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Data Transfer Ban Blocked in Regs Row

A political row over a ban of track-to-HQ data transfer has erupted ahead of Season Five…

Photo: Nissan

A proposed ban on blocking circuit-to-headquarters data transfers during ABB FIA Formula E Championship race events has been blocked after the vote failed to secure a unanimous conclusion.

E-racing365 understands that at least three teams blocked the move in an e-vote carried out last week.

Article 27.10 of the 2018-19 sporting regulations is now set to be removed, with certain teams pushing to implement an FIA International Sporting Code procedure which dictates specific measures in amending or adding to existing regulations.

Some teams have referred to article 19.2.3.a of the ISC, which dictates that: “changes to sporting rules and to all regulations other than those referred to above are published at least 20 days prior to the opening date for Entry applications for the Championship, cup, trophy, challenge or series concerned, but never later than 15 December each year.”

Any changes made more than 20 days before the entry application date still stand because teams entered the championship according to those regulations, but any changes proposed later than that require a unanimous agreement from all teams.

“The whole process has actually become quite political,” a senior Formula E manufacturer figure told e-racing365.

“Up to now the FIA have been changing sporting and other regs when they saw fit that would make it [the championship] better.

“Now, certain manufacturers have pushed them to do it according to the ISC.”

Team Frustration at Manufacturer Muscle

Several other key Formula E figures expressed to e-racing365 their frustration at the manner of the discussions last week.

Many don’t agree on the FIA attempting to push the data transfer clause so close to the start of the season, with the Ad Diriyah E-Prix less than two weeks away.

One of the key questions around the topic has centered around how WiFi or bluetooth technology could be accurately policed for data transfer between tracks and teams’ bases.

“Some [teams] feel that certain manufacturers are flexing their muscles for future advantages and this is quite clearly one of them,” another leading team figure told e-racing365.

“It’s happening slowly but it’s happening. There are some people in Formula E with no experience of dealing with major manufacturers and it’s starting to show quite frankly.”

Formula E has had the ability to be flexible and make changes to improve the nascent series in recent seasons, largely because of its efforts to protect the framework of the championship in sporting and cost-management matters.

The proposed expansion of the Fanboost vote to include five drivers per race was also voted on by teams and is understood to have received unanimous support.

This is expected to be ratified at the World Motorsport Council on Wednesday and reflected in re-drafted sporting regulations shortly after.

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



  1. Avatar

    Old Trombone

    December 3, 2018 at 10:40 am

    No biggie. One year with Data Transfer, then we move on without it. The idea “someone in FE doesn’t have experiencecdealing with major manufacturers” sounds a lot like “we were amateurs changing our rules at the drop of a hat, but now that we have enormous investments involved, and reality is this kind of money needs contracts signed that can be trusted“. Trust is much more important than a year with an unfortunate rule situation.

    • Avatar

      Old Trombone

      December 3, 2018 at 10:43 am

      Oops, italics should have finished after trusted. I misused the html like an ancient sackbut

    • Avatar

      Chris Llana

      December 3, 2018 at 11:01 am

      I think the idea with Formula E is that “enormous” investments be contained, to preserve the competitiveness of the series.

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