Audi's Formula E team principal Allan McNish gives us an insight into all-electric racing
Right behind me is Andy's pit garish the Marrakesh round of the Formula E championships.
hugely exciting, then you don't know about you, but I really really dig formulary.
The racing is real tight.
And there are some really quite spectacular crushes.
Before we had a look at the race though.
I grabbed about 510 minutes with Audi's team principal Allan McNish.
He of winning Lamond, many times And just generally being a lovely human being talks him all about electrification about four, an EIGHT and a little bit about the WEC enjoy.
One thing that's quite different actually, in Formula E relative to other motorsport that I've been involved in, is that that is a kind of 80% general view amongst the paddock Even although we are direct competitors on the circuit building technology racing our technology, when it comes to the roadmap of where we want to go with a championship, then I think we're pretty much all in line.
We've got some British manufacturers, Chinese manufacturers, gentlemen manufacturers, French manufacturers, but clearly that mean thread is quite similar.
So we sit down every race discuss certain topics, obviously, there's
At times, there's different things come up at the moment.
We've just gone through the generation three roadmap.
So we've talked about generation two, that's the current car, which will run season 567 and eight, and then talking about season nine and beyond and what we need as manufacturers to promote our technology and what the technology is gonna be at that time as well.
So we're kind of trying to predict the future of the car industry, but always also Motorsports got to be in front of that.
It's got to be the leading edge.
It's got to be the point where the car industry is levelling and developing what's on the track.
You always do simulations and the FAA, the organizing body do simulations and what they expect for set of regulations that a car is designed around to be able to do X, Y and Z and that's in pure performance.
It's in top speed isn't acceleration and also it's in the amount of Miles we can do on a battery, if you like.
But at the same time, we've got 10 manufacturers 12 teams here, trying to beat each other.
And we're trying to extend that that little bit further.
And what was quite clear when we went from generation one, generation two.
We were actually able to get more out of the set of regulations building the car building the poetry, and maybe was expected and so there was a situation where we would normally if there was a full course yellow or a safety car as soon as that happens In the previous Gen one car, we would still have to lift off and try to save energy whereas this one it was flat out racing.
And that brought in secondary points because then there was maybe a little too many accidents.
Bumping in boarding, as we say it was bit more tuning carbon necessarily single seater in a way.
And so the discussion is this what we want again, everybody together including the FIA living the promoter is this style of racing that we want.
And ultimately it was felt that that wasn't actually what we were trying to look for.
So They look to.
They change and know if there's a full course yellow or a safety car.
They will recuse every minute a kilowatt hour of energy out of the battery that we can use.
And so therefore, we'd know Strategically having to think back there, okay, what does that impact?
How do we do it?
How do we play the attack mode?
What can we do at the same time?
It's so strategical from our perspective at the same time, it means that the racing on circuit is still like it was at the beginning.
I think it's a fantastic way of looking at it.
And it's one of the things you can do with new technology.
It's one of the areas where we can actually have a more connected car.
Again, coming back to from a manufacturer's point of view, the relevance of it, the relevance of motorsport and the connectivity.
So we've got electrification, we've got connected cars.
We've got other things in terms of sporting like fine boost and attack mode that brings in a new angle that five years ago.
I would never have thought of, we'd be involved in sports.
Nevermind actually is the day.
Well, there's a few things.
It's one topic obviously from an electrification point of view is the charging infrastructure.
How do you recharge how quick, can you charge fast charging being one of them And so whether that is the right thing to bring into the championship and how you would bring it in?
Would you do it as an in race charge?
Would you do it to maybe change your own the dynamic instead of having free practice one, free practice two, qualifying and race set out in the standardized way?
Could you throw it around a little bit there?
And there's still discussions going on with that.
What is very clear for the gent next generation will be increasing the recuperation of energy that we can have.
Normally that would be lost in heat from breaks and things that will be gone back into the battery to be able to use again and that's a big push for us as a manufacturer for od, the regeneration back into the battery or normally what would be lost energy is just it's free.
And as a Scotsman I quite like that idea.
But also as an extraction driver i love it
you look at this, it incredible greater progressive technology at the moment, and the yielding from let say what is known, and you go back and drove the auto union type c. 1957 to over 250 miles an hour and 1377 insane car beautiful engine v 16.
Smooth as you like, no brakes, no stealing, no tires opening and everything else, you know stealing wheel like this, then that was a internal combustion engine 2006 we raced Sebring and one Sebring 12 hours in level with the first fuel source that wasn't actually petrol in and it was a diesel engine in that year and that was the first time an international race had been won by nine and five years later went on to hybrid And they're both 50% hybrid power, 50% internal combustion power.
Then you get onto that and another few years later went fully electric.
So in 2005 back from 37 there had been no real change in fuel sources or anything else.
Than suddenly we've gone from one to the next and now onto fully electric.
That rate of change and what's the potential for the next part?
I'm really interested in because I, as a driver always look forward, never looked in the middle so they were optional extras and knowing the position within od then it's exactly about what is coming as opposed to what's behind us.
When you look into the electrification side, each one is the brand that we have as od, but it's also, I would say the philosophy behind the electrification.
And when we raced informally, that wasn't the first time we'd been working with electrification.
As I said, we've Race level one level with hybrid before.
And so I think you have it when you go into full electric man, it's quite clear that that other championship is going to come through you've got electric tooting car, etc are that No, they're looking at World Rallycross being an electric championship in the future.
There's a few other things there's a championship in China.
So clearly that is an evolution in this way.
And again, It's leading edge Motorsports got to be the leading edge of what happens on the roads.
And so it's to stay in that position.
I think some championships are more aligned than others.
But so certainly technology and things right now, then, I think it's got a very good overarching brief Clearly, [UNKNOWN] is the one for us.
We like it because we are here in cities, we go around to main cities in the world, and it allows us to show what e-tron electric technology can do and we've got our thumb print on it.
Yes, yes, yes.
Well, I'm a big believer actually, in that, you've kind of got to walk the walk, as well as talk the talk, in that, it's quite funny because when I get into the e-tron, the way I go through the motorway and then to see the airport.
There's a big hill going up and then you've got a hill coming down and I'm always watching how the energy usage is going up the state of charge and then how you recuperate energy coming back down and things like this.
And actually it's got a slightly different mindset.
You are driving in a different way and it's encouraging you to drive in certain ways.
Clearly if you want to floor it and go the talk is absolutely amazing.
However, on the other side of it, you're starting to think in it in a different way.
And that's something for me if I can see this at my stage of my career
[LAUGH] I still I love driving in every different way.
But for the next generation coming through, it's absolutely second nature.
And we see that with racing cars as well.
But so the next generation of oversee young kids like the two rookies we've got that are coming to drive for us here tomorrow.
And the formerly rookie test in Marrakech.
They're for them.
They just get in and no difference or off they go and absorb all of these things in a different way to maybe you and I.
In motor sports, it's unlike most sports.
You think of the Premiership in the UK.
It's a huge leak.
But if you take Formula One, that is effectively one particular game on a Saturday, as opposed to all the games in the Premier League at all the games in the Premier League First Division, and everything else is one of those.
That is only a limited number of seats.
At the same time, it's a lot of investment.
And we all know that it's not necessarily purely in talent that the grid is filled up.
But what we have seen is that a lot of drivers are coming across the foreign lead, not necessarily because we haven't been able to make it into certain other areas because it's actually a career choice.
And at the same time as well there are drivers that are making that very clear choice that they will not towards these other leaders, but they do want to look here.
And I think that's a fantastic statement.
And one of the back ups to it, which as a racing driver I loved and as a team principal I'm probably a little bit against, is that all the drivers in this paddock are actually paid professional And I don't think there's many other planets in the worlds of motor sport which have that statement.
And you can see by the grid and the type of racing and heart racing that it is that we've got some other pros out there.
Names that you know, names that you don't but names for sure you will know in the future.
The World Endurance Championship is championship close to my heart.
It's one we've been that is already for a long time and a lot of success.
The every sports got an evolution period And motor sport is no different and each championship in motor sport is no different.
Formula 1 is going through a bit of a change at this moment in time not just necessarily the ownership structure but also the regulations for the future, the teams involved, manufacturers were involved now, [UNKNOWN] is going to be there and WIC exactly the same.
They are now working out again this word relevance before it is going to be relevant for three years down the line.
And there's a lot of change in the car industry, there was a lot of change and also just generally the market.
Some things that you can't predict.
And so therefore the championships having to adapt One of the things that they're looking at is a hypercar concept, which I think looks pretty stunning because it harks back to the 90s when I started in sports cars, but at the same time they're looking at a global concept with emsa in the United States of America, and that's something that's came up and I think that is probably one that in the longer term future I personally would like to see move forward.
Because it is a championship where you've got a global view.
And it also, I think makes the whole thing a little bit healthier in the long term.
However, personally, I'm not involved directly in those discussions.
And we're not, it's just a case of a, I think that that is, it's a difficult road to chart for all sports.
And in a couple of years time, in fact, in three weeks time, I think you'll know the answer to that particular question.
As we spoke about before, you know, the electrification site is it's evolving very quickly and we need to be on the leading edge of it.
There is other technologies that are going to be coming to the fore, I'm sure as well.
In the future, we talked about fast charging is one of them, you know that hydrogen is sort of sitting out there on the horizons as well and how you do things.
What is very clear is that the way the world was in the past, there's not going to be fun to and I as I said, I always look towards what the future is gonna hold.
We take the 2022 Porsche 911 GT3 out on track
The Peugeot 508 SW PSE is a new contender in the fast station...
Lotus Elise: Saying goodbye to an iconic British sports car
Ford Puma ST earns its badge
2021 Audi S3: Clean dynamics and sharp looks
2021 BMW M4 Competition: A true M car through and through
The Lamborghini Sian is a V12 Hybrid beacon of hope
Aston Martin returns to Formula 1 after 61 years
Bruce Meyers: Meet the beach boy who invented the dune buggy