FE chief Reigle reveals Gen4 talking points; joins Griiip board

Formula E CEO Jamie Reigle says the championship has discussed opening up battery technology, all-wheel drive systems and custom bodywork in its Monaco talks over the "Gen4" rules cycle.

Edoardo Mortara, Venturi Racing, Silver Arrow 02, Stoffel Vandoorne, Mercedes-Benz EQ, EQ Silver Arrow 02, Robin Frijns, Envision Racing, Audi e-tron FE07, at the start

In a call in which Reigle announced he had joined the board at Griiip, a motorsport technology company developing analysis and data collection tools, he explained that his "primary responsibility will be working with Tamir Plachinsky, the founder, and his team just on helping guide him through the opportunities and how to go out to the market, and serve as a bit of a counsel for him as a CEO."

Griiip currently works with DTM, providing in-race graphics using its data tools.

Following the launch of the championship's new Gen3 car at the Monaco Yacht Club, which will debut in the 2022-23 season, a number of manufacturers inside and outside of Formula E held talks about future directions for the championship following the third-generation rules.

Reigle says that the manufacturers involved have shared a consensus over most of the talking points for the championship's future direction.

He added that any change in the technology would have to be approached with an attractive cost cap figure to ensure that manufacturers can continue to be involved without spending becoming out of control.

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"What we did in Monaco was the, I don't like calling it the Gen4 session, but it was [discussing the] future of electric mobility, future of Formula E," Reigle told Autosport.

"And the idea really, was to try to narrow the conversation around the technical development scope, because we wanted to hear from the manufacturers about what's important to them.

Formula E new Gen3 car launch in Monaco

Formula E new Gen3 car launch in Monaco

Photo by: Simon Galloway / Motorsport Images

"We have views ourselves, and it's our job ultimately to balance requirements of manufacturers against the sporting proposition and against the fan proposition. In simple terms, everyone wants the same thing, right? They want great sport, and they want more fans.

"We also had a number of manufacturers not in the championship, who came [to the Monaco meeting] and then beyond that, we had a number of manufacturers who didn't come to Monaco, who still said, 'we want to have a conversation with you about your roadmap'.

"I don't think everyone expects all of their ideas to fit into the programme, but it's about making sure they're heard, making sure that that reflects a collective discussion.

"We're seeing interest in that cycle of - I'll call it Gen4 - 2026 onward, saying, 'what is the scope of development, and how could we participate?'

"Once we have the cost cap in place, then we can have a very rational discussion with the manufacturers about what's important."

Reigle explained that the discussions helped to isolate some of the manufacturers' more pressing desires for the future of the championship beyond Gen3, and has identified three areas with the most "momentum" - including opening up battery technology.

Porsche Motorsport director Thomas Laudenbach had previously stated that the manufacturer wished for Formula E battery technology to be opened up in some capacity, although NIO 333 technical chief Duncan Laycock warned that doing so could create a larger gulf between teams.

However, Reigle counters that the battery could theoretically only be opened up a small amount, either in offering a further range of suppliers or in the energy management systems used.

Formula E launched the Gen3 car in Monaco

Formula E launched the Gen3 car in Monaco

Photo by: Simon Galloway / Motorsport Images

"The three areas I think where there's most momentum, and I wouldn't say consensus, but sort of common interest is the battery, powertrain and aero," he added.

"I'm not an engineer, but it's not necessarily the whole battery - it could be like the energy management system. So there's the battery, front powertrain and whether we should be all-wheel drive. All-wheel drive all the time, or all-wheel drive some of the time.

"So certainly front axle propulsion, and then bodywork. But no one wants to get into a windtunnel aero game, but if you have aero tolerances the idea of a Porsche looking different than a Jaguar I think is something that could be interesting."

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