FROM FE SAVIOUR TO SCALING NEW HEIGHTS IN BUSINESS
Never an organisation to do things by halves, ABB FIA Formula E has forged a brave new path with its Gen2 challenger, which has changed popular perceptions about what a single-seater racing car should look like.
After an entertaining opening race of the season at the new Ad Diriyah E-prix in Saudi Arabia last month, we’ll get a direct comparison between new and old this weekend in Marakech, when the new car takes to a circuit where FE has been before.
Amid this sea of optimism, it’s easy to forget that the championship faced the very real prospect that it would be halted in its infancy without a functioning battery. As series founder Alejandro Agag now admits, FE was in real trouble in 2013.
Step forward Williams Advanced Engineering, an offshoot of the Formula 1 team that has now established itself in its own right as a leading proponent of motorsport-inspired technology in diverse engineering sectors.
As WAE boss Craig Wilson tells Alex Kalinauckas in this issue’s cover feature, while it may have lost the battery supply tender for FE’S Gen2 car, the business is continuing to go from strength to strength, with its growing portfolio of projects – many of which have nothing to do with motorsport – showing the enduring appeal of a proven track record in motorsport. Read about the full extent of WAE’S activities on page 14.
On the subject of Williams, F1 team boss Claire Williams recently revealed that the flaws with her team’s FW41 were so considerable that even tripling its budget would not have done much to improve its dire 2018 season, underlining the challenge involved in creating a competitive car for a fraction of the budget of the works teams.
As well as celebrating the last F1 car to be produced on a shoestring, the 2012 HRT F112 (page 24), we’ve gleaned from a host of experienced engineers involved in budget F1 projects from the past 30 years the key traits they shared (page 20).
We also meet Indycar’s head of aero
Tino Belli, who lent his design talents to the struggling Fondmetal and Larrousse teams between successful stints in Indycar that yielded stacks of wins and titles. Don’t miss his top career tips on page 34.