Back in the workshops the Formula E constructors are working hard to get their season 3 car ready. After ABT Schaeffler announced they passed the FIA crash test, also Venturi made public that their VM200 FE-02 machine made this important step.
Louis-Marie Blondel is in charge of the development of this next stage at Venturi Automobiles. “We had to get the FIA approval for the entire rear part of the vehicle structure that we have significantly evolved. It was important to measure the crash box absorption capacity in case of accident. The crash box is supporting the rear wing of the car.”
“The car was thrown against a wall to see how the crash box was deformed without impacting the rest of the vehicle. It is important for driver safety, but it is also to protect the car. All vital organs of the car are stored in the rear: the gearbox, the motor and the battery. Protecting these avoids high replacement costs. What is also important is that the FIA regulations limit us in the changes of these parts. You have the right to change one engine or one gear box per year. If you break too much and have to make a second change during the season you get hit with penalties.”
So these changes were essential?
“Without this approval from the FIA it was not possible to drive the car with these new upgrades. So we are satisfied at Venturi Automobiles as this is the validation of our Season 3 design and construction work. We can now bring our powertrain changes into the new architecture to perform better. It was a necessary step to finalize the development of the vehicle.”
What happens in case of failure?
“During Season 3 we would have been obliged to race with the Season 2 car. This car is very good but the technological evolution is essential to be competitive. We are also in an innovation race with the other teams. If you make no progress you lose.”