The outlawing of twin-MGU powertrains is a necessary step to keep Formula E costs and road relevancy in check, according to DS Performance director Xavier Mestelan Pinon.
The FIA announced on Friday that the use of two MGUs would be outlawed, beginning next season.
The move is a reaction to pressure applied by manufacturers in the wake of suspicions that Nissan e.dams’ current powertrain exploits several contentious areas of the technical regulations.
The rules change is believed to have been unanimously accepted by manufacturers through an e-vote which was conducted last month.
“I think it is a good solution [outlawing twin-MGU designs],” Mestelan Pinon told e-racing365.
“Yes it is good for engineers’ knowledge but honestly it is not necessary to be over(ly) complex and it is crucial in Formula E that we avoid costs going up year after year.
“Of course some people will say that if we start to ban some nice technologies then maybe it won’t be road relevant but on this subject we are making racing cars, we are not going to the moon!”
“In Formula 1 and WEC the technology is very high, very complicated but in the end [only] some of it can be used on passenger cars. Today, if in the future, we stop two MGUs and have only one, the architecture will be very close to what we have on passenger cars.”
Nissan’s first Formula E car, the IM01, was homologated in August and signed off by the FIA’s technical team to race in the 2018-19 season.
Once homologated the key components of the car are not allowed to be modified or changed for the duration of the season.
Nissan Rivals’ Concerns Explained
The main area of concern voiced by many manufacturers regarding the Nissan was the suspicion that it made use of a secondary energy source via the two MGUs that could have rotated at different speed.
Nissan’s rival manufacturers also questioned how the two MGUs were connected.
Another fundamental question posed was how the use of a second MGU as a type of flywheel to store and return energy was permitted, as the regulations only allow for twin MGUs to be physically connected.
One of the ways MGUs could turn at different speeds with a connection is through a clutch mechanism.
As an example, the clutch could be slipped under braking so that one MGU is being driven to provide maximum regen to the battery and the other MGU is being driven to spin up as a flywheel.
Then on acceleration out of the corner, the clutch could theoretically fully engage and the energy stored in the ‘spun up’ MGU is returned as torque.
Although unproven, this is believed to have been one area of concern for some of Nissan’s rival manufacturers.
“We rely on the FIA to be sure that all cars follow the regulations when homologated before the season. On this point I respect and trust the FIA to do this job,” explained Mestelan Pinon.
“After that it is to be sure that each manufacturer follows the rules when they use the powertrain. The way you use it on the track can follow or not the rules.
“On this point there are a lot of discussions but this is the job of the FIA to be sure everyone follows the rules.”