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Ferrari has "agonised" over future Formula E entry, says Sergio Marchionne

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Ferrari has "agonised" over future Formula E entry, says Sergio Marchionne
Nov 11, 2016, 1:32 PM

Ferrari has discussed plans about entering a future season of the Formula E series, according to its CEO Sergio Marchionne.

Ferrari has discussed plans about entering a future season of the Formula E series, according to its CEO Sergio Marchionne.

But the Ferrari boss went on to stress that certain elements of the all-electric championship – including the current mid-race car swaps – would have to change before the Scuderia made any firm plans to run an electric team.

Marchionne was speaking in a teleconference that came after the announcement of the Italian company’s Q3 earnings on the New York Stock Exchange, was he asked if the Scuderia had considered entering Formula E.

Formula E Paris

He said: "The answer is yes. I have agonised over with this with my colleagues here in Ferrari for quite a while.

"I'm going to give you two answers to the problem. If Formula E requires people to change cars during a race because we exhaust the power available within a given car, that is not something that Ferrari would naturally gravitate to.

"Secondly, the standardisation associated with the electric car is something which runs against the grain of Ferrari because otherwise it will prevent [Ferrari] from playing whatever it is that it does technically on a vehicle."

Formula E NEXTEV

Formula E cars have a spec chassis, which is produced by Spark Racing Technology, as aerodynamic development is not an area that the championship wants the teams to pursue to keep costs to a minimum.

The teams have been able to produce their own motors, inverters and gearbox solutions since the second Formula E season, but they still use a standard battery, which is supplied by Williams Advanced Engineering.

McLaren’s Applied Technologies wing has been tasked with supplying a new battery that can last for the duration of an ePrix in a single car by the start of the fifth season in 2018 and is being led by MAT’s motorsport director, Rodi Basso.

McLaren

MAT has a two-year contract to supply the teams with batteries, but it is understood that Formula E is still aiming to let the manufacturers develop their own battery technology in the future.

"If it were to happen it would happen a few years from now," continued Marchionne.

"It is possible that [after] some level of maturity that Ferrari would develop a unique set of skills that will make that car uniquely Ferrari, in an environment like that, but I know we are not there today."

Sebastian Vettel

Marchionne’s worlds can be in interpreted as partly positioning for the negotiation with Liberty on F1 post 2020, but major automotive manufacturers are taking a greater interest in Formula E as they look into producing new electric car ranges in the future.

Mercedes recently announced that its Grand Prix team had reached an agreement with Formula E to reserve an entry in the fifth season, while Audi announced it was leaving the World Endurance Championship and highlighted its intention to, “contest the race for the future on electric power,” via a greater tie-up with the ABT Formula E team, according to its chairman of the board of management, Rupert Stadler.

Former Toro Rosso F1 driver Sebastien Buemi currently leads the Formula E season three standings after he won the first race for the season for Renault eDAMS. The second ePrix of the 2016-2017 season takes place in Marrakesh this weekend, the first time Formula E has visited Africa.

What do you make of Marchionne’s comments on Formula E? Do you think Ferrari will enter Formula E in the future? Leave your thoughts in the comment section below or head over to the JAonF1 Facebook page for more discussion.
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Series Formula 1 , Formula E
Teams McLaren Shop Now
Tags innovation