Alpine exploring Formula E entry in partnership with Lotus
Alpine is reportedly considering an involvement in Formula E in the future, an endeavour the French brand would undertake alongside its road-car partner Lotus Cars.
Alpine, Renault’s new revamped upper-end brand, and Lotus announced on Thursday the signing of a memorandum of understanding by which the two companies will “study a number of areas of cooperation”.
At the forefront of the two partners’ future collaboration will be the development of a next generation electric sports car. But the tie-up is also evaluating a joint venture into the racing world, with programs in Formula E and in the WEC set to be considered.
“Together we are exploring potential motorsport opportunities,” a Lotus spokesperson told website Motorspport.com.
“Lotus obviously has a rich motorsport history and a track record of success at the highest levels and Renault and Alpine are experts in Formula E, Formula 1, endurance racing and more.
“This could lead to some very interesting opportunities but at this stage it is simply exploration.”
As a reminder, Renault already enjoys an indirect presence in Formula E through its affiliate, Nissan e.dams which recently renewed its commitment to
The planned departures at the end of this year’s FE campaign of BMW and Audi have put the all-electric series’ management on the lookout for new manufacturers, although BMW partner Andretti Autosport will remain the owner of its franchise.
Read also: McLaren signs option to compete in Formula E from 2022
Formula E chief executive Jamie Reigle, speaking to Motorsport.com, expressed his confidence in seeing fresh manufacturer blood join the series in the future.
“We feel really good about replacing the Audi entry – we’ve had a lot of interest in that team model,” Reigle said.
“Then you have the question of new manufacturers coming in. Without giving a name, we have one who we spoke to just before Christmas.
“There’s a list of large automotive manufacturers who are at various stages of their shift to electric and for us we still think the proposition [of FE] is really compelling as it relates to research and development, also testing yourself against the best in competition. Then you have the marketing proposition.”
Beyond the manufacturer realm, McLaren Racing announced on Monday that it had signed an option to enter the FIA Formula E World Championship’s 2022/23 season.
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