Envision Virgin’s Sam Bird expects the racing in the upcoming ABB FIA Formula E Championship campaign to be subtly different compared to last season.
The first season of Gen 2 competition in the all-electric formula saw often chaotic races as teams and drivers got used to working with the new race format and deploying their Attack Mode boost.
For 2019-20 the regulations have changed with an increase in the Attack Mode boost from an extra 25 kW to 35 kW giving a maximum output of 235kW for certain periods of the race when drivers elect to use their mandatory boost.
In addition, drivers will not be allowed to activate the boost during Full Course Yellow or safety car periods.
“I don’t think that there will be an awful lot of changes, I think it could be more subtle changes to the racing itself,” Bird told e-racing365.
“I think people will now use the attack mode to cover people off more, so keeping other cars back, so maybe a little bit like the race we saw in Monaco.”
Last season’s Monaco E-Prix saw a cat-and-mouse race where the majority of drivers covered off each other’s Attack Mode activations.
“You’ll be seeing a lot more of that this season in order not to lose track position,” said Bird.
“It could turn out like this a bit more but, as you know, in Formula E it is often pointless making predictions before the season starts.”
Bird, who along with Lucas di Grassi is the only driver to have won a Formula E race in each of its five campaigns, led last season’s points standings at the halfway mark but then slumped to a ninth place finish after picking up just 31 of his 85 point total in the second phase of the season.
“Everyone will get stronger, the competition is stronger but collectively we have made sure we are stronger this season,” said Bird.
“You have to, otherwise you will just sink in this formula because it just gets more competitive by the year and this is reflected by the names you see on the entry list again this season.”