Andretti – competition will drive battery development

March 13, 2015

Andretti – competition will drive battery development

March 13, 2015

fe_miami_fri_ 15IndyCar team owner and former champion Michael Andretti believes the new FIA Formula E Championship will help drive the development of automotive battery technology for the future.

The FIA Formula E Championship will make its debut in the US this weekend on the streets of Miami.

Andretti spoke at the pre-event press conference today in the American Airlines Arena which houses the media center inside the Miami track layout.

formulaE_round2_race 8While currently drivers have to swap cars mid race as battery technology does not permit them to run at full pace for the entire race, Andretti believes the first year of the championship is just a starting point for new technology.

“I believe in five years we’re going to be going twice as far, twice as fast and that will be because of the competition we have on the race track,” Andretti said.

“That’s what auto racing did in the beginning I think it is going to happen here with the electric side.”

From next season, the series will become an open championship allowing manufacturers to pursue their own in-house innovations, beginning with the development of bespoke powertrains.

While the FIA Formula E Championship is significantly quieter than the previous race cars that have done battle here on the streets of Miami, he believes that is a positive and will help drive new fan interest.

“We have to look at this as a different type of racing. We can’t come in with the same ideals,” Andretti said.

“Sometimes to put on city events one of the big problems we have it noise and that’s something we don’t have to worry about here, so that is a good thing.

“I think you will find when you watch these cars they do have a pretty good sound to them anyway. It is a not a piercing noise like a regular engine. I think from that standpoint it is a positive.”

With fans getting the opportunity to vote for their favorite driver and actually provide him with extra power for the ePrix race, Andretti believes such fan initiatives are critical in developing a new global fan base.

“One of things that Formula E is doing that is unique with the fan boost the connectivity to the kids, straight to the phone that you have in your hand,” Andretti said.

“The series is working on ideas to get the young fans to interact even more with what is going on on the race track. I think that is very important and the social media component is critical – things like fan boost are a great idea to get the fans involved.”

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