FORMULA E CHAMPIONSHIP: F1 team Williams will head up operations for Jaguar Land Rover in the Formula E series. Image: AP / Claude Paris
Paris, France - Jaguar will return to motorsport in 2016 in the Formula E Championship, the British manufacturer said on Tuesday.
Its entry into the electric-powered championship has been approved by Formula E and the International Automobile Federation (FIA).
Nick Rogers, the group engineering director for Jaguar Land Rover, said: "I am proud to announce Jaguar's return to racing with an entry into the innovative FIA Formula E championship.
"Electric vehicles will absolutely play a role in Jaguar Land Rover's future product portfolio and Formula E will give us a unique opportunity to further our development of electrification technologies."
“It is my belief that over the next five years we will see more changes in the automotive world than in the last three decades. The future is about being more connected and more sustainable; electrification and lightweight technologies are becoming more important than ever as urbanisation continues to increase. Formula E has recognised and reacted to these trends and the championship's exciting and pioneering approach is the perfect fit for our brand.”
Jaguar Land Rover employs over 8000 engineers and is the UK's largest investor in research and development across any business sector. Jaguar's Formula E team will be able to draw upon this industry leading resource with Jaguar Land Rover engineers working closely with the race operations team.
Those engineers will not only be able to apply their knowledge within the race team environment but crucially use the experience to extract data and push the boundaries of electric technology in a performance environment.
Williams Advanced Engineering will be Technical Partner to the Jaguar Formula E Team and provide extensive motorsport knowledge, combined with high performance EV Systems experience and success.
Jaguar Land Rover has a long-term relationship with Williams, who partnered with Jaguar on the development of the Jaguar C-X75 plug-in hybrid concept car. The team entry has been granted by Formula E and approved by the FédérationInternationale de l'Automobile (FIA).
Formula E - 'future of motorsport'
Alejandro Agag, chief executive officer for Formula E, said: “We are delighted to welcome Jaguar into Formula E. Jaguar is a brand with a rich sporting heritage and the fact that it is returning to global motorsport with Formula E is a huge endorsement of the championship and its ability to influence the development of electric cars.
“Jaguar brings with it a passionate fan base that will drive the popularity of the championship across the world and once again shows that Formula E is the future of motorsport.”
Jean Todt, President of the FIA, said: “The FIA is pleased to welcome Jaguar as a new manufacturer to enter the FIA Formula E Championship. We built this series to offer an alternative competition for manufacturers to step into the sport and develop road-relevant electric technologies,”
“The choice of Jaguar to come back to motor racing with Formula E is a proof of success. As it forges a path forward for the future of the electric car, Formula E managed to attract one of the most prestigious and historical brands across the automotive industry. I wish them success ahead of their arrival in 2016/2017”.
Future EV plans for Jaguar
James Barclay, Jaguar Team Director, said: “We looked in detail at alternative ways of returning to motorsport. This was such an important decision for Jaguar and we wanted to get it right. With our future EV plans, Formula E was the obvious choice and we believe that the benefits are enormous.
“The FIA and the promoter have exciting plans for the future of the championship and we are proud to be one of the first vehicle manufacturers to commit to the series with our own team. We have a lot of work to do ahead of the first race but it is a challenge we relish. We hope that we can welcome a new generation of fans to Jaguar through this exciting programme.”
History of Jaguar racing
Jaguar had a F1 team from 2000 to 2004 after buying the Stewart Racing team but it wasn't a success and was sold to Red Bull, becoming the successful Red Bull Racing team that won four straight drivers' titles through Sebastian Vettel.
Jaguar, which won the Le Mans 24-hour race five times in the 1950s and again in 1988 and 1990, has not had a presence in motorsport since 2004.