BMW launched their Season 5 FormulaE Generation 2 car on the 14th September at their Welt facilities and the event was also streamed live. Following the technical presentation, the Head of Design BMW Motorsport, Michael Scully, described the design aspects of the car – outlining the asymmetric design of their car and that the close proximity of FormulaE spectators to the cars racing on city streets meant BMW started their design by considering the top view of the cars.

Michael and his colleague Rudolf Dittrich (General Manager, BMW Motorsport Vehicle Development), expanded on the BMW iFE.18’s design features to GridPasses – full interview available on PaddockMagazine shortly. Excerpts included below.

Michael Scully & BMW iFE.18 (image from BMW Press)

Did the introduction of halo safety device in Season 5 i.e. on Gen2 present any design challenges compared to first generation car design?

Having seen the other FormulaE liveries during the pre-season test, whose designs (apart from yours) do you rate highly?

MS: From a design perspective we found two challenges with the halo: minimizing its impact on the drivers’ field of vision, and maintaining recognizability of the drivers’ helmet for outside the car. Our solution to both of these issues was to make the halo matte black as with the rest of the cockpit: first for the reduction of glare, and second to make it easier and less distracting for fans to see the drivers’ signature helmet designs under the halo. If we had implemented blue and/or white on the halo for example, both of these aspects would have suffered.

I’m a believer in strong, bold racing liveries that are high in contrast, carry a clear identity, and are easy to recognize at speed. The urban context of FormulaE presents some unique challenges from a livery design standpoint: most notably spectators and media cameras are often closer to the track, and higher than on more traditional permanent road racing circuits: that’s the reason we began our design process looking at the top view of the car. – I’ll reserve judgement on which livery is the most successful until seeing the cars run in their native habitat: the city streets!

Season 5 of the FIA FormulaE Championship with 22 Generation2 cars, commences on 15th of December in Ad Diriyah, Saudi Arabia. BMW i Andretti Motorsport drivers are #28 Antonio Felix da Costa and #27 Alexander Sims.