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Valencia Tuesday Notebook

Sam Smith’s notebook from the second day of Formula E pre-season testing in Valencia…..

Photo: Formula E

***A meeting of the Formula E Sporting Working Group is set for Wednesday morning at Valencia before an FIA FE Committee meeting at the circuit in the afternoon. The next Formula E Technical Working Group Meeting will take place next week after the Valencia tests.

***E-racing 365 understands that a unanimous direction for the race format of Season Five is yet to be agreed. The Formula E Teams Association has been holding several discussions with the FIA and Formula E Holdings about possible solutions.

***One idea that has been considered for the 2018/19 season is to not have any pit stops but instead implement two mandatory modes of power available to drivers throughout the race. A change of tires is also thought to be an unlikely solution to the problem of ensuring variability when there will be no need to change cars.

***Some form of qualifying race is believed to now to be off the discussion agenda of the Sporting Working Group. Formula E CEO Alejandro Agag confirmed to e-racing365 that this was now “not something we are pursuing at present.”

***TV broadcasters are known to want to keep pit stops in the race format for Season Five. More than 40 broadcasters have been consulted in a new workshop where the Season Five format is being discussed.

***Agag told e-racing365 that he concurs with Lucas di Grassi’s call for a bespoke HALO device for Formula E in the future. “I probably agree [with di Grassi]; I speak to Jean Todt about it and I trust his criteria and his ideas. He said that as long as the safety requirements are met we can be creative with the design [in the future].”

***Details of the first ever Rome E-Prix will be announced on Oct.19. E-racing365 believes that the race will take place in the city’s business district which is known as Eur.

***Among the Porsche engineers that was at Valencia as a guest of Dragon Racing is Kyle Wilson-Clarke, chief engineer of the No. 2 Porsche 919 Hybrid in the FIA World Endurance Championship. Wilson-Clarke was a regular on the British TV coverage of Formula E in Season Two as a pundit.

***Rio Haryanto has completed his first public laps in a single-seater since he left Formula One. As first reported by e-racing365 last month, the Indonesian ran in an independent Spark run car during the lunch break today.

***Venturi ran Miami-born Moroccan driver Michael Benyahia in the morning session. The Formula Renault NEC driver became the first driver of African nationality to take part in a session.

***Season Three Venturi driver Tom Dillmann was in the paddock on Tuesday afternoon. The current Blancpain GT driver is looking for a potential third driver role for the season ahead.

***Ex-Lotus F1 team principal Frederic Gastaldi was seen in the Formula E paddock today. The Argentinian has previously attended the first London E-Prix and Buenos Aires last February.

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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