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Different Power Modes Confirmed for Season Five

No pit stops for Formula E next season but two different power modes instead…

Photo: Formula E

The 2018-19 ABB FIA Formula E Championship season will not feature pit stops but instead will have two different power levels available for drivers during the races.

As predicted by e-racing365, drivers will be able to use differing power options during the races which are set to be approximately 40 minutes in duration.

The FIA World Motor Sport Council (WMSC) made the decision to start the process of implementing the new race format for the 2018-19 season today.

More specific details on the power modes are expected to be confirmed at the next WMSC meeting which will be held in Manilla, the Philippines, this June.

The higher power mode that will be used in the races will result in a “performance gain of approximately one second per lap” according to the WMSC decisions bulletin issued today.

It is believed that an extra 20-25 kW is set to be used for the higher power mode during the races.

E-racing365 understands that some race simulations using the higher modes will be conducted at one of the group manufacturer test sessions scheduled for March and April.

A further full E-Prix simulation could also take place later this year, probably in September or October ahead of the Season Five start which is likely to be either the first or second weekend of December.

The location of this test is yet to be fixed but Donington Park, which held a similar test ahead of the first season in 2014, is thought to be the most likely venue.

In addition to the Season Five race format, the FIA also announced that the point awarded for the fastest lap will be scrapped.

Instead, a new energy management initiative will be formulated with the most efficient driver being given an extra point. The exact details of how this will function is set to be announced later in the year.

“There has been quite a lot of discussion about exactly how the power modes for the race format will work,” Andretti Team Principal Roger Griffiths told e-racing365 in Mexico last weekend.

“Is it going to be the case that you use it all at once?

“So, you might start the race in the lower power mode and then have a portion of it where you can go to high power mode and then finish the race in the lower one.”

Griffiths hasn’t ruled out some form of ‘push to pass’ function also being devised for Season Five.

“There is also a conversation around having something along the lines of a ‘push to pass’ or some sort of system for the drivers to use at their discretion,” he said. “Simulations have been done around both of these scenarios.

“I think that the ultimate goal is to come up with a format that is not too predictable and we can’t all simulate to death on how best to use it.

“We want to come up with something that makes it more driver -ontrolled rather than engineer-controlled.

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. nealio

    March 9, 2018 at 3:26 pm

    That’s it! FE is offically silly and they didn’t even come up with something original just copped the old multiple tires gimmick. So sad, adios FE.

  2. Chris Llana

    March 9, 2018 at 3:50 pm

    Why don’t they just allow the full 250 kW to be used during the whole race, but make the race long enough so that drivers would have to restrict full power use most of the time in order to finish the race? That would make things unpredictable and put maximum energy use in the hands of the drivers for tactical advantage, while the engineers would still do strategic energy management.

  3. Sorc

    March 9, 2018 at 11:42 pm

    So the races are 10 minutes shorter. So much for doing the same distance with one car. This series should really learn to keep its mouth shut before making ambitious claims it’s never going to meet. It’s like a Le Mans Garage 56 project.

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