BMW will not be tempted back to Formula One for the first time since 2009 by the new regulations or the budget cap.
Following on from a maiden campaign in ABB Formula E which yielded just one victory, the BMW i Andretti Motorsport team have won two of the first three races in the 2019/20 season.
While Formula One has struggled to entice manufacturers to join the paddock - Mercedes, Ferrari, Alfa Romeo and Renault currently the only manufacturers on the grid - Formula E is in rude health as the climate crisis continues to point to a future away from internal combustion engines; a future being avoided for as long as possible by Formula One but one that is being embraced by it's electric counterpart.
For the 2018/19 Formula E season (Season 5), BMW and Nissan entered the electric racing series while Mercedes, ahead of a Season 6 entry, worked alongside HWA Racelab.
As well as seeing Mercedes join with a full manufacturer effort for Season 6, Porsche also joined the fray.
With Mercedes yet to confirm their Formula One entry for 2021 onwards, BMW Motorsport Director Jens Marquardt told Auto Bild, “The V6 turbo hybrid has nothing to do with what we do in [road] car production.
“From an engineering perspective, I say hats off to what they do in Formula 1, but the technology has no relevance to the road.”
This translation of technology from Formula One into road cars is often what has driven manufacturers to enter the category but, if BMW are now dismissing F1 as a relevant proving ground, how long will others continue to see the merits of spending vast sums of money, even with the budget cap, on irrelevant technology?
Honda reentered Formula One in 2015 with McLaren and endured several years of ridicule before hitting the front with Red Bull in 2019.
The engine regulations are set to change for 2025, but it remains unlikely that Formula One would completely embrace electric power. If what BMW say is indicative of the changing trend in the automotive industry however, it could just be that Formula One will have no choice but to go electric.
Formula is only irrelevant if you can't win. Sounds like sour grapes, BMW.
Funnily enough, BMWs electric road cars are largely irrelevant also.
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