The future of motorsport: this is coming

Formula E
The future of motorsport
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E real motorsport fans have a choice: Either they glorify the past, or they dream of a better future. After all, the present is all too often characterized by boring car processions, monocultures on the podium and interchangeable, contourless, well-behaved drivers in the cockpits - often tamed and supervised by overly cautious PR agents from the manufacturers for whom they are currently working.

Do we have to get used to racing without a driver in the future?

Autonomous racers or horsepower heroes?

All well-known manufacturers that are represented in top-class sport proudly point out that the latest technologies are presented and tested on the racetracks. That even extends to autonomous driving - Audi let an A6 race over the track without a driver at the 2014 DTM finale - almost at racing speed and accident-free, of course.

But do the spectators really want to see a high-tech exhibition? Cars without a driver or racing cars with two KERS systems, the functionality of which most people on the track and in front of the TV only understand rudimentary? The fact that Audi uses a driverless car in motorsport of all things has definitely polarized the scene. The good thing about the whole thing: After this performance at the latest, it became clear to everyone in the scene that now is the right time to carefully discuss the realignment for the future.

Formula E as a good example

Formula E, which is currently entering its second season, is showing a promising approach. Sponsors, investors and also some car manufacturers are positively electrified by the electric racers. Formula E also has things to do with itSustainability still has potential: The 28 kWh batteries of the quietly whirring monoposti are empty after half an hour of driving. That is why the drivers have to switch to a second racing car for the one-hour races.

At the start of the second season in Beijing in October, the e-bolides rolled again with a standard look (except for the paintwork), but technically it is now in the field of drive train (electric motor, inverter, gearbox, control electronics), cooling system and rear axle suspension with in-house developments. Supplier giant Schaeffler is one of the supporters of this still young scene.

'The entire electromobility - this includes hybrid solutions, but also electric driving - will have a major impact on mobility', says Schaeffler Chief Technology Officer Peter Gutzmer. 'Our commitment in Formula E is ideal to be at the fore here. Our engineers should push their limits and seek competition.'

Formula E
More and more people are enthusiastic about e-bolides.

Racetrack on the doorstep

Motorsport as a pioneer in alternative drive technologies, which is not yet too popular with ordinary consumers enjoy great popularity - this way racing could finally make sense again. Especially since the series, which is held worldwide, does not take place on faceless racetracks far away from the metropolises, but in the middle of the big cities - including Kuala Lumpur, Buenos Aires, Mexico City, Paris, Berlin, Moscow and London.

The Fans can arrive relaxed by bus, subway or train - and bring their children with them: the high-frequency whirring of the e-racers shouldn't scare the toddlers as much as the thundering of the burners. Around 21,000 visitors came to the Berlin Tempelhof site.

E-racing cars have an output of 170 kW

By the way, you don't have to be a crazy alternative to enjoy this series: That The cockpit of the Abt Schaeffler FE01 is shared by a German-Brazilian duo - Daniel Abt, the son of the racing team owner Hans-Jürgen Abt, has already driven in the GP2 series, Lucas di Grassi was in both the classic Formula 1 and the 24-hour race from Le Mans. Also knownNames like Jacques Villeneuve and Nick Heidfeld are part of the regular staff in Formula E. And the e-racers are getting faster: While the maximum output was 150 kW in the first season, it increases to 170 kW in the second.

Formula E
It will From a global perspective, there are still racing series with internal combustion engines. The future does not rest solely on the shoulders of Formula E

But does the future of motorsport rest solely on the shoulders of Formula E? Hardly - seen around the world there will still be racing series with internal combustion engines. And the interest of young people in car races is still great - this is also borne out by the example of Formula Student.

Successful Formula Student

Every year hundreds of student teams design and build large Enthusiasm for their little runners - they have twelve months for this before they come together for their own competition. If you take the youngsters as trendsetters, however, there is a lot to be said for electromobility: In the past, most teams decided to use an internal combustion engine, but currently half of the participants use an electric unit. One thing is certain: The motorsport of the future will definitely remain an exciting matter.

There is hardly a better chance of being recommended as a young executive: In the Formula Student design competition, a single-seater racing car is designed within a year, developed and built. With their electric and all-wheel drive mini racing car, the team from the University of Stuttgart set a new world record for acceleration from 0 to 100 km /h in the summer: 1.779 seconds. The budget for the car: a slim 40,000 euros.

Figures for Formula E

  • 361,000 spectators on the track
  • is 28 kWh the capacity of Formula E batteries - that is the same as the amount of energy contained in three liters of gasoline
  • The batteries of a Formula E racing car may weigh a maximum of 200 kg


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