Jaguar’s long-term future in Formula E has been officially acknowledged after parent company Jaguar Land Rover confirmed a Gen3 programme that will continue to include Williams Advanced Engineering as technical partner.
The long-expected news comes on the eve of the British based, Indian owned company’s home races at the London E-Prix this weekend.
Full confirmation that Jaguar will race on in Formula E into 2023 and beyond comes after similar commitments from Mahindra, Porsche, Nissan, DS and NIO333.
Dragon Penske Autosport and Mercedes have not yet formally confirmed their intentions but are expected to do so in the coming weeks. Both have registered for the new rules set.
Mercedes is waiting on the outcome of a high-level Daimler decision, while Dragon will partner with Bosch, with the German company already working on the 2022/23 powertrain.
Jaguar was the first manufacturer to enter a factory team in Formula E, announcing its plans in December 2015 after acquiring the licence vacated by the disbanded Trulli Formula E team.
Ever-present Jaguar Formula E driver Mitch Evans scored a first pole position at the 2018 Zurich E-Prix and then the first victory at the 2019 Rome E-Prix.
Current championship leader Sam Bird’s brace of wins at the Diriyah E-Prix and last time out at New York City mean Jaguar has scored four wins since it first entered the all-electric championship at the 2016 Hong Kong E-Prix.
The Big Cat had already registered for the new rules set at the beginning of March but didn’t go as far as confirming a full multi-year programme until now.
That was because board decisions aligning the programme with Jaguar Land Rover’s all-electric future – which it outlined as its ‘Reimagine strategy’ – had to be signed-off.
The new strategy includes an objective to ‘achieve zero tailpipe emissions by 2036, and net zero status across supply chain, operators, and products by 2039,’ according to Jaguar.
JLR CEO Thierry Bollore, who announced the aggressive all-electric plans for the company earlier this year, described the new Gen3 era as “an exciting new chapter for the all-electric world championship” and suggested Formula E was “the perfect environment to design, collaborate, test and develop new sustainable technologies at pace.”
“Jaguar Racing will not only play a role in the renaissance of Jaguar as a pure-electric luxury brand, but across the entire electrified Jaguar Land Rover ecosystem, helping to deliver our sustainable future and our digital transformation,” added Bollore.
Jaguar also confirmed a continuation of its partnership with Williams Advanced Engineering (WAE), as lead technical partner for the programme.
The Jaguar Racing Formula E team has an operational and technical base at the Williams factory in Grove, UK and has also recently expanded in having a semi-permanent facility at nearby Abingdon airfield in Oxfordshire, which is used as a test track.
WAE will also provide the spec battery system for the Gen3 cars, reprising the deal that it had for the first generation of Formula E between 2014 and 2018.
Some rival manufacturers continue to ask questions about the prospect of Jaguar and WAE keeping the race team programme and the battery supply deal completely separate projects.
Craig Wilson acts as race director of Jaguar Racing and managing director of WAE.
He told The Race last year that he believed rivals were “very comfortable” about how the due diligence of the tender procedures were conducted.
WAE is known to have put in place strong confidentiality systems to ensure data is kept apart.
The Jaguar Racing team says it is very clearly separated from the rest of the WAE business both physically and electronically. The two businesses are believed to have separate data systems that ensure it is not possible for one to access the other’s information.
Jaguar is expected to confirm that it will retain an unchanged driver line-up for the 2022 season shortly after the end of the present campaign next month.
Bird is part way through a multi-year contract with Jaguar Racing, while Evans is expected to sign an extension to his deal shortly despite having been a target for rival teams.
This would ensure the team has continuity heading towards Gen3, which will begin development testing in the late spring of 2022.
Jaguar is also expanding its pool of drivers for the future too. It has in recent months confirmed roles for both Sacha Fenestraz and Tom Dillmann, while a formal young driver programme is believed to be a potential initiative for the future.