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Zak Brown

Exclusive: Brown confident Formula E issues solved after 'grave concerns'

In an exclusive chat with RacingNews365.com, McLaren CEO Zak Brown says he is confident that the battery issues in Formula E have been solved, with the problem having interrupted private testing sessions in the new Gen3 car.

McLaren boss Zak Brown feels confident that battery issues that have arisen in Formula E have been solved.

The sport is set to be the next premier motorsport category to enter a new era, as it introduces the all-new Gen3 cars for the 2022/23 season.

So far the launch of the Gen3 car has been plagued with issues, namely with the return to the single-spec battery designed by Williams Advanced Engineering.

The battery cells have been overheating, causing degradation and derating, which led to a change in design of the packaging prior to the latest test in Valencia.

McLaren Chief Executive Officer, Zak Brown, spoke positively in an exclusive interview with RacingNews365.com about the reliability shown in the pre-season test ahead of McLaren's first season in the category.

"I was pleased with testing in Valencia," said Brown.

"We showed pretty good reliability and good pace. I think we're all concerned when you have new regulations come in that are with technologies that have never been done before.

"It seems like they've gotten on top of the battery issue. I don't think it's perfect.

"But I think we had pretty grave concerns coming into Valencia, but I've gotten all the reports and sat down with [McLaren Formula E Team Principal] Ian James yesterday and I think they've taken a big step forward there, so I feel like we'll be competitive."

Rear brake problems to be addressed

One of the more striking aspects of the new Gen3 cars is how they do not need rear brakes, which sounds hazardous in a car that can accelerate up to 200mph.

The plan was for drivers to only slow down through the powerful battery regeneration systems, with a hydraulic braking system that will be used in the opening stages of a race while the battery is at 100%.

However, after testing at Valencia, a secondary system has been agreed to be added after a spate of accidents, giving drivers more confidence in being able to stop their cars.

The incidents have not been linked to one specific root cause, but Brown says they are working with Formula E to rectify the problems.

He explained: "The rear brakes, or like lack of, is an issue. We're all working on it. Fortunately, we've not had any issues.

"A couple of the same teams of have had them, so is it teams specific? Or a broader issue? But everyone's on it and recognises that it needs to be resolved quickly."

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