Mercedes Formula E project now benefit to F1 after initial "strain"

Adam Cooper
·2-min read
Mercedes FE project now benefit to F1 after
Mercedes FE project now benefit to F1 after

Mercedes High Performance Powertrains boss Andy Cowell says the company's Formula 1 programme is now benefitting from its Formula E involvement, even though running parallel programmes was initially "a strain".

The manufacturer announced in July 2017 that it would enter Formula E for the 2019-2020 season, and the powertrain used by Mercedes' FE cars has been developed alongside the F1 engine at HPP's Brixworth base.

Cowell said lessons learned from the FE development have already benefited Mercedes' six-time title-double-winning F1 programme.

"Formula E is a fascinating championship with the electric machine as the only device propelling the car," said Cowell.

"The efficiencies of that electric machine, the inverter and all the control systems are paramount, and the torque accuracy delivery is crucial.

"Some of the development learning there has now fed back into F1, so from Melbourne this year, our F1 hybrid system will benefit from our Formula E development work.

"We've also made some manufacturing improvements that originate in the FE programme.

"We manufacture our own electric machines and some of the techniques developed for Formula E are being applied to the F1 electric machines this year as well.

"This is exciting to see; in the past, we've seen gains from the Project One [hypercar] development feed back into F1, now we are also seeing Formula E engineering and manufacturing technology feeding back into F1."

Mercedes FE project now benefit to F1 after
Mercedes FE project now benefit to F1 after

Cowell conceded, however, that splitting personnel between the two projects was difficult at first.

"Having two highly competitive series to do engineering work on is initially a strain, because it takes a period of time to find the right people for the new series," he said.

"Some of those people have transferred from the F1 team, some have been recruited from outside.

"However, I think overall it is a benefit because it provides opportunities for careers to flourish on new technology, on a new series and now we are seeing the ideas flow between both.

"Both powertrains will benefit as a consequence."

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