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Charles (Jaguar): Testing Cull “Positive” for Formula E

Jaguar’s tech chief expects the testing reduction to protect Formula E’s close racing…

Photo: Marc Calvo

The reduction of in-season testing in the 2019-20 ABB FIA Formula E Championship will benefit the racing, according to Panasonic Jaguar Racing’s technical manager Phil Charles.

Charles, one of the series’ leading technical chiefs, says that having no test days this season for regular race drivers will ensure that the closeness of competition is protected.

E-racing365 reported on plans to reduce testing this season last month and an agreement between the FIA, Formula E and teams is believed to be close on having just a single day for a third rookie test in Marrakesh.

By regulation Formula E can have a maximum of six test days during a season but one of these must be held for drivers that do not hold an e-licence.

Last season the full allocation was used with test days held after the Ad Diriyah and Mexico City E-Prixs in addition to the three pre-season days at Valencia and the rookie test at Marrakesh.

“I actually think that for the championship the less in-season testing that is done the better, so overall it is positive for the racing,” Charles told e-racing365.

“This is me taking my ‘engineer’s hat’ off but it keeps us having to work hard. If you give us lots of testing during the season then we will get better and better and the racing will become more predictable.

“Right now there is a lot of work to do anyway. I’d love more testing from an engineering point of view but personally I think it is a good thing that it is cut back this season.”

Charles supported hosting a single test day for rookie drivers as has been the case over the last two seasons.

A third Formula E rookie test is likely to be hosted in Morocco again on Sunday, March 1 just after the fourth round of the championship at Marrakesh.

“A rookie test would be good and it is good for young talent to come in and get experience because it is hard to get in these cars now for young drivers,” said Charles.

“The drivers have such a big percentage input in the overall race result and are big denominators so it is tricky to take a rookie driver on unless you see one. So in that sense it is good [to have a rookie test].”

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 from 2014-17. Contact Sam

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