Drivers think overtaking is “near-impossible” in London

Alexander Sims (GBR), Mahindra Racing, M7Electro. Credit: Courtesy of Formula E

Ahead of the two upcoming races in London, Formula E drivers now fear that overtaking in the English capital is “almost impossible.” Now they are already calling for some changes to the track layout for future races.

According to the teams that conducted simulations of the track, the two races are more like two sprint races. As a result, the FIA arranged for 4 kWh to be subtracted from the intended 52 kWh for the race, which would then lead to energy savings and thus different strategies for the drivers and teams.

In this way, the FIA hopes that they would get away from the predicted “procession race” and that the E-Prix would become more exciting. The teams believe that too little has been done for this, however.

Particularly in the last sector, some changes have been made to reduce the average speed. This led to the introduction of a hairpin and a chicane, with which the drivers expect fewer overtaking maneuvers, Antonio Felix da Costa also said something about it.

“I suspect for the race it’s not what we need. It will be very hard to overtake and on top of that, there’s not a lot of energy management. I’m not here to say what the FIA has to or not do, but the reduction could have been bigger to fit the track. With the reduction as it is now, it will still be hard to overtake. It’s too fast.”

The first provisional track layout was presented in the 2019/20 season but was then changed several more times as there were repeated suggestions for changes from the teams and the FIA.

Jean-Eric Vergne, on the other hand, is happy about the return to London, even if the track is “not the best track for the fans” according to him.

“It looks really nice. It’s the first time in our life we race half indoor, half outdoor. It’s way too tight for Formula E, so it might be very difficult to overtake. We might see a bit of train.”

“I’m one of the drivers who is always quite tough on circuits. For the years to come, they will change the layout and we will have more overtaking opportunities. For what it is at the moment, it’s tight. It’s going to be near-impossible to overtake.”

Sam Bird had his say as well to the layout and said, that “it’s extremely tight”.

“Even if we had quite extreme energy-saving to do, I don’t think the circuit layout promotes an enormous amount of opportunities to overtake. “

“We can do some small modifications in the years going forward to increase overtaking opportunities because right now difficult to see in the dry where you would potentially move forward.”

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