Formula E teams and drivers are urging the FIA to make changes to the upcoming race in London, otherwise, the E-Prix will be deemed “uninteresting” and a “crash fest” in advance.
For the first time since 2015/16, the top electric motorsport class is back in the British capital and the race will be held at the ExCeL Centre in Docklands.
However, initial data from the FIA shows that the track layout is more akin to a “sprint race” and the teams were not too pleased about that. In a normal race, the drivers have to recover 30%-35% of energy, in London it would be only 5% according to simulations. The lack of strategies would lead to a stalemate and a “processional race”.
On the other hand, the drivers say that if they don’t have to save more energy before any overtaking maneuvers and this remains without consequences in the position battles, then it would be a close race.
Stoffel Vandoorne also had his opinion on this: “If that is going to be the case, these cars are not made for that. No brakes, they might be overheating, and the racing will not be good because there’s no saving. There are going to be crashes when people are going to try and overtake. It’s going to be quite messy if nothing changes.”
Audi team principal, Allan McNish, compared this new rule with the comprehensive rule change of 2018/19 that no energy is deducted from the remaining energy after a safety car. This gave the drivers many advantages by saving a lot of energy.
“Clearly, as a general rule, this is a championship where we work on energy management. We never quite have enough. In season five, when we didn’t have the reductions after a safety car and it made it flat-out racing, there was a plateau.”
“It wasn’t actually that interesting and it was a bit of a bumper-fest. We should learn the lessons of that.”