FROM FE SAVIOUR TO SCAL­ING NEW HEIGHTS IN BUSI­NESS

Autosport (UK) - - CONTENTS - JAMES NEW­BOLD EN­GI­NEER­ING ED­I­TOR james.new­[email protected] @james_new­bold

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.

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