Unveiled to the world Thursday night at Monaco Yacht Club, the future single-seater of the ABB FIA Formula E Championship, baptized Gen3, is already very much appreciated, except by a few drivers for its futuristic design. But as Jean-Eric Vergne says, even if “all the drivers find the Gen2 quite beautiful, it is more important that we give our opinion on the technical aspects than on the design, whether we like it or not. For the look of cars, it is better to ask the fans.” With regards to Gen3 cars, “it’s going to be really nice, because the cars will be lighter, more powerful, faster“, JEV insists. “It’s a bigger step than between Gen1 and Gen2, in my opinion, and they’re also going to be more efficient, in terms of energy recovery, so it goes in the direction of today’s world.” About Monaco, “And it will be interesting to drive, especially in Monaco. But on a circuit like Rome, it may become scary if we have 350 kW instead of 220 kW. And we also want it to be a pleasure to watch for the fans“.
The two-time FE champion is joined in his comments by Robin Frijns, the Envision driver, for whom “what the Gen3 is going to produce in terms of power will be good for the racing”. As for the futuristic look of the Gen3, “it’s not my taste” admits the Dutchman, “but what really matters is that it is lighter, more powerful and faster. I’ve heard that it is interesting to drive, especially with the new tyres, and I’m really looking forward to test it on track.”
The first on-track testing sessions by the teams are planned “within the next two months”, reveals James Barclay, Jaguar Racing’s Team Principal. According to him, it is “a new chapter which opens, and an exciting challenge, in connection also with our future production cars“. Barclay also points out that the size of the car, “narrower, more compact“, will be “good for the drivers” because it will encourage overtaking on certain tracks. The next phase is, in the coming weeks, the adaptation of the new power units of each manufacturer on the new common chassis, and then teams will need to continue developing the software, to exploit the Gen3 as well as possible“.
The last reaction of the day, in the press conference, came from Tommaso Volpe, the Formula E project manager at Nissan Motorsport. The Japanese giant is currently in the process of buying out French team e.dams. “The Gen3 will allow us to show our expertise in regenerating power, as we are going to achieve a 40% recuperation rate which is unique in motorsport. We will have to continue to find compromises as this is a very complex subject. And we are going to make sure that we improve the synergies between the racing team (e.dams) and our Nissan Motorsport engineers who work on various technologies. We are a bit far from the top teams, at the moment, but we hope to move up one or two places in the championship,” Volpe concludes.