Mark Preston is an Australian businessman and motorsport professional. He is currently the Team Principal of the TECHEETAH Formula E racing team, and CEO of StreetDrone.
He has a long history in motorsport, particularly in Formula One, having worked for Arrows F1, McLaren Racing Ltd and Super Aguri F1.
We caught up with Mark ahead of his keynote at this year’s Mines and Money London show.
The future of electric and autonomous is coming quite quickly, and the industry should be looking to learn from “R&D spillover” from the rapid development in automotive and transpose it into mining.
Join Mark Preston at Mines and Money London on DAY 2 (27th November) where he will be giving a keynote address on “Electric Vehicles 2048 – what is the future for EVs and what does this mean for the mining industry?”
Download the brochure for the latest agenda and full speaker line-up
Mines and Money : What attracted you to motor racing?
Mark Preston: As a mechanical engineer, this was the highest level of competition I could see in my chosen profession. The competition, fast paced change. Motorsports is a prototyping competition
Mines and Money: Tell us about how you came to be in E1?
Mark Preston: In 2009 I started to plan to do electric racing with David Hunt (James Hunt’s brother) as we were looking for a way to differentiate in motorsports, F1 had become too difficult to fund. We needed to find something relevant to the future
Mines and Money: What batteries do E1 use?
Mark Preston: Li Ion, battery pack made by McLaren for Season 5
Mines and Money: What innovations from E1 do you think will be applied to conventional Electric Vehicles?
Mark Preston: Efficiency gains of the system and energy management software will translate.
Mines and Money: What’s the main takeaway you hope that delegates get from your talk at Mines and Money London?
Mark Preston: To show that the future of electric and autonomous is coming quite quickly, and that the industry should be looking to learn from “R&D spillover” from the rapid development in automotive and transpose it into mining.
Mines and Money: You’ve also launched Street Drone – can you tell us a little bit about the company?
Mark Preston: StreetDrone is looking to help companies accelerate their use of autonomy, joining any vehicle platform into an autonomous system.
Mines and Money: Can you tell us a little about the work you are doing with SFA Oxford?
Mark Preston: SFA has been working with us looking at strategies in the future of mobility and helping to create scenarios about how the industry will develop and grow and where the opportunities sit within the market
Mines and Money: In E1 (or any motor-racing) what percentage is down to the driver, what percentage the team, and what percentage the car/technology? Has that changed since your career in motor racing started?
Mark Preston: In Formula 1 I would say engine, aero, tyres are all 30%, leaving 10 % for the driver, but in Formula E I would say this is closer to 30% driver