BMW aiming to have own powertrain for 2018-19


BMW are aiming to run their own powertrain in Formula E by season five according to their Motorsport Director Jens Marquardt.

The German car maker has been working with Andretti on their Formula E entry for the last year, but only formally announced their involvement at the beginning of this season.

They will continue to provide support to Andretti on their current set-up, but Marquardt said that they are hoping to have a BMW badged powertrain in the car by season five, when teams will be allowed to use just one car per race.

“We’re working together better and better with Andretti,” Marquardt told Motorsport.com.

“We are learning a lot, which is important for season five, when we want to have our own BMW engine in the car.

“There is a lot we need to prepare in order to be ready for that. At the moment, we are helping with simulations and data processing from Munich.

“Plus we have people on site at the team to help and support. One person always is there, sometimes even two or three. It depends.”

Despite wanting to develop their own powertrain, Marquardt said that the focus of the series shouldn’t be on going faster.

He believes that the series’ unique selling point was that it raced in the heart of international cities, where it would be difficult to go any faster than at present.

He also said that the development of the virtual sector was of far more importance than whether the cars were reaching higher top speeds.

Marquardt said, “It’s important for Formula E to keep its USP with racing in big cities where the people are.

“The short but exciting programme fits modern life perfectly.

“Plus you have a lot of interaction with the fans, simulators and virtual stuff. This is where the true potential of Formula E lies, not in going faster and being bigger and greater.

“The point is: The cars cannot be much faster on these kinds of tracks with these safety measures in place. But they don’t have to be faster, I think. In my opinion, the true potential is the virtual sector.

“Maybe, in a few years, fans will virtually race in a Formula E race with their stars that do the real racing. This is much more important than going 250km/h or 180km/h on the straights.”

Andretti have had an indifferent start to the season so far. Despite finishing fifth and sixth at the season opener in Hong Kong, neither car managed to score any points in Marrakesh.