Formula E happened to be one of the first international racing series to react to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, having announced a two-month suspension, last month. The all-electric racing series has now confirmed that a host of cost-saving measures will be implemented to reduce the financial burden on its teams.
As part of the plans to reduce costs, the teams and manufacturers have unanimously agreed to postpone the launch of its Gen2 EVO car by a year, until the 2021/22 season. The mid-life update for the current Gen2 car was originally slated to be introduced in the 2020/21 season. It features revised front and rear wings, a dorsal fin, and does away with the current car’s wheel arches altogether.
Formula E and its governing body FIA have taken a flexible and collaborative approach to decrease spending. This will see car development costs cut by half over the next two seasons. After an e-vote, the FIA’s World Motor Sport Council (WMSC) decided to extend the homologation period; manufacturers will only be able to alter powertrain components once over the next two seasons. Teams can either introduce a new car for a two-year cycle in season seven or continue to use existing technology for the next season before homologating a new car the year after, for a single season. Changes to technical regulations have been made keeping the long-term financial stability of the tournament in mind.
Formula E founder and chairman, Alejandro Agag, stated, "During these challenging times, we have taken a flexible approach. Not only with the quick and sensible decision to temporarily suspend the season, but now by implementing cost measures to lower development costs for the teams. We listened to feedback from the teams and manufacturers and worked closely with the FIA to push back the launch of the Gen2 EVO and limit teams to a single homologation over the next two years. By doing so we have cut the projected car development costs in half. This was a necessary action to take to contain costs, given the health crisis and economic environment."
FIA President, Jean Todt added, "In these difficult times, adapting the cost structures in motorsport is a priority to ensure its sustainability. I encouraged the decisions regarding the FIA Formula E Championship approved by the World Motor Sport Council in this regard, which is in line with the discussions currently underway for the other FIA disciplines."