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Energy shortage could have happened in second Valencia race

Formula E before the start of the E-Prix. Credits: FIA Formula E Media Area.

After many drivers have been disqualified from the first race in Valencia since they finished the usable energy, they risked running out of energy on the second race as well. 

On Saturday’s race, only nine drivers finished the race out of twenty-four. This because they exceeded the energy limits during the E-Prix. 

The race held on Sunday risked having a similar outcome if the BMW Andretti team did not change its strategy. They had to inform Jake Dennis to slow down otherwise he would have finished his usable energy. Since Dennis slowed down, he crossed the line after the 45 minutes mark, meaning that he only had to complete one lap. If he did not slow down, many cars could have risked running out of energy once again. 

Lucas di Grassi spent some word about what happened this weekend: “Formula E is credible, everything is working. It was just an outlier that happened once every 1000 races. The bad thing is that people focus on that.

“Today was more a normal race, although if Jake had crossed the line within like half a second, half of the field would also not have had the energy. So, it was again the same scenario. But at this time, the leader played it right.”

Jaguar Racing team director, James Barclay, also added: “Absolutely [there could have been a similar situation]. It was a very late call from BMW. We spotted a risk.

“We were very conservative at one point. Today could have been [similar]. If [Jake] had have gone one lap longer, potentially several cars were in trouble.”

Finally, Barclay also answered to question of why this problem with energy happened since the teams prepare so much for a race, even with simulations: “On the day, you don’t know what that person is going to do. Early in the race, we say what we think it’s going to be – ‘this many laps’.

“You have to constantly monitor that. But you don’t know what the leader is going to do. A lot of cars are in the leader’s hands. Today, I would say yes it was marginal.

“When you sit back, a lot of things fell in the favor of the leader today. He didn’t need to push that one lap longer. He could shorten the race.

“[With the penalty for Nato] he wasn’t going to defend from behind.”

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