How to drive the new Gen3 car

The look of Formula E’s new Gen3 car has received criticism from both fans and drivers. Now Formula E development driver Benoit Treluyer spoke for the first time about the handling of Gen3. The two-time Le Mans winner was instrumental in the development and tuning of each generation of Formula E and knows the differences between the different vehicles like no other.

“Gen2 was a good step. The car had more power, no comparison with Gen1. The greater battery capacity and driving characteristics were good. But it was not a big step in terms of driving characteristics, it was primarily about performance and design. Gen3 is it for me bigger steps, “said longtime Audi Work driver Treluyer in an interview on the Formula E website.

The big step is already noticeable on paper. From a maximum of 250 kW (339 hp) of the Gen2 car, Formula E jumps with Gen3 to a maximum of 350 kW (475 hp). However, full power is only released in the qualifier, during attack mode and during fanboost. In normal racing, the 780-kilo car – the minimum weight once specified by the FIA ​​- will still be on the road with 300 kW (407 hp).

New aerodynamics more complex than ever.  -
New aerodynamics more complex than ever. –Photo: Formula E

Formula E Gen3: No decoration – everything gives performance

The extreme acceleration of Gen3 is rounded off by sophisticated aerodynamics. In the still young past of the electric racing series, the aerodynamics left much to be desired and were still below the level of a Formula 3 car. It was often given the impression that Formula E was primarily a contact sport. The add-ons for Gen1 and Gen2 were regularly distributed on the street circuits of this world. Reason for this: The performance of the vehicles was not significantly impaired due to the loss of carbon. This is to be completed in 2023.

“The downforce works very well. You could really feel what was missing when we tested without certain parts. Without these parts the balance got worse and not having everything on the car definitely affects the performance … With the Gen2 cars lost a couple “parts did not make the big difference in terms of performance and balance. Now it becomes essential for the riders to have a clean race,” the Frenchman explained.

Formula E Gen3: This is how racing will change

So Gen2 ‘bumper car racing’ may soon be a thing of the past. The current lap times will also be yesterday’s news. According to Treluyer, the new cars should be two to five seconds faster per. lap. Provided the teams find the best possible set-up for their drivers.

With Gen3, Formula E also does without hydraulic brakes on the rear axle for the first time. Instead, another electric motor on the front axle takes over the negative acceleration for the first time. However, this unit motor may only be used to recover energy. The new braking technology and the better center of gravity should significantly change the driving experience.

Technology revolution: no hydraulic brakes on the rear axle.  -
Technology revolution: no hydraulic brakes on the rear axle. –Photo: Envision

“You can play with the software to balance the feel of the brakes. It gives the driver more options and it definitely tries unique things with the brake – more direct braking and more braking power in certain turns for example,” said Treluyer.

Faster lap times of course also mean greater forces on the driver: “It also becomes more physically demanding for the drivers, I noticed this while driving. The steering is heavier and you feel the grip. When you drive more than 40 minutes on a street circuit, where you are almost can not breathe: You brake, steer, brake, steer, accelerate. With this grip in the car, the drivers definitely have to go to the gym! ”

Treluyer’s experiences give hope for an exciting new race. Incidentally: In future, performance updates will be carried out directly via the software – as in many road vehicles. Before the teams start with the first Gen3 test runs, the next race of the 2022 season will start on 14 May 2022. The Gen2 cars will start during the season six and seven at the closed Berlin-Tempelhof Airport.

Leave a Comment