When the FIA announced the Formula E electric racing series, some were skeptical that such an ambitious project would even get off the ground. But several high-end racing teams have already expressed interest in racing, and you can add to that one of the most famed Formula 1 racing teams of all time; McLaren.
Yup, the Big M wants to get in on this new-fangled electric racing series. Awesome.
Jumping On The Formula E Bandwagon
The Formula E racing series isn’t set to launch until 2014, but more than a few racing teams have already made it known that they will be entering the series. Some, like Bluebird and Fondtech, will enter an all-electric race car of their own design. Other teams with a more limited budget will likely be stuck with the Formulec electric race car, which the series is making available to interested parties.
I imagine that McLaren, one of the most winningest teams in motorsports history, will bring their own take on electric Formula cars to the series. After all, McLaren has made a name for itself as a builder of bodacious race cars spanning many different racing series, including Indy cars, Can-Am, and of course Formula 1.
Appealing To A New Generation Of Racing Fans
While McLaren hasn’t outright committed to the series yet, principal Martin Whitmarsh told Reuters that;
“I think there’s quite a lot of interest… it’s something that McLaren would be delighted to be involved with so we’re obviously looking at it at the moment. Who knows, we might pop up in it. I think we’re looking at all sorts of things. I think it’s a good initiative and we’d be delighted in whatever form to be involved with it.”
The Formula E series is hoping to field 10 teams of 2 drivers each in a series of 10 competitions around the world. The races will take place in city-centers, where the low-noise of electric racers is unlikely to bother the locals. The races will be about an hour long, though the race cars will only have enough juice for 15 to 20 minutes of racing at a time, necessitating either car, or battery swaps, something teams like McLaren will have to figure out.
This wouldn’t be McLaren’s first effort with electric motors, however. The team currently develops electronic control units for Formula 1 cars, and has even built their own 120 kW electric motors for hybrid and electric vehicles. Whitmarsh is surprisingly forward-looking as well, noting that it isn’t “old buggers” that motorsports must appeal to anymore, but a new generation of young people.
Right on you old bugger.