BMW have officially launched their 2018-19 Challenger in Munich, announcing a new driver line-up and big ambitions.
Antonio Felix da Costa will stay on for another season, but will be joined by BMW works driver and 2008 McLaren Autosport BRDC Award winner Alexander Simms.
After dipping their to in the Formula E scene with Andretti Motorsport, the team can now claim to be a fully-fledged manufacturer outfit, running under the name BMW i Andretti Motorsport.
The Formula E project is a big step for BMW, as it will be the German manufacturer’s first foray where both their motor sport arm is integrated with their electric division – BMW i.
Member of the Board of Management of BMW AG, Development and Motorsport, Klaus Fröhlich believes the collaboration is integral to pushing the potential of technology transfer.
“Formula E is not only an innovative and spectacular race series that has established itself as one of the top race series in the world with a totally new approach to sustainability and events within just a few years”, said Fröhlich at the launch.
“For BMW, it is also the perfect test lab for production development. The technology transfer between motorsport and series production is intense. Our experience from series production benefits the drivetrain of the race car.”
However BMW Motorsport Director Jens Marquardt emphasised the need to prioritise the performance of their race department, having finished at the bottom of the team standings this season.
“We told the production engineers designing the electric motor and inverter [and to’ forget about all the considerations you would usually have in development, and just think about performance”, said Marquardt.
“When we’ve reached that point, you can think about how to integrate that into series production later on”.
Images: BMW Motorsport
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