Formula E will close the 2021-2022 season with the dispute of the 100th race in its history in the double date at the Seoul ePrix this weekend, a historic event for a category that seemed, in principle, destined to become in one more, but that, little by little, has been making its way and a gap has been made among the rest.
One of the main problems encountered since its inception was the hateful comparison with Formula 1, but that situation has changed, as has the rest of the world when it comes to electric vehicles.
From the Formula E board they are clear that each category has its own path, although both seem destined to meet at some point, as technology advances towards zero emissions.
“We are doomed to understand each other in the future,” declared Alberto Longo , one of the co-founders of Formula E, in a press conference with the media in which Motorsport.com was present.
“There have been no more approaches than friendship. Both Alejandro [Agag] and I have had a GP2 team, we have good friends and stuff [in Formula 1],” he said.
Longo indicated that the category he directs together with Alejandro Agag has become bigger than they expected and his desire was never to compete against the history of F1, but they do not hide that they are having significant success , especially attracting manufacturers from the automotive industry. on the grid, with names like DS, Nissan, Renault, Jaguar, Mercedes, Porsche, BMW, Audi, among others that either have had a team or still have it.
“They have 72 years of history, we are in the eighth season. It is normal that they are much larger. In the future we will know where each one is. It is not a challenge.”
“We are growing at a spectacular rate. So are they. Motorsport is going through a golden age, we’ll see what happens in a few years. We are both very well placed”.
The position in which the electric category finds itself after more than 90 races is not only important in terms of competition, but also in technological terms , because it can boast of having one of the best technology synergies at a key point in mobility. electricity, something that they take advantage of to outline the rules of the future, not only immediately, but also in the medium term.
“We have many manufacturers within the category and we meet with them to see where that technology is going, where electric mobility will be in 10, 15 years. It is easy to have that vision because we share it with people who are very interested in it” .
Although this is an advantage, there is also an impediment : the technology itself. As Longo recalls, despite the fact that today electric cars could be capable of being much faster, there are technical limitations: “The difficult thing is to put it into practice.”
“Today the battery is a limitation. I could mount a motor on each axle of the car, which weighs 16 kilos and develops 300 horsepower, but we would have to invest in aerodynamics so that the car does not take off, although they would be very fast. Although there We would have another problem, which is the battery life, they would barely last about three laps, so we must find the balance between a long and attractive race with a very fast car.
Seoul will be the last time that Formula E competes with the Gen2 car, the car that eliminated pit stops to change the car mid-race in order to complete the time needed to finish the test.
The next car, the Gen3 , will mean an important advance in technology, considering the ability to recover energy, taking it up to 40% of what is necessary for each race. There is still time for it to arrive, but Longo is already thinking about the Gen4 .
“Where do I think the Gen4 will be that we will use for seasons 13 to 16? I think [energy] efficiency will carry less weight than it does today, because it will be inherent in the technology and all electric cars will be efficient. So, We will try to look for performance with the Gen4, looking for it to be fast,” he concluded.