentioned in the article, I fully electric drivetrain, was having an on-board ICE to charge the batteries. Technically this is a hybrid, even if the engine is turned off for the majority of the race.

  5. From my POV, when choosing to watch this or that racing, as a sport, I choose NOT to watch Formula E because it has undermined itself wrt being a “sport” due to fanboost and the ethos behind that. They ceded some sporting legitimacy to cash in on “like” culture. Fine. Good for them. But I have no interest in watching that.

    1. I feel the same about DRS. Cash in on cheap overtakes for likes.

    2. agreed !
      sport is sport and shall remain sport

    3. ( I agree with both of you )

  6. How about just ban these shuttling manufacturers from participating in any sport? We know they’ll inevitably lose interest and leave. Manufacturers that subsist mainly from automotive profits should not be entertained as full entrants, theyre fickle as heck, one board meeting is all it takes for them to pack up and run away.

    F1 does not need another BMW or Honda (2006 to 2008), buying an existing entrant, and leaving them high and dry, forcing them to scramble for their existence.

    1. interesting scenario !
      without public noted corporations as major shareholders of contestants (race stables), this minimization-Mimimi would have an end; pure sportspeople will ever go for MAXIMIZATION — which entails far more appeal in all terms:
      – advancing technology like nowhere else
      – attracting eyeballs second to none

  7. Unless you’re racing on F1 tracks at F1 speeds for the same number of F1 laps then you aren’t proving that electric power is the same as combustion power. Consumers buy Mercedes, Audis, etc for performance and style.

    1. Well I think it would work to have new tech racing with success and appeal — if you allow for variety in technology & design. Even better would be a open Tec series.
      The ultimate legitimation for going racing / investing / wasting such remarkable resources is to advance technology (safety / stability / efficiency / sustainability) at MAX SPEED — which nowhere goes better / faster than in open, public competition.
      I cannot imagine that there will be full spec series w frozen combustion engines running in 5 years from today.

      1. ( with “frozen combustion” being a nice one :)

  8. The cars sound horrific, they look slow as molasses, and the tracks are laughable. Manufacturers can get more benefit using the money they waste in FE for research and design internally. I don’t think there is going to be as much demand for electric as the car companies think. I personally have zero interest buying an electric car. I’d rather see clean fuels that allow internal combustion engines to continue, as I have no interest in charging for an hour on a long trip, and the batteries efficiency is going to degrade over time (like a cell phone) making them basically worthless.

    1. I agree Don. I’ve had both and the electric experience was lame. What a dull way to move around and with dubious data supporting the positive effects on the environment – it seems like we are being forced into an agenda based on selective “science”. I’ve read excellent work defining how the planet is just going through a cycle.
      Imho F1 should stick with a fundamental petrol power unit and be attractive for just that reason. I mean how many fans would turn away if F1 didn’t just follow the trend. Fans attract sponsors make money.

      1. Here we go again

        So you’re using a “global warming is not real” stance as to why teams are leaving FE and why it’s lame?

        Talk about using selective “science” to justify your own stance.

      2. I’m a racer and also own both electric and non. I own a Tesla Model 3 and before a Fiat 500e. I can tell you most of the electric car are glorified golf cart, except Tesla and few others. I really love my Tesla. Best street car I’ve ever own. You really have to treat the battery 80% as full. With this mentality if you do long drive, ( I recently did 3000 miles trip to numerous national parks), really you only need to stop 30 min every time at supercharger. Most of the time the car finished charging before I’m done from bathroom breaks or snack breaks. For day to day use is great too, as you plug it in when you get home and you have a “full tank of gas” every morning without the need to ever visit gas station. People biggest argument about electric car is always how long the charging period. But for most people this is done at home while they’re sleeping. With 250 miles range (80%), it really covers more than you need daily.

        Not to mention it is much more enjoyable to drive daily.

        1. All good as you say EXCEPT that the electric car price is around 4 times what a medium income earner can afford. At the moment electric cars are affordable for the richer middle (a sadly diminishing demographic) classes.

          You will need to see a significant drop in second hand electric car price (still with a half decent battery life available) before you will see a massive swing to electric cars in the future.

          As for those governments that will outlaw new ICE cars in the future. They will need to cater for ICE vehicles (and stationary engine power) for at least another 30 to 40 years.

          Voters may change their governments opinion come closer to the date.

          1. Two things: Early adoption to technology costs exponentially more like early large flat screen TV’s that had cost ten’s of thousands of $,€,£ . They have to start somewhere.
            While you may think the EC’s have already been around for a while, it’s still has not yet adopted to mass scale economics like your $300 flat screen tv. Without the Telsa’s, gov. law mandates, electric car racing development and good PR, we’ll never see good working electric cars that fit your income category.

            Second: While you maybe right about public push back (to be expected) and having to service legacy ICE vehicles. I would not be surprised if we see a mid-term of low coast hybrids overwhelming the world market to help smooth the transition (something we’re already seeing).

            Push back, resistance and those wanting instant gratification will always happen & expected when new cutting edge technology products are introduced to the public. I bet twenty years ago you really wanted that $20K Sony 60″ flat screen? At least you can afford it now.

    2. Very few people want to drive electric, the only way governments worldwide can convince people to buy electric is by forcing them

      1. @paeschli i dont think that’s true. I would drive electric as would most I have asked. It’s the price to purchase an electric vehicle that’s the barrier, not the technology itself. Everyone i have talked to that had been in an electric car raves about it after. Maybe try one? Might give you a different perspective?

        1. @antznz I don’t have anything against driving an electric car, it’s probably the most comfortable daily driver. I have something against the experience of owning an electric car. It just doesn’t suit my needs: where am I gonna charge it, given I’m living in an apartment and have no garage? Also 1000km+ trips are not unusual for me in the summer, so give me at least the option of renting an ICE car for those trips, instead of stupid government decisions like a full ban on ICE vehicles by 2035.

          1. Actually all it needs is a better charging infrastructure. Like I mentioned above I did 3000 miles trip on a Tesla model 3 and charge at the supercharger most of the time. We stop after 200 or more miles every time which is at least 3 hours drive. It was the right time to take a break and charge. The car and myself. Never did I miss to have to stop at gas station.

  9. Highly likely F1 goes electric by 2035. Battery energy density will double (triple?) in 10 – 15 years. With two 15 second recharging pitstops per race and lap times faster than today (far more torque) electric F1 (EF1 ?) will be thrilling. Not at all like FE today. With similar technology to EF1 FE could morph into EF2.

  10. However, where BMW has basically dropped out of top-level motorsport – it simultaneously withdrew from WEC – Audi has replaced FE with two ambitious programmes: LMDh, which enables the Four Rings to compete both at Le Mans and in the USA’s IMSA series with fundamentally the same car

    BMW also have announced a LMDh program.

  11. The Bean counters have been crunching the numbers and computer says No…

  12. My biggest problem with FE is that it’s behind a party wall and I can’t watch it. I’m sure I’m not the only one and it’s really hard for a sport to gain popularity when their lock out potential fans. I’m quite sure issues highlighted would be less relevant if FE reached more people. It’s cheaper and easier for me to watch F1 than FE. I think that alone is going to keep FE relegated as a niche sport with few fans and little manufacturer interest in the long term.

  13. What a nonsense!
    Hydrogen, electric? Naaah. They should stuck with Porsche on developing synthetic biofuel or whatever it is called. That’s a fact.

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