WAE has not made changes to its Extreme E battery, following the recent fire in its pit garage during Formula E testing in Valencia.
The company formerly known as Williams Advanced Engineering supplies batteries for both series, opening up the potential for the off-road series to be impacted by the incident.
“We do not envisage there being any impact on Extreme E and to date, no changes have been made,” WAE said when approached for comment by RACER. “As with any incident such as this, we have taken the opportunity to review safety procedures as employee safety continues to be our highest priority.”
Regarding the fire itself, WAE said “we have no more information to share,” adding that “the fault cause is still being investigated.”
The fire in the Formula E paddock on the first day of Season 10 testing was the first of its kind in Formula E, while there has never been any such event in Extreme E.
While both batteries are WAE products, they do differ. The Formula E unit is a 47 kWh battery producing 350 kW (equivalent to 469 bhp), while the Extreme E battery, which was developed with a greater focus on robustness for its use in the off-road series, is 54 kWh producing around 400 kW (equivalent to around 550 bhp).
After a day-and-a-half-long stoppage, Formula E testing concluded without further incident, and with the final two days subsequently extended, only 30 minutes of track time was lost over the course of the four-day test. Jaguar TCS racing was quickest on all days of running.
The 2023-24 Formula E season will commence at Autodromo Hermanos Rodriguez in Mexico City on January 13, with the current Extreme E season will conclude with the Copper X Prix double header in Antofagasta, Chile on December 2-3.
World RX team walks back FIA criticism
Separately, World Rallycross team Special ONE Racing says it is now “pleased” with progress being made with the investigation into a fire that destroyed both of its cars and paddock setup at the Great Britain round of that championship at Lydden Hill in July.
World RX uses a different battery supplier to Formula E and Extreme E, with Kriesel supplying batteries to all teams since the championship went electric last year.
Last month, the French team issued a statement slamming the FIA and World RX organizers for what it called a “lackluster handling of the aftermath.” But now in an apparent U-turn, the team now says it is “pleased to note that the FIA, aware of the difficulties faced by the team following the incident at Lydden Hill, is making every effort to identify the cause.
“The Special ONE Racing team, like the FIA, is awaiting the analysis reports – conducted by the battery manufacturer on samples taken after the fire – which should help to determine responsibilities,” a statement from the team said. “Special ONE Racing is also delighted that the FIA is doing everything necessary to safely continue the World Rallycross Championship next year for all teams, and hopes to be able to take part.”
The championship will conclude this weekend on the streets of Hong Kong with all teams using the Zeroid X1 car from the RX2e support class. Meanwhile, Special ONE Racing’s destroyed paddock setup, including the remains of its two Lancia Delta Evo-es, is still at Lydden Hill as the investigation continues.