9.12.14 (via Autoweek.com
) – Formula E’s much-anticipated season begins Saturday in Beijing — you can watch it live on Saturday, Sept. 13 at 3:30 a.m. ET exclusively on Fox Sports 1 and Fox Sports Go, with a replay airing Sunday, Sept. 14 at 1 p.m. ET — and there is much to discuss and dissect. There will be 10 teams with two cars each on the grid, with Andretti Autosport considered the early favorite given its experience with street racing, especially in the Verizon IndyCar Series.
Andretti Autosport general manager Kyle Moyer sat down with us this week to discuss some of the new, all-electric race-car series’ key points.
Autoweek: There are so many unknowns about Formula E, but it appears it will hit the ground running this week in China. What’s your take on it?
Kyle Moyer: I give it to Formula E because every target has been made. They said the first car would be delivered here, the second car here, the first test here, the first race simulations here, when we’ll load up here, everything. From all the series we’ve been in, including A1GP, this is professional. The sky’s the limit.
AW: Give us a sense of the budget that’s required.
KM: You’re not restricted, but there’s X amount you can spend because the car’s spec and you can’t [modify] much. You’re limited to 13 guys working on the car, but I’ve been against that because you have to pay them a lot of money because they have to be really good; they have to do multiple jobs to cover a lot of bases.
The car budget is basically maintenance, running [the car] and travel. Where does the budget go next year? Motors will be open [for development]. In the third year, batteries are open for development. If you get manufacturers in here — Honda, Nissan, Volkswagen — that’s where the money will be, and that’s where the money should be.
AW: So what are we talking for a car?
KW: About $350,000 fully kitted. An IndyCar is about $550,000.
AW: Even though Formula One cars feature lots of hybrid technology and energy-recovery systems, Formula E actually looks like it will more resemble IndyCar than Formula One. Is that a fair assessment?
KM: They’ve taken a page out of IndyCar and not Formula One. In a lot of the meetings, it’s “IndyCar has done this, IndyCar has done that, let’s do that.” There’s not a lot of talk about how it’s done in Formula One, and that’s a good thing. Have a spec car, but open up the things that actually get paid for. There are cost constraints. This is not going to be F1; they don’t want it to be F1. They just want it to have the appearance of F1. They want the teams and the series to look professional, and I think it will.