Mercedes: Final call on Gen3 rules "in the next few weeks"

Mercedes Formula E boss Ian James has explained the manufacturer’s unexpected decision to delay its Gen3 rules registration and says the “final call” is due in “the next few weeks”.

Mercedes: Final call on Gen3 rules "in the next few weeks"

Last week, the day after the soft March 31 deadline to commit to the regulation changes, Mercedes announced it would be delaying its signature for the 2022-23 to 2025-26 seasons.

Only in its second year in the championship as a works entry, Mercedes issued a statement that cited a need for clarity over “important details regarding the structure of the series”.

However, the update praised “largely positive” talks “relating to key topics such as the implementation of a cost cap” for the Gen3 rules cycle.

Mercedes team principal Ian James explained the delay, telling Motorsport.com: “We're still in discussion at the moment with [Formula E Operations], the commercial rights holder.

“We need to get those details finalised before we can hand on heart, together with the board, give that commitment.

“Because of the length of that commitment, it's crucial all the details are absolutely right.”

Read Also:

This follows new financial regulations devised by the FIA, which means a manufacturer will have to continue to pay the €300,000 registration and homologation fee charged per season until the end of the rules cycle should it decide to exit early.

James added: “Quite rightly, the FIA have structured it in such a way that they're looking for commitment and stability over the duration of that generation.

The March 31 deadline is not absolute, allowing Mercedes plus existing and prospective manufacturers to pledge their commitment at a later date.

However, these entrants have now missed the April 6 meeting of the Formula E Technical Working Group to gain initial access to FIA data from Gen3 suppliers Spark Racing Technology, Williams Advanced Engineering and Hankook.

But James said this was not “a point of no return”.

“I'm not in a position at the moment to say whether we're more likely to stay or go.

“It's just key that we continue working and making sure that we can get those open points closed off, and then hopefully, we can move things in the right direction.

“Having said that, this isn't something that can go on for weeks and months.

“This is something, within the next few weeks, we're going to need to take a final call.”

James quipped that team technical director Nick Chester, formerly of the Renault Formula 1 squad, would “probably love to kick me in the shins right now” for missing the TWG meeting.

But he clarified that: “I don't think we're in a position or will put ourselves in a position that [the delay] is going to cause any real issues should be decided to commit and stay.”

James also said the decision to publicly announce the delay was to avoid the news “leaking out in advance of the Rome weekend”.

He continued: “It would be incredibly damaging to the series as a whole if you had two or three manufacturers committing now, only to pull out in a year or two.”

The plan for Mercedes to refine its current five-location set-up and consolidate in Brackley for next season is “still very much the right thing to do”.

shares
comments

Related video

NIO 333 "surprised a few people" with Formula E turnaround
Previous article

NIO 333 "surprised a few people" with Formula E turnaround

Next article

Jaguar commits to Formula E's Gen3 era

Jaguar commits to Formula E's Gen3 era
Load comments
De Vries: Why Formula E title success felt so different to F2 Prime

De Vries: Why Formula E title success felt so different to F2

OPINION: The 2021 Formula E campaign was wide open until the final race after its most unpredictable season yet. Eventual champion Nyck de Vries explains why this made his title-winning experience such a different experience to conquering F2 in 2019

Formula E's new toys ahead of its second-generation swansong Prime

Formula E's new toys ahead of its second-generation swansong

Formula E welcomes a mix of past, present and future for the 2021-22 season. The old guard facing off against a sprinkling of newcomers, a fresh qualifying format amid a sporting rules shake-up and a range of minor tweaks to the existing all-electric machines are all subplots to the final campaign before the next generation arrives

Formula E
Dec 3, 2021
The sharing mentality that transformed the fortunes of two FE teams Prime

The sharing mentality that transformed the fortunes of two FE teams

Electing not to share data with its competitive customer team would have been a straightforward means of gaining an edge on at least one of Mercedes' Formula E rivals last season. But by reciprocating the relationship forged under its initial HWA guise, when it was a customer to Venturi, both teams have reaped the rewards

Formula E
Nov 30, 2021
How Mercedes's Formula E squad replicated the F1 team's best trait Prime

How Mercedes's Formula E squad replicated the F1 team's best trait

With its ultra-successful sister team in Formula 1 and a support network providing some of the best minds and resources in the business, Mercedes Formula E team principal Ian James knew his squad had all the winning ingredients. But mixing it together was no easy feat and required key attributes to be grown from within

Formula E
Nov 29, 2021
How Formula E's polarising newcomer Ticktum can prove himself Prime

How Formula E's polarising newcomer Ticktum can prove himself

OPINION: Few figures in racing today divide opinion like Dan Ticktum. The Formula 2 race winner now has the chance to wipe his professional slate clean with his move into Formula E, but it won't be easy at the squad which has brought up the rear for the past three years. Here are the three key criteria he must meet to make a lasting impression on the series.

Formula E
Nov 27, 2021
How Mercedes pulled off a silent coup in Formula E Prime

How Mercedes pulled off a silent coup in Formula E

By virtue of its Formula 1 success, Mercedes was expected to rise to power in Formula E before long. That it won both the drivers' and manufacturers' championships this year, after only two seasons as a full works effort, belies a tricky path littered with potential pitfalls

Formula E
Nov 26, 2021
Why electric racing cars should be four-wheel drive Prime

Why electric racing cars should be four-wheel drive

OPINION: Circuit racing has traditionally favoured front- or rear-wheel-drive setups, eschewing the equal distribution of power. But for Formula E and other electric-powered series, our columnist believes it’s a perfect fit.

Formula E
Oct 13, 2021
How motorsport's most prominent power couple found joint success Prime

How motorsport's most prominent power couple found joint success

The Wolffs have carved their own paths in motorsport, leading their respective teams to success in Formula 1 and Formula E. But the two came together last month as their drivers finished first and second in the FE drivers' championship - a feat they are hugely proud of. In a rare joint interview, they reflect on a remarkable season

Formula E
Sep 21, 2021