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Radical Race Formats Under Discussion

Experimental race formats that include more direct and expansive fan engagement are being discussed for future Formula E races….

Photo: Formula E

Experimental race formats that include more direct and expansive fan engagement are being discussed for future Formula E races.

A different structure to the races is likely to be found for Season Five, as the second-generation car will negate a car change pit stop.

Discussions on what form these race structures will take have been on-going since early summer, with a decision not yet taken on 2018/19 or beyond, when the third-generation car is slated to debut in 2021/22.

E-racing365 reported earlier this month that a two-phase power format that would race without a pit stop was in the frame to be used for Season Five, with it having been discussed at length during a Sporting Working Group meeting at Valencia earlier this month.

Proposals for the new race structure for Formula E races are said to have been expansive.

“You name it, we have discussed it,” a Formula E team principal told e-racing365. “Some of the ideas are whacky to say the least but this is such a vital topic we cannot afford to rush anything.

“We have to consider what is best for the formula and best for the fans in this crucial season.”

Professor Burkhard Göschel, the President of the FIA’s Electrical and New Energy Championship Commission, said that Formula E should lead the way in innovative new sporting rules.

“We should leave the classic attitude of motorsport and we have to move in a different way and to integrate some new ideas from the outside world of IT and to create a format which is going into the new [technological] world,” Göschel ‘told e-racing365.

“Each series should have an opportunity to have some windows for changing the racing strategy.

“It might be that for Formula E should not be so classical and it should go in an innovative direction.

“We have only just discussed it and so it is getting highly interesting. So we have to clarify a little bit more directly how to handle that, but in my opinion, that is the route that Formula E should go.”

It remains to be seen if Formula E can integrate some of the more advanced ideas it is discussing into Season Five.

These are believed to involve aspects of virtual reality integration for fans in real time but with remote race scenarios as the event is taking place.

“Formula E is on the way to go a completely different direction now. More experimental,” Göschel added.

Sam Smith is e-racing365's Formula E Editor. A 20-year veteran in motorsports media, including press officer roles in both the FIA Sportscar Championship and at Lola Group, Smith is a well-known face in the Formula E paddock, where he served as series editor for Motorsport.com from 2014-17. Contact Sam

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