Drivers will have five opportunities to ‘arm’ the attack mode in ABB FIA Formula E Championship races this season, e-racing365 can reveal.
Details of the much anticipated boost zone mode, which was trialled in the pre-season test at Valencia last month, have surfaced ahead of the season-opening Ad Diriyah E-Prix.
Drivers will gain an extra 25 kW of power to be used as additional boost in the attack mode, which is defined in the sporting regulations as mandatory.
They must ‘arm’ the system by using a button on the steering wheel between one and five seconds before entering a designated activation zone.
Drivers will then cross three loops, which are monitored by officials in race control, with the activation working through the cars’ two transponders.
The process has been designed to create action in the new race format for the Gen 2 era of the all-electric championship, increasing overtaking and introducing different strategic elements.
It is now also believed that there will be no minimum time between the attack mode being used, meaning it can be deployed in succession.
“We are introducing another innovation in motorsport which will add to the spectacle of our events, an exciting and new contribution to what are already intense and unpredictable races,” a Formula E Holdings spokesperson told e-racing365.
Questions Raised Over Attack Mode Use in Safety Car, FCY Periods
Drivers may not be able to use the attack mode boost in races if it’s activated just before a safety car or Full Course Yellow period is deployed.
A Formula E team principal told e-racing365 that the new system has been left enough scope for the FIA to make it as fair as possible.
“It is correct if you activate the [attack mode] which requires both arming and correctly driving through the timing loops and then a safety car or Full Course Yellow happens, yes it is too bad,” the team principal said.
“It’s right that they want to keep it open for FCY/SC just in case you get a late incident and the race finishes under yellow.
“If you hadn’t used all your attack modes and then an incident [occurred] and the ability wasn’t there, you could have a significant number of drivers penalized for failing to use the attack mode as per the regulations, even though they were prevented from doing so by circumstances.”
Some drivers also seem resigned to the fact that ill-fortune on safety car and FCY procedures could befall them in races this season.
“I think it is bad luck obviously but that’s how it is,” NIO’s Tom Dilmann told e-racing365.
The Frenchman also expressed concern about the possibility of deploying the attack mode on a restart after a safety car.
“That needs to be addressed, if it is possible to go activate on the attack mode during a safety car you might keep your position going off the line and therefore gain an advantage,” he explained.
Further clarifications on the attack mode are known to have been discussed at the latest sporting working group meeting.
Confirmation of the FIA will monitor the specifics of the attack mode and its activation will be included in the appendix of the sporting regulations.