Episode #068 – Formula E China

Formula E is back for its second season, and bringing with it the first phase of their staggered technical development allowances.

CHANGES FOR THE 2015-2016 SEASON

  • FIA have enacted their first relaxation of development rules, which has seen 8 new manufacturers in the fold this season. Some of the teams raced in the first season, but as Renault and Spark built identical cars for all 10 teams, they were the only manufacturers. With the relaxation of some developmental rules, these teams can now enter as manufacturers and embrace external technical partnerships (such as with McLaren).
  • The 2015/16 manufacturers are:
    • ABT Sportsline
    • Andretti
    • Mahindra
    • Motomatica
    • NEXTEV TCR
    • Renault Sport
    • Venturi Automobiles
    • Virgin Racing Engineering
  • Batteries for this series are supplied by Williams Advanced Engineering (WAE), which is part of the Williams F1 business. McLaren have also helped supply technical parts to some teams. This sets up easy cross correlation with their F1 program, potentially allowing Williams and McLaren to become manufacturers in this series. Citroen have also got involved, as a technical partner top Virgin.
  • Manufactures are allowed to develop the drivetrain (e-motor, inverter, gearbox) and with cooling, while Spark will build a homologous chassis for all teams. Much like tyres in F1, these batteries have an optimum temperature window to run in, as such performance can be found from preconditioning batteries and controlling temperature during the race (whole article here). It is intended that manufacturers will be able to develop batteries from season 3 onwards, with stock batteries supplied by WAE.
  • Maximum power usage during a race has been upped to 170kw from 150kw. The fan boost allows an extra 100kj energy in their second car only to be used in a power window of 180kW and 200kW (Meaning you can’t use it from a standing start or to get out of a low speed corner). When deploying FanBoost it can only be used once, a series of short bursts will not be possible.
  • There will now be a “super shootout” for pole position during qualifying. Four groups each have 6 minutes to achieve their best lap, with power allowably maxed to 200kw. The best 5 times will then have a one lap shootout, with the 5th fastest going first. As the previous driver finishes his warm up lap and crosses the line for his flying lap, the green light on pit exit will illuminate, releasing the subsequent car to begin their warm up lap concurrently.
  • Teams have the choice of 1 or 2 motors (MGU) and allow up to a 5 speed gearbox *(I fucked this up during the podcast). MGU’s must be in a series, not allocated to each wheel, and every car must be rear wheel drive without any traction control aides, which kind of sucks in my opinion. Imagine if they allocated an engine to each rear wheel, and one failed. The car would do some sick doughnuts bro!
  • A full list of the technical regulations can be found here.

TEAMS & DRIVERS

Please note that teams with multiple gearing may choose to have between 2 and 5 speed gearboxes and any given race, with considerations to track design. Most images are from motorsport.com and fiaformulae.com.

Renault e.dams (France)

MGU: Single MGU built by Renault

Transmission: 3 Speed

Partners: Zytek Automotive

Drivers:

#8  Nico Prost (France)

Nico Prost Formula E Bio

Prost

 

#9 Sebastien Buemi (Switzerland)

Sebastien Buemi Full Bio

Buemi


Dragon Racing (USA)

Dragon Racing originally intended to use their season 1 spec car, but a rethink finds them becoming the first customer team in Formula E, with a technical partnership and supply from Venturi Racing and their partners.

MGU: Single MGU built by Venturi

Transmission: 4 speed

Partners: Venturi

Drivers:

#7 Jerome Di Ambrosio (Belgium)

Jerome Di Ambrosio Full Bio

Di Ambrosio

Looking a bit serial killerish there JdA

#6 Loic Duval (France)

Loic Duval Full Bio

Duval

Duval looks well fucking pleased with himself. He gave his teammate a fair hiding in Beijing, so maybe he has some right to.


ABT Schaeffler Audi Sport (Germany)

MGU: Single Motor

Transmission: 3 speed

Partners: Schaeffler (technical partnership and motor integration)

Drivers:

#11 Lucas Di Grassi (Brazil)

Lucas Di Grassi Full Bio

Di Grassi

 

#66 Daniel Abt (Germany)

Daniel Abt Full Bio

Abt

We could get Donald Trump Jr, Carlos Slim Jr, Sophia Ecclestone and Lachlan Murdoch to form a Rich Dads and Their Kids league.


Mahindra Racing (India)

Karun Chandhok has been replaced with Nick Heidfeld for the 2015-16 championship.

MGU: Single Motor

Transmission: 4 speed

Partners: McLaren (systems, inverter), Campos Racing (manufacturing)

Drivers:

#21 Bruno Senna (Brazil)

Bruno Senna Full Biography

Senna

Geeze Bruno, Looks like your forehead has a lot of Aero advantage these days…

#23 Nick Heidfeld (Germany)

Nick Heidfeld Full Bio

Heidfeld

Is it just me, or can you picture him in flannelette and a chainsaw pretty easily?


NEXTEV TCR (Team China Racing)

With a pretty shit performance in Beijing from Turvey and especially reigning champ Piquet Jr, coupled with Team Trulli’s engine still in Chinese customs, I’m thinking there’s a great chance it can be reverse engineered and rebuilt then stuck in the back of Turvey and Piquet before Malaysia.

MGU: Dual Motor

Transmission: Single Gear

Partners: Rational Motion GmbH (manufacturing and development), Omnigear (motor).

Drivers:

#1 Nelson Piquet Jr. (Brazil)

Nelson Piquet Jr. Full Bio

Piquet

 

#88 Oliver Turvey (UK)

Oliver Turvey Full Bio

Turvey


DS Virgin Racing (UK)

Jean Eric Vergne has joined the team for this season.

MGU: Single Motor (unconfirmed, the fuckers are going F1 style secrecy)

Transmission: Single Gear

Partners: Citroen, PSA, DS all contributing to form new company DS Performance.

Drivers:

#2 Sam Bird (England)

Sam Bird Full Bio

Bird

 

#25 Jean Eric Vergne (France)

Jean Eric Vergne Full Bio

JEV


Team Aguri (Japan)

Team Aguri are the only team to eventually decide to run the season one spec Spark-Renault car with updated software (after Dragon decided to become customer to Venturi).

MGU: Single Motor

Transmission: Single Gear

Partners:

Drivers:

#55 Antonio Felix da Costa (Portugal)

Antonio Felix da Costa Full Bio

Da Costa

 

#77 Nathaniel Berthon (France)

Nathan Berthon Full Bio

Berthon

Looking dusty as fuck in this pic Nate. I can call you Nate, can’t I? That has to be better than “That bloke who is even lesser known than Felix da Costa”


Venturi Formula E Team (Poland) (Actually, Monaco, we were looking at the flag upside down…)

If team Abt start to look longingly at Venturi, everyone better watch out. I’ve heard that Poland and Germany have a little bit of history. Unfortunately, this joke doesn’t work because they’re from Monaco, not Poland (Thanks ERR40 from reddit for correcting us).

Venturi have developed the smallest motor unit out of all manufacturers.

MGU: Single Motor

Transmission: 4 speed

Partners: McLaren (inverter), Hewland (gearbox)

Drivers:

#4 Stephane Sarrazin (France)

Stephane Sarrazin Full Bio

Sarrazin

 

#12 Jacques Villeneuve (Canada)

Jacques Villeneuve Full Bio

Villeneuve


Andretti Formula E Team (USA)

Andretti developed its own powertrain through partnerships with TE Connectivity and Houston Mechatronics. It was a piece of shit, so they reverted to the original Spark-Renault model. The team has a former Honda chief at the helm in Roger Griffiths, dunno what they’re teaching people over at Honda but they couldn’t design and build a sand castle at the moment. Thank god HAAS teamed up with Ferrari in F1, otherwise that could’ve been a write off as well.

MGU: Single Motor

Transmission: Single Gear

Partners: Hewland (gearbox, although discarded for this season), TE Connectivity, Houston Mechatronics (powertrain).

Drivers:

#28 Simona de Silvestro (Switzerland)

Simona de Silvestro Full Bio

De Silvestro

 

#27 Robin Frijns (Netherlands)

Robin Frijns Full Bio

Frijns


Trulli Formula E Team (Switzerland)

This team is in liquorice all sorts off the track. They haven’t been seen on the track in race trim, so fuck knows how that’s going, but we can safely deduce that it’s going pretty shit. They didn’t even get to race in Beijing, as their motor was held in Chinese customs. DHL is the official transportation sponsor for Formula E, and they collectively ship all team equipment themselves. Trulli decided “fuck that, I know a bloke” and swiftly set about shipping his own goods that eventually never got cleared by customs, even with last minute help from DHL. Engine is still in there today, and there’s a good chance they won’t race in Malaysia, and a good chance they won’t race at all this season.

MGU: Single Motor

Transmission: 4 speed

Partners: Motomatica (a technical partnership between Trulli and Technomatic), not DHL apparently.

Drivers:

#10 Vitantonio Liuzzi (Italy)

Vitantonio Liuzzi Full Bio

Liuzzi

#18 Salvador Duran (Mexico)

Salvador Duran Full Bio

Duran

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Posted on October 29, 2015, in Formula E, Podcast Episode and tagged , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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