Formula E is pretty much the least expensive way to get an FIA World Championship, and it’s about to get a good bit cheaper to run. In the wake of three major manufacturers announcing departures from the sport, the series is getting serious about cracking down on costs. Current estimates, according to Motorsport.com, place team budgets around 40 million Euros per season. The new rules would cut that down to a third of current. Teams are expected to race around the world in electric open-wheel machines for just 13 million Euros.
The Gen3 chassis and rule set will come into effect next October, and many constructors are already developing their new 470-horsepower drivetrains for that eventuality. For seasons taking place between 2022 and 2024 teams will be given an upper limit of just 13 million Euros (around 14.7 million dollars), and that will expand to 15 million Euros in the 2024-25 season. Critically, however, the extra two million Euro expansion will force teams to include driver salaries, and likely an introduction of a facelift to the car, dubbed Gen3.5 Evo.
That cost cap is for the operations of the teams. Obviously if your team is also developing its own powertrain, as Porsche, Nissan, Jaguar, DS, and Mahindra do, your costs will be higher. Powertrain manufacturers must operate with a limit of 25 million euros over two consecutive seasons, which is meant to cover research and development. That seems absurdly low, but we’ll see how it plays out.
Championship chief executive officer Jamie Reigle:
“Over the past 18 months, we have worked closely with the FIA and all participants in the FIA Formula E World Championship to create a regulatory framework that will underpin the long-term financial sustainability for all participants in Formula E.
“When combined with recent enhancements to our technical regulations and sporting formats, this financial system will strengthen Formula E’s value proposition.
“In partnership with the FIA, we have created a framework which places long-term financial success at the core of the championship which will support our existing teams and manufacturers while attracting new competitors and investment.
“The financial regulations are designed to complement our ambitious technical roadmap and enable manufacturers in Formula E to showcase the potential for electric vehicles in the most demanding racing conditions: the FIA Formula E World Championship.
“The shift to electric vehicles is accelerating, Gen3 will set the standard for performance and efficiency. There is no turning back.”
Formula E has previously introduced some cost-saving rules in the face of the global pandemic. My personal favorite is that each car is only allowed six tires per race weekend. That’s not six sets, that’s six tires; three fronts and three rears. That’s so cool.