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Mercedes option allows them to assess the series

  • Published on 08 Nov 2016 16:15
  • comments 3
  • By: Dominik Wilde

Toto Wolff has said that Mercedes' decision to reserve an entry for the 2018/19 Formula E season provides them with a good opportunity to assess the series before committing to joining it.

The Mercedes motorsport boss is positive of the all-electric championship, but admits it is still a relative unknown.

"It's an exciting new series that has come up against all odds and is doing quite okay," Wolff is quoted by Crash.net. "Electrification is not going to go away on the road and we don't know where it's going to go on the race track."

"There is a large hybrid and electric part in an F1 car already and we are serious in looking at it. We haven't spent time in the past looking at Formula E properly, but by signing the option it gives us an opportunity to look at things and find out whether it is something suitable for us going forward."

"You can see there is an interest from many other manufacturers in this series and that is logical if you are looking at what is happening in road car technology."

Replies (3)

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  • Kind of a no-brainer really. At some point in the future Formula E will probably change it's name to Formula 1 once the technology matures. Who wants to drive a dinosaur combustion vehicle when you can drive the latest screaming electric lightning bolt? The engine/throttle sound can easily be made to sound like real engine noise if that's what the naysayers argue about combustion engines.

    • + 0
    • Nov 8 2016 - 22:26
    • Hemex

      Posts: 1,087

      Should we also put Elon Musk in charge? Would save a few quid in driver salaries. I don't think it's just the sound that deafeningly absent, it's also the smell, the dirt, the hands-on excitement. FE can build in a few extra blasters and pretend to have a real engine, but they'd fool nobody. It's too clean, too abstract, too electrical. You may have the speed, but you're lacking in raw performance.
      Sure, some people would go for it, and it might even be the way to go, lacking any alternative. Kicking and screaming, maybe, but sometime.

      • + 0
      • Nov 9 2016 - 19:47
  • Good points. It's early days yet. Performance will come as budgets and fanbase increase. FE has the potential to be for cars of the future what F1 is today for road cars. A testing and proving ground for the development of that technology. I agree with the gritty aspect of motor racing that has an appeal, but there is huge and growing population of young racing fans that don't really care about the smell of oil and exhaust. They want to see on the edge racing with the latest technology. As for the sound (won't call it noise) of the engines, it would interesting to see a blind test of engine noise, whether it was produced digitally or mechanically. Sampling of engine noise sounds pretty good these days, and when you put some volume and bass in there with a sub woofer, it will shake the buildings like the old V12s did. Just my opinion. I happen to like the sound of the electric motors as they accelerate on the fly without any lag from the combustion process. Also when you look at the driver pool, there are some guys driving in FE that could/should drive in F1. At this point in the history of FE, I think the talent of the drivers they have is what makes it the most interesting. Nobody really wants to see drivers have to change cars and sit and wait for the minimum pit stop time, but until the tech develops further that's what they have to do to have a decent length race. As for Elon Musk, he is a tree hugger, not a racing fan as far as I know, so I would predict that people like Toto Wolff and his colleagues in F1 and some of the heavyweights in FE at this time, may have a big deciding influence in what happens with FE. Ferrari seems to be the big hold out, but now even they are talking about moving in the direction of an
    all electric vehicle.

    • + 0
    • Nov 10 2016 - 23:34

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