Mr. Steiner, why is
Michael Steiner: Entering Formula E and the associated reorientation of
Fritz Enzinger: Yes, we will. After our third consecutive Le Mans victory, we want to defend our two championship titles as well. We’re very well positioned to do so since the one–two finish on the Nürburgring. The last race for our LMP team will be in Sakhir, Bahrain, on November 18.
What factors played a role in the decision to pull out of LMP1?
Enzinger: For one thing, we can look back on four extremely successful years. On the other hand, the conditions in the WEC have changed quite considerably in some areas since 2014. At the time, there was an impressive field of competitors. But having just two manufacturers in the class is too few in the long run. And to successfully market the WEC, we had to rely primarily on our own campaigns in terms of marketing and PR, which called for significant additional investment. Only Le Mans has the status that would justify such investments.
In the future,
Steiner: With the
What will happen to the
Steiner: The staffing requirements in Formula E are lower than in the LMP1 class. The extremely qualified personnel on the
Enzinger: That also applies to the factory drivers involved. In addition to deployments in other racing series and the intensive preparations for Formula E, further uses and development tasks are currently being examined.
Why is the entry into Formula E only planned for the end of 2019?
Steiner: The launch has been set to coincide with the technical development in Formula E and our product strategy.
Formula E is a very young championship, regarded by some as a mere trend. How do you see things?
Enzinger: Formula E addresses many of today’s important megatrends. One aspect is the use of specially designed road courses in urban centers as racing venues. So the sport comes to the spectators rather than the other way around. Audi, BMW, and Mercedes have announced their participation, and others are already in the field. To call that a mere trend would be incorrect.
Steiner: Electromobility will play a major role in the future, particularly in urban areas. The digital transformation is the driving force behind the thinking in this field. Young people are changing our mindset. What do our customers expect from our cars and from mobility in general, now and in the future? All of that played into our decision to join Formula E.
Interview Holger Eckhardt
Photos by Jürgen Tap
The international FIA racing series involves Formula vehicles powered exclusively by electric motors. Formula E has existed for three years. Races are held on circuits in cities including New York, Paris, Berlin, Hong Kong, and Buenos Aires. The series currently features ten teams, and the numbers are on the rise. In addition to