formula e’s maximum a success racer stocks his thoughts on racing generation

after eight years, 100 races, and almost 1,000 factors, lucas di grassi is aware of his stuff.

components e will near out its season this weekend with its first go to to seoul, south korea. it is no longer simply the stop of season 8 and the closing race for the gen2 electric powered race motors however additionally marks the collection’ a hundredth race. the game has come an extended manner because its first eprix in beijing in 2014, with extra effective motors, larger batteries, and an capability to position on an thrilling race at monaco, some thing that formulation 1 hasn’t been capable to say for numerous decades.

lucas di grassi changed into the winner of that first eprix and has raced in every eprix on account that. he is nonetheless touring victory lane, most recently in final sunday’s london eprix, and this weekend may additionally score his 1,000th profession point in the series. with a background in method 1 after which audi’s mighty r18 e-tron le mans application, di grassi knows his way around a race automobile. so he is commonly an excellent individual to speak to about the destiny path of the sport.

next season the game receives a new vehicle, one that’s a whole lot greater effective—and lighter, too. however it’s not pretty as bold, era-clever, as the idea di grassi lobbied for. despite the fact that that vehicle has but to even race in anger, the diverse minds that make contributions to formulation e’s r&d avenue map are already considering gen4. considering that we had the risk to talk with the driving force beforehand of this week’s seoul eprix, i wanted to recognise his thoughts on where the sport need to move next. as i was hoping, he had lots of them.

you’ve been pretty outspoken inside the past about wherein you watched the technical route of the game must go, specifically as avenue vehicle evs function tech that has long gone past what components e lets in. where do you observed gen4 have to pass?

“this is a tremendous question. for me, it’s very clean from the beginning where the era street map goes, not best method e, but all the fia [the organizing body for worldwide motorsport], of the entirety—for me, they ought to be a great deal more segmented in terms of which answers are better for exclusive collection. like, staying power racing ought to be that specialize in car-applicable technologies. formula 1 should have the most severe power-to-weight ratio drivetrains. then system e—the most efficient engines ever. so for me, i’d phase it an awful lot more and make sure that the producers they need to broaden and invest, do,” he instructed me.

“[the fia] have a championship that may broaden, and it may use a number of that information to crossover to different series, but they don’t overlap. and in the meanwhile, there is a lot of overlaps among persistence racing, formula 1, method e. it’s that the regulations aren’t very clean. and that i don’t think there may be somebody giving simply, absolutely clear guidelines that this is the manner these championships are going to adapt, and that is the technology that simply creates value for the producer and for the fanatics and for the sector in the long time. i suppose in the meanwhile it is not an easy factor to do. and for the time being, i don’t trust the activity is being accomplished inside the proper manner,” di grassi said.

“for gen4, the answer isn’t always simply add more electricity. we are arriving with a hassle with gen3. due to the fact now we’ve got a lot electricity that if you can provide the gen3 cars every other one hundred kw (134 hp) on the rear axle for attack mode, it makes nearly no difference in lap time. the car cannot get that strength down. we’ve so much electricity in gen3 that it does not count much in case you’re going to have 50 kilowatts (67 hp) greater or much less in assault mode because you are going to be nearly traction-restricted the whole time.

“so 4-wheel power for me—all of the manufacturers are already generating excessive-give up automobiles which are four-wheel force electric. you may genuinely have four-wheel force in the course of attack mode then two-wheel power for the other stages of the race, or shall we say 4-wheel force at the begin for a lap, then ought to pass two-wheel drive. i mean, you can do anything you need with the software program manage of an electric car,” he explained.

“so for gen4 in which might i go? i’d say that battery era is essential to apprehend what the answers are. so perhaps locating a manner of establishing up a number of the regions of battery—no longer the whole lot, in any other case the price is too high. the other point is i’d go—as i might have gone for gen3—i might go together with movable aerodynamic gadgets like drs [formula 1’s drag reduction system] however regular drs with the complete car morphing into a distinct detail, due to the fact this is the most green way of driving a racing car. you have downforce within the corners, no downforce however very efficient on the straights. i would cowl the wheels again up, because i do not apprehend why they are exposed; protecting them is a great deal more efficient. it saves approximately 8-10 percent of the battery simply by means of masking the wheels in phrases of better aerodynamic drag,” di grassi persevered.

“so clearly 4-wheel pressure, genuinely four-wheel steerage. i would steer with the rear axle as well. i’d have likely softer manipulate kinematics, this means that that you don’t need to exchange dampers or springs anymore. all of us has one set of springs, one set of dampers, and you application how the damper and the way the springs can behave with an electric powered actuator. that’s the identical with the rear steering—you may have dynamic torque, so in a hairpin the auto can without a doubt steer an awful lot faster, then in high-pace corners you could manipulate the oversteer of the automobile,” he stated.

some other of di grassi’s ideas has already been verified to paintings in persistence racing, especially the dpi and new lmdh classes. “i’d open a segment of the car for the manufacturers to position their identity in the automobile. this is for me very crucial. why we don’t have a space on the automobile that the manufacturers can placed their headlights as an instance, or they can positioned their identity on the auto?” he asked.

“because it’s important for the general public to see motors that appearance exceptional, even if that part is not relevant in any respect. but the automobiles are exceptional, they are not the identical automobile—a number of humans suppose that method e automobiles are all the same automobile. i mean i can pass on and on and on and on for a variety of the info. but those information are not greater luxurious. so anybody that announces, “yeah, but lucas has no idea how a good deal this all costs”—i’ve, i created the roborace automobile in 2015 with one megawatt, four vehicles. so i recognize exactly how much it prices to create generation. and the implementation i think is feasible without any leap forward era that needs development, like i don’t know, a megabattery or something,” he defined.

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