Formula E Gains Porsche, Killing LMP1 in the Process
Porsche has officially announced it’s departure from the WEC, LMP1 class at the end of the 2018 season:
“Entering Formula E and achieving success in this category are the logical outcomes of our Mission E road car programme. The growing freedom for in-house technology developments makes Formula E attractive to us,” added Michael Steiner, Member of the Executive Board for Research and Development at Porsche AG. “Porsche is working with alternative, innovative drive concepts. For us, Formula E is the ultimate competitive environment for driving forward the development of high-performance vehicles in areas such as environmental friendliness, efficiency and sustainability.”
This leaving Toyota the lone LMP1 Factory effort. Bringing to question the viability of the category after 2018. Formula E is snapping up almost all of the major European manufactures with Porsche joining Audi, BMW, Jaguar and Mercedes. The EU has made it very clear they intend to eliminate petrol engines within the next 20–25 years and companies want to secure their future in world of transportation. We get it. Mercedes left the DTM for Formula E. So if manufactures care so much, then why don’t the fans? And it’s fairly simple: Formula E sucks. Guys, they vote to give a driver “extra boost”. The cars are slow. They sound like glorified golf carts when they buzz by, literally. Complain all you want about the current Formula 1 hybrid V6, but you hear Formula E car whizzing by at a blistering 120 mph sounding like like the worlds angriest set of hair clippers, you’ll appreciate those V6’s a lot more. The product just isn’t good, bottom line. So what does it mean when series like F1, Indycar, NASCAR and V8 Supercars can’t attract new factory efforts, but FE can’t keep them out? Good question, for someone a lot smarter than.
For the layman it would seem that factories don’t care about racing at all, really. That motorsport, from a design and development stand point, in order to be justifiable to stockholders has to be “relevant”. Which has always been the case, we get that too. And as much as true, petrol heads hate FE, it is the future. Governments will make it so. Even though there is countless research to suggest that making an electric car and battery is just slightly, if not equally damaging to earth and it’s atmosphere. Just in different ways. That being a different argument, for a different day for a different blog. But I digress.
Personally, I hate it. I hate that there is a time in my life time that Porsche would opt out of the top class of sports car racing, to go build R/C cars. I hate that more than likely my daughters or grand kids will look at screaming V12’s, rumbling V8’s and singing V6’s the way we look at steam engines and horse drawn wagons. It would seem to me that at the end of the day motorsports, like other stick and ball sports, should be the one sanctuary. The one place to watch someone do something that 99% of us could only dream of being able to do. And it’s beginning to look like there may come a time where governments or manufactures no longer deem it necessary to hold such events. Due to emissions, cost or whatever tree hugging, bureaucratic bull shit they wanna tell us next.
I will leave you with this thought: Porsche, a company built for and by sports car racing, left the top form of the sport to enter a series that has been around for 3 years. Porsche was built by sports car racing like Ferrari was built by Formula 1. That’s how entrenched Porsche is, in the category of the sport. And they decided that the hybrid, V4, KERS based technology they were developing through LMP1 and Le Mans victories, was not relevant enough. Or at least someone within the Volkswagen Corp. did. It’s been a sad day for German motoring. A sad week, for that matter. It’s the sign of the future, and I don’t know if it’s something I even want to be apart of. Steve McQueen must be rolling over in his grave.
Thanks for reading guys. Please, like, share, comment. What’s your opinion on electric race cars, future tech in racing and the direction of the sport? Let me know! As always, this is all just for fun. Just a guy with a laptop and some free time.