While the Spark-Renault SRT_01E was designed, built and assembled internally, it also benefitted from the expertise and skills of many world-leading motor racing companies. The first fully electric racing car had to be both fast and environmentally friendly, and available at a budget of €350,000. To ensure the success of Spark Racing Technology’s first ever project, Frédéric Vasseur gathered a unique consortium of technical partners:
• Dallara: monocoque and chassis
• Mclaren electronic systems: powertrain, electronics
• Williams advanced engineering: batteries
• Renault: system integration
The Spark-Renault SRT_01E will also be shod with bespoke Michelin 18" treaded tyres that provide optimum performance in both wet and dry conditions.
For aerodynamic studies Spark Racing Technology relied on the engineers of its partner and CFD/wind tunnel specialist, AOTECH. With FIA President Jean Todt watching on, the car was officially unveiled at the 2013 Frankfurt auto show. It attracted significant attention and positive media coverage from both specialist and mainstream outlets, with respected British daily The guardian calling it “sleek and stylish”.
Two months later, official development driver Lucas Di Grassi gave the Spark-Renault SRT_01E its track debut, completing 40 laps of the la Ferté Gaucher circuit in France. “It is a great feeling to be driving the Formula E car for the first time,” reported the former F1 racer. “All the drivers will have a lot of fun with it. There is quite a lot of grip and the electric motor produces huge torque.” Using cutting-edge technology, the zero-emission SRT_01E aims to push the boundaries of what is currently achievable in electric motorsport. While striking a balance between cost-effectiveness and sustainability, it will also rise to the challenge of racing solely on street circuits.
As with all FIA Championships, safety is paramount to Formula E. The SRT_01E will fully comply with the same 2014 FIA standards used in Formula 1, featuring carbon fibre front and rear impact structures, Diolen anti-intrusion side panels, cockpit head protection and wheel tethers. What’s more, it will undergo front, side, rear and steering column impact tests together with front and rear roll-hoop impact structure and monocoque push tests.
WHAT DO THE DRIVERS THINK OF FORMULA E?
• Jarno Trulli :
“Formula E represents a brand new challenge which is innovative and exciting. ”
• Alain Prost :
“Formula E is going to draw worldwide attention and garner support from new partners. We have definitely moved to a different level .”
• Senna :
“Formula E is the future of motor racing. ”