BMW Motorsport launched their car for the 2018-19 ABB FIA Formula E Championship in Munich today.
With BMW having taken over the team for this season after several years of collaborating with Andretti, the team will run under the name of BMW i Andretti Motorsport.
The name reflects the joint effort between BMW Motorsport and their electric car division, BMW i, with both groups working together within the team in what BMW says is an unprecedented move.
It was the ability to link the work of both groups and the technology transfer it provided that attracted BMW to invest more heavily in the series, according to Klaus Fröhlich, Member of the Board of Management of BMW AG, Development and Motorsport.
“Formula E is not only an innovative and spectacular race series that has established itself as one of the top race series in the world with a totally new approach to sustainability and events within just a few years,
“For BMW, it is also the perfect test lab for production development. The technology transfer between motorsport and series production is intense. Our experience from series production benefits the drivetrain of the race car.”
BMW Motorsport Director Jens Marquardt echoed these comments, but said that designers were told to prioritise the Formula E efforts and to worry about integrating it into their road car efforts later on.
Marquardt said, “We told the production engineers designing the electric motor and inverter: ‘Forget about all the considerations you would usually have in development, and just think about performance, the greatest efficiency, the lowest weight. When we’ve reached that point, you can think about how to integrate that into series production later on.’
The German manufacturer will be hoping the new car designs introduced for season five can herald a new start for the team, after the under-performed in each of the past two seasons.
This resulted in them finishing bottom of the team standings last year, with the team recording a best finish of seventh with Antonio Felix da Costa.
It was confirmed that da Costa will stay with the team for next season, and will be joined by fellow BMW works driver Alexander Sims.