GEN3 Evo EXPLAINED: Xavier Mestelan Pinon, FIA Chief Technical and Safety Officer

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GEN3 Evo EXPLAINED: Xavier Mestelan Pinon, FIA Chief Technical and Safety Officer

After the reveal of the new GEN3 Evo in Monaco last week, Formula E sat down with Xavier Mestelan Pinon, the FIA Chief Technical and Safety Officer, to understand all the new and exciting developments from this special single-seater.


What are the biggest technical changes?

For the GEN3 Evo, we have three main changes. First of all, the body work. To improve the design we had to have a new design, but it’s also very important for us to improve the drag of the car. Drag means efficiency. This is the first main topic. 

The second one is tyres. We developed with Hankook a new tyre with better grip to improve the performance. We have improved the grid by six to seven percent, so it's a big one. 

Lastly is capabilities to use the front axle on traction and throttle. That means that the car will be a full all-wheel drive car, especially during the Qualifying Duels on ATTACK MODE, but also during the starts. 

What will all-wheel drive mean for the drivers?

It will be a little bit easier for them to manage the throttle after the ATTACK MODEs. I know that for the engineers, it will be a new challenge for them. The car will be quicker in a straight line because of the exit, so the braking will also be more challenging for the driver because of the high-speed. I'm pretty sure that the show will be better because of those individual changes.

What aerodynamic changes have been made? 

When you see the car, you can see it. To summarise, we modified all the front and upper back of the cars too. Again, the clear goal here is to reduce the drag. As a motorsport fan, I love the new design. 

How complex is the car underneath the bodywork? 

For us, it is just something that we need to take care of in addition to all the other technical specifications. When you define a new technical product, you need to know what the target is in terms of weight or in terms of stress. So this is just something that you need to take into consideration also in addition to all the other parts. 

What does each supplier contribute to the GEN3 Evo?

So regarding the body worker, we work with Spark. On tyres we developed the new tire with our current supplier Hankook, and we massively improved the amount of recycled raw material by 10%. So this is a good improvement! 

Regarding the all-wheel drive capability, this is something we manage also with Spark. It is the same hardware for the front powertrain, we only change the software. 

The transfer of technology from racetrack to roads – how important is that for the FIA?

On this point, which is clearly very important, it’s to offer the manufacturers and teams the possibility to use Formula E as the best showcase and develop their image and technology.


L-R: Marek Nawarecki (FIA Circuit Sport Director), Bruno Correia (Formula E Test Driver), Xavier Mestelan Pinon (FIA Chief Technical and Safety Officer) and Jeff Dodds (Formula E CEO) at Change. Accelerated. Live


How important is the relationship and partnership between Formula E and the FIA?

When we launched Formula E 10 years ago now, it was clearly a massive challenge. A massive challenge for the promoter, but for us also as a FIA. Because even if it's motorsport, it was something more than the usual motorsport. So everything has to be redesigned for this kind of series. Very nice, very interesting, and very challenging. 

How proud are you to be involved in these projects?

I'm leading a big group because as Technical and Safety Officer, I'm managing a lot of series. But of course, I put a big focus on Formula E because this is clearly for us, one of the biggest series for the FIA, but I have a dedicated team working on the electronic side, chassis side, engine side.