Spark to build new Formula E car, cockpit protection device likely

Spark Racing Technologies will produce the next-generation Formula E car for the 2018/19 season, when the series is likely to introduce a cockpit protection device

Spark to build new Formula E car, cockpit protection device likely

Autosport understands Spark and long-time single-seater constructor Dallara, a partnership that has supplied the FE chassis since the series' first season, have won the tender to supply the next-generation FE car.

The new chassis will be introduced as part of the championship's move to single-car races in 2018/19, and the Spark supply will run until at least the 2020/21 campaign.

One of the briefs for applicants was to submit a "futuristic" design, but Autosport has learned it also included a concept for greater driver safety.

The FIA has been evaluating cockpit protection devices such as the halo and aeroscreen to be implemented in Formula 1, with one set to be introduced for 2018.

That would allow the next FE car, which will make its race debut in late 2018, to be designed around the preferred device.

FE CEO Alejandro Agag told Autosport he expected the series to follow whatever device is utilised in F1, but it will not be rushed.

"I think safety will be the main driver of that, and will be for the FIA to decide," he said.

"I think if it's safe, it will go for cockpit protection. I think we might end up with it.

"We enjoy the fruits of the testing they are doing for Formula 1, so the FIA will look at the results and then give it to us."

Spark has defeated the likes of Japanese manufacturer Dome and French consortium TEOS Powertrain Engineering, which included engine company Mecachrome and prototype constructor ADESS, to win the chassis tender.

Official confirmation of the chassis supply is likely to come at the next meeting of the World Motor Sport Council in September, when the result of the battery tender is expected to be revealed.

Autosport understands the process has been delayed because the FIA wanted more time to evaluate the applications, and that has included sourcing independent input.

"It [moving to one car] will be a huge step, it's almost within touching distance, but we just have to wait for the FIA to make a decision," said Agag.

"We have full confidence they will make the right decision."

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