Mercedes: Final call on Gen 3 Formula E rules in "next few weeks"

Mercedes Formula E boss Ian James has explained the manufacturer’s unexpected decision to delay its Gen3 rules registration and says the “final call” is due in “the next few weeks”.

Mercedes: Final call on Gen 3 Formula E rules in "next few weeks"

Last week, the day after the soft 31 March deadline to commit to the regulation changes, Mercedes announced it would be delaying its signature for the 2022-23 to 2025-26 seasons.

Only in its second year in the championship as a works entry, Mercedes issued a statement that cited a need for clarity over “important details regarding the structure of the series”.

However, the update praised “largely positive” talks “relating to key topics such as the implementation of a cost cap” for the Gen3 rules cycle.

Mercedes team principal Ian James explained the delay, telling Autosport: “We're still in discussion at the moment with [Formula E Operations], the commercial rights holder.

“We need to get those details finalised before we can hand on heart, together with the board, give that commitment.

“Because of the length of that commitment, it's crucial all the details are absolutely right.”

This follows new financial regulations devised by the FIA, which means a manufacturer will have to continue to pay the €300,000 registration and homologation fee charged per season until the end of the rules cycle should it decide to exit early.

James added: “Quite rightly, the FIA have structured it in such a way that they're looking for commitment and stability over the duration of that generation.”

Ian James, Team Principal, Mercedes-Benz EQ

Ian James, Team Principal, Mercedes-Benz EQ

Photo by: Alastair Staley / Motorsport Images

The 31 March deadline is not absolute, allowing Mercedes plus existing and prospective manufacturers to pledge their commitment at a later date.

However, these entrants have now missed the 6 April meeting of the Formula E Technical Working Group to gain initial access to FIA data from Gen3 suppliers Spark Racing Technology, Williams Advanced Engineering and Hankook.

But James said this was not “a point of no return”.

“I'm not in a position at the moment to say whether we're more likely to stay or go.

“It's just key that we continue working and making sure that we can get those open points closed off, and then hopefully, we can move things in the right direction.

“Having said that, this isn't something that can go on for weeks and months.

“This is something, within the next few weeks, we're going to need to take a final call,” he added.

James quipped that team technical director Nick Chester, formerly of the Renault Formula 1 squad, would “probably love to kick me in the shins right now” for missing the TWG meeting.

But he clarified that: “I don't think we're in a position or will put ourselves in a position that [the delay] is going to cause any real issues should it be decided to commit and stay.”

James also said the decision to publicly announce the delay was to avoid the news “leaking out in advance of the Rome weekend”.

He continued: “It would be incredibly damaging to the series as a whole if you had two or three manufacturers committing now, only to pull out in a year or two.”

The plan for Mercedes to refine its current five-location set-up and consolidate in Brackley for next season is “still very much the right thing to do”.

shares
comments
Reigle: Formula E unlikely to fill Audi vacancy for 2021-22 season
Previous article

Reigle: Formula E unlikely to fill Audi vacancy for 2021-22 season

Next article

Jaguar latest manufacturer to commit to Formula E's Gen3 era

Jaguar latest manufacturer to commit to Formula E's Gen3 era
What Formula E needs next after saying goodbye to Gen2 Plus

What Formula E needs next after saying goodbye to Gen2

The 2021-2022 Formula E season finale brought the curtain down on the Gen2 era of the all-electric world championship. It elevated FE to new heights, fulfilling its intended directive. While it is a good launching pad for the impending Gen3 cycle, there are certain aspects the series must tackle for the new era to have the same impact as its predecessor

Formula E
Aug 16, 2022
The traits behind Vandoorne's triumphant Formula E title charge Plus

The traits behind Vandoorne's triumphant Formula E title charge

The odds were heavily stacked in Stoffel Vandoorne’s favour to capture the Formula E crown at the Seoul finale, but chief rival Mitch Evans applied maximum pressure with victory in the first race. It meant Vandoorne had to show his resolve to reproduce the key qualities he held all season to complete his march to the title

Formula E
Aug 15, 2022
Can anyone beat Stoffel Vandoorne to the Formula E title? Plus

Can anyone beat Stoffel Vandoorne to the Formula E title?

Stoffel Vandoorne is on the brink of the Formula E title with a commanding lead ahead of the Seoul finale, but both rivals and unknowns still stand in his way. Here’s a run through of what Vandoorne must overcome to clinch the championship and how his competition will look to pull off the biggest of shocks

Formula E
Aug 10, 2022
How Formula E's most underrated driver is taming his Dragon Plus

How Formula E's most underrated driver is taming his Dragon

It might not look like the most glittering of Formula E campaigns, but Dragon Penske’s youngster has caught the eye of those who count despite his future remaining unclear. Regardless of the distortion, Sergio Sette Camara has a clear vision of what he’s focused on and how to get there

Formula E
Aug 4, 2022
How Formula E's title fight gave way to Dennis and Di Grassi in the dockyards Plus

How Formula E's title fight gave way to Dennis and Di Grassi in the dockyards

The penultimate stop on Formula E's world tour took in London's ExCeL, where the championship contenders were upstaged by two first-time winners in 2022. Andretti’s Jake Dennis kept the home fires burning in the first race as Venturi’s Lucas di Grassi claimed the second, but two consistent finishes mean its advantage Stoffel Vandoorne heading to the Seoul finale

Formula E
Aug 1, 2022
The ex-F1 racer turned Venturi team boss adapting to a Formula E title fight Plus

The ex-F1 racer turned Venturi team boss adapting to a Formula E title fight

For the second year in a row, the Venturi team is in the thick of the fight for Formula E title glory with Edoardo Mortara. That's despite a change to a more meritocratic qualifying system, which was expected to give the works Mercedes team an edge, and ex-Formula 1 racer Jerome d'Ambrosio being new in the team principal hot seat. As he tells Autosport, it's a challenge he's revelling in

Formula E
Jul 26, 2022
Why Sims is quitting Formula E to become the master of his own destiny Plus

Why Sims is quitting Formula E to become the master of his own destiny

Alexander Sims’ call to give up a pukka Formula E spot after four seasons in the series may have surprised some, but after laying out his reasoning and what he hopes comes next, very few onlookers can argue against his plan

Formula E
Jul 20, 2022
How Formula E's Big Apple crunch led to Cassidy joy and heartache Plus

How Formula E's Big Apple crunch led to Cassidy joy and heartache

Nick Cassidy hadn't enjoyed too many joyful moments in the 2021-22 Formula E campaign, but the Envision Virgin driver was the class of the field in New York - even after a sudden downpour had caused him and several others to shunt heavily out of the first race. Red flags saved his bacon on that occasion, but a 30-place penalty that cost him pole for race two due to a new battery opened the door for Antonio Felix da Costa

Formula E
Jul 18, 2022