BMW rules out entry into the Formula E Championship

Racing | July 30th, 2015 by 7
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BMW has ruled out an entry into the Formula E Championship in the short term. Currently BMW has a deal to supply pace cars to …

BMW has ruled out an entry into the Formula E Championship in the short term. Currently BMW has a deal to supply pace cars to Formula E.

BMW Motorsport boss Jens Marquardt says the automaker has no interest in joining the series while the practice of drivers swapping cars mid-race remains.

“An issue that needs to be addressed is the change of car,” said Marquardt, who stated that the end of two-car races “would be a condition for our potential direct involvement”.

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“If you look at public discussions of electric mobility, the issue of reach is very important.”

Formula E has a road map laid out to retire the mid-race change of car in 2018/2019, but there is no assurance the championship leaders will follow through.

FIA president Jean Todt has expressed the view that the shift away from car swapping should be brought forward.

Renault and Citroen are so far the only major carmakers with a direct involvement in Formula E.

[Source: Autosport]

7 responses to “BMW rules out entry into the Formula E Championship”

  1. CDspeed says:

    That is a lame excuse, one aspect isn’t what they’d like, so they’re out. But I guess at the same time BMW has been absent in F1, and WEC for a long time so I guess trying something new just isn’t going to happen.

    • Chris Llana says:

      “Lame” was the same word that came to me. Are they going to boycott all series that have pit stops? I think the car swap is one of the attractions of the e series, and the drivers often use it as part of their strategy.

      • CDspeed says:

        If they had just said they weren’t interested that would have been fine. But I haven’t heard any of the teams complain about the car swap, so sighting the one little thing is lame. Formula E did turn out to be very exciting, it’s too bad BMW only showed up with a hybrid safety car.

        • Miner says:

          Range anxiety has often been noted as one of the biggest barriers to widespread adoption of electric vehicles. I think BMW recognizes that Formula E does a poor job of showcasing the capabilities of electric vehicle technology with this lack of range being highlighted in every race. I think it’s a wise marketing move to stay away until the race series is set up in a way that actually helps to promote the BMW brand.

          • CDspeed says:

            BMW is staying out of F1, and away from Le Mans too, maybe it’s just BMW avoiding another race series. Formula E did a great job show casing electric cars, the car swap wasn’t that negative, and most people understand the demands of motorsports.

          • Chris Llana says:

            Hmm. What sort of gas mileage do BMW’s ICE race cars get driving flat out? Does that showcase the efficiency of BMW’s cars? I seriously doubt people watching exciting Formula E races are thinking about about EV range — they’re a lot smarter than that. (p.s. the vast majority of people drive less than 50 miles per day)

  2. Chris Llana says:

    One of the issues with a potential BMW entry into Formula E racing is the limited number of teams permitted—to wit, ten. There was reportedly a recent move to add an eleventh team (with a Jaguar/WiIliams alliance rumored), but this came to naught, as other existing teams vetoed the change in rules.

    So BMW would not be able to enter as a new team, which could be a disincentive for them. To participate, then, BMW would have to partner with an existing team, which seems to be standard practice for the current ten teams.

    Renovo Motors, a Silicon Valley startup that is producing an electric supercar based on a Shelby Daytona chassis, is looking to move into Formula E with a partnership with the Mahindra team. The CEO wants to see electric race cars “that are more powerful and last longer.” To that end, they want to supply their advanced batteries to Formula E for seasons three and four (in competition with the likes of Rimac and Williams).

    If BMW entered into a partnership with one of the ten teams, they would have to share responsibility for team decisions, and being the new kid with limited experience in the series, perhaps not the dominant player. Because the number of Formula E team members is limited (to keep costs in check), I suspect BMW would be represented by several engineers from the i sub-brand. In other words, the BMW racing bosses would be marginalized—hardly something they would be enthusiastic about.

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