Season 5 of the ABB FIA Formula E World Championship will see major changes made to the cars; a brand new ‘batmobile-like’ chassis will be used by all the teams and a new battery will be used, one with a longer lifespan and better performance; as a consequence, the mid-race car swaps will be eradicated. The maximum power of the cars will increase to 250kw and teams will be given a lot more independence to develop their cars.
From Season 5 onwards, the rules for bodywork changes will be made more lenient and as a result, teams will be fighting hard to gain a few extra tenths of a second on their rivals in this area. With technology advancing rapidly and efficiency playing a central role in developing a successful powertrain, the offseason will see the manufacturers developing their new powetrains over the more advanced new-gen McLaren battery which will be standard for all teams.
A key factor to make a successful Formula E car is the car’s software system; if it works smoothly and allows the team to access as much data as possible, they can work on improving the car based on the collected data and also run races without significant technical issues such as a Battery Management System shutdown.
As Season 5 approaches quickly, manufacturers such as Audi, BMW, DS, Nissan and NIO will be ready to dig deep into their pockets to get the finest resources and to get the best out of them. On the other hand, teams such as Mahindra and Venturi, who manufacture their own powertrains but run on a comparatively low budget will find themselves in a really tough situation of having to directly compete with teams which have much larger budgets.
But Mahindra have played it smart; they have overturned their financial deficit over other manufacturers in a really radical and interesting manner.
In November, they entered into a strategic partnership with Japanese Semicontrollers and Microcontrollers manufacturer Renesas, who will be providing Mahindra with the products of their expertise and also, electronic and technical solutions for their racecars as well as road going EVs.
This deal sees both the parties benefiting each other; Mahindra will now have a stronger hold over the significant software side of the sport and they will be able to incorporate this in their road cars too, while Renesas will get the chance to learn about the automotive industry in person and also get greater recognition in the market by sponsoring Mahindra. This also means that Mahindra will get the much-needed financial aid with Renesas bringing in sponsorship money to the team.
Now, Mahindra have announced another such technical partnership with Tech Mahindra and Pininfarina, both of which are owned by the same parent company as Mahindra Racing. Tech Mahindra will help in further enhancing the digital side of their upcoming racecars and Pininfarina, who are known to be experts in designing cars will help Mahindra Racing out with the exterior and bodywork of their Formula E machines.
This means that Mahindra have essentially covered up all the things required to make a successful Formula E car, that is a good powetrain, for which they are working along with Magneti Marelli and so far, the results are positive, a good hold on the digital side of racing, something Renesas and Tech Mahindra will be working to achieve with the team, a good aero package, for which Mahindra have Pininfarina by their side and finally, a good team full of talented and motivated people who will bring all these things together to make the perfect racecar, something that Mahindra have been excelling at recently.
By choosing this method to develop the M5 Electro, which is the car for next season, Mahindra have effectively chopped down their costs, got more specialized men on board, made partners who expertise in the various fields of developing a Formula E car and got themselves a really good mixture of things that are needed to succeed in the world of motorsport.
What Mahindra has done once again, is proving the fact that they can think out of the box and get the best out of their available resources. I am totally impressed with this alternate strategy that Mahindra Racing has implemented and I do see this working out really well for them. Now, its all upon the new partners and the team to gel in well and deliver a championship winning car for Season 5.
Judging on the way they are performing at the moment and growing as a team so rapidly, I genuinely feel that at present, Mahindra Racing is one of the most rousing and impressive Motorsport teams in the world and that other teams should try and learn a few things from their way of operating.