Formula E: Spare parts supply improved, restrictions remain: "We cannot plan freely".
Spare parts supply has been Formula E's Achilles' heel in the Gen3 era so far: The disruption of global logistics chains due to pandemics and the Russian war of aggression in Ukraine caused problems for several suppliers, including chassis manufacturer Spark and battery supplier Williams Advanced Engineering. Currently, the situation is improving, but the issue is still not completely off the table..
"The situation is tense, quite clearly," describes Florian Modlinger, overall project manager Formula E at Porsche, in a media round, which also attended 'e-Formel.de'. "We are also limited on the manufacturer side in our testing. We can't plan freely because we have restrictions due to the battery and spare parts."
"In Valencia, it has not yet looked so rosy in terms of spare parts," confirms ABT Cupra team boss Thomas Biermaier, but placates: "But so far no car has stopped because there were no spare parts."
"In Formula E, a lot of accidents happen because there are no run-off zones," Biermaier continues. "So you need more spare parts than in other racing series. But it's getting better and better: especially in the European races, it's much easier for Spark to supply spare parts."
Cost cap "definitely a risk"according to Modlinger.
Since some teams were careful not to break anything during preseason testing, there are rumors in the paddock that some teams may also run significantly fewer laps than would be possible at Monday's rookie test. However, a lack of spare parts would be just one possible reason for such a decision.
"One is the spare parts situation, the other is the cost cap," Modlinger described when asked by 'e-Formel.de'. "We have a cost cap as a team, and we also plan for damage in the process. However, when the cost cap was installed, a rookie test in this form, as we have it in Berlin, was not planned at all. That means this test is now on top of it."
"Everyone has to realize that the parts that are available and that we have in racing are at risk of being damaged," he continues. "For that, I need a spare part (in case of damage), and I have to spend money on that, which is included in the cost cap. That's definitely a risk."
However, this problem is also known to those responsible at the FIA and Formula E, who are working on a solution. "There are currently discussions in the background as to whether or not the test is really included under the cost cap," Modlinger said. The rookie test will take place on Monday, April 24, in Berlin. We will be live on site and will provide you - as usual - with all the info.