Renault send out warning on Formula E costs

Credit: Formula E

Renault have fired out a warning against allowing further car development in Formula E, saying that it would cause the amount spent by teams to double.

Renault’s Project Leader in Formula E Vincent Gaillardot said that allowing teams to develop their own batteries would lead to a huge increase in spending, especially given the several large car manufacturers who are now entering the sport.

To date the series has allowed only limited changes to be made to each car, with every team running a standard chassis and all of them using the same battery technology.

McLaren Applied Technologies are taking over the contract for producing the batteries from next year, but at the end of their deal in 2021 teams will be allowed to develop their own.

And despite the fact that Renault are due to leave the series at the end of this season, Gaillardot urged organisers to restrict development of the cars, saying to Autosport “Since day one, it’s pretty clear what this championship is.

“It’s electrical technology, electrical mobility only, and this is where we should fight. To control costs, we should not really allow any freedom on all other areas.

“Every time we discuss with the FIA, the promoter and manufacturers, we put on the table all those items and try to identify if it’s the right time or not to open and to compete.

“Battery development on its own is quite expensive, mainly for the homologation side, because you have to perform crash tests.

“The number of samples you have to build and the time to do the homologation is just massive. It is a big cost and I’m not even talking about cell development.

“Compared to the actual development budget, it is nearly double.”

His thoughts were echoed by Panasonic Jaguar Racing Team Director James Barclay, who said that restricting battery development was needed to help ensure all teams stay competitive.

“If we open too much technology too soon it could be a really damaging thing for this championship,” Barclay told Autosport.

“Having a fixed battery for everyone is not a negative at all, we have plenty to go at from a development point of view, plenty of area of differentiation.

“What we would rather have is a championship with 10 healthy teams, 12 healthy teams in the future, that can really compete closely, and have a great formula.”