As part of the close cooperation with MS&AD Andretti, BMW Motorsport will accompany the Formula E team throughout the coming season, as it continues to prepare for a works entry in season five. But work continues on the next generation electric powertrain.
BMW Motorsport Director Jens Marquardt has recently described the first-ever BMW Formula E Powertrain as “exciting and making good progress” as it gets ready for initial track testing in March.
This cooperation includes working together at engineering level and sharing resources. BMW Motorsport is supporting MS Amlin Andretti with the provision of works driver António Félix da Costa (PRT).
BMW AG will become a full factory squad in Season Five beginning at the end of next year as it joins fellow German marque Audi in the all-electric championship. After confirming in July it was to enter Formula E as a manufacturer, BMW has accelerated its engineering input in the existing Andretti team.
“We are working flat out back in Munich on the electric powertrain from our side for Season Five and at the moment the plans are exciting and good progress,” Marquardt told e-racing365.
“We joined forces with Andretti last year and obviously it is not a digital swap, it is a transition.
“We are in this building and learning phase now and Andretti is fully in charge of the race side of things this season. We have increased our involvement a little as we now have three permanent engineers working with the team as well as some support back at home.
“We are working in parallel setting up the testing with them and that will start in March onwards when the chassis arrives and we will work with Andretti together and go testing.”
An early March delivery is now thought to be likely for the new FIA-inspired Spark SRT05e chassis which has been slightly delayed. This is largely due to integration of the ‘Halo’ safety device.
As stipulated in the rules, BMW is required to provide a customer powertrain at a fixed cost. However, Marquardt doesn’t believe that at this stage there will be a second team running BMW power in 2018/19.
“This is, of course, part of the rules, but with so many manufacturers in now we will have to see how many free agents are out there,” he said. “Our plans at the moment are we go with what we know.”