Three-time winner of the 24 Hours of Le Mans, Allan McNish spoke at the Autosport International Show, discussing a range of topics from the world of Formula E, to Audi’s upcoming involvement in Formula One.
As the former Audi team principal in Formula E McNish was, asked his thoughts on the upcoming Formula E season just a matter of hours before the opening race of the season in Mexico City.
“From what I’ve seen so far from Qualifying, or practice and things in Mexico, is that it is kinda anyone’s game.”
“I don’t think there’s somebody that’s saying yeah we’ve definitely got this right, but what you are going to say is a lot of progress will to relax you, because the driving standard there, and let’s talk about the quality of the driving standards, it’s very very high.”
McNish then gave his thoughts on McLaren Formula driver, and one of his own former drivers Rene Rast.
“New drivers as well, one of them Rene Rast who was with us, and he was my driver at the end of 2021, so Rene’s got a point to prove, so I’m Quite looking forward to seeing how he gets on,”
McNish then went on to talk about his interest in the new teams that have joined Formula E like Maserati.
“I’m looking forward to seeing how Venturi now called Maserati because they are about 100 meters away from where I live, and so they’re the local boys, on the way to see how they can be beaten.”
McNish famously known to be part of the Audi Organisation gave his thoughts on Audi’s 2026 entry into Formula 1 and why he thinks they decided to enter the pinnacle of motorsport.
“2026 is because it’s the new regulation change for the power unit, in fact, there is a few key factors one is that there is a big increase in Electrification, so there is a lot more electric power from the hybrid system, it’s about three times of what it is today, and it’s nearly equal with the internal combustion engine.
“Second thing is sustainable fuel and that’s very road relevant because from an Audi point of view as it happens, as it has been with as it has been with every single motorsport program dating back to rally in the Quattro, TFSI direct injection at Le Mans, but the development of the technology in the most extreme circumstances, they all have road evidence, and so sustainable fuels is going to be a part of it,
“One other thing is a general way that Formula 1 is moving forward, Personally I think it’s in a positive way, living day to day, and the other thing is that part of that is the cost caps because now you can actually realize where you are going to be, and not just because it is only three years before Audi starts in F1, but where your going to be for the next eight years, and predict that, whereas previously it was a little bit more tricky,
“Toyota times when I was racing for them, you know it was biggest budget wins, and that’s not going to necessarily be the case in the future, and so think it is an interesting time, really 2026 is because of the regulations, it requires that time period to build it up, it’s not something you can switch on overnight, to develop the systems, under the regulations all the power unit manufactures, have already started for 26 and that’s what 13 months away from the first race.”