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Formula E Considering Summer Shutdown Period

An F1-style summer shutdown is under discussion for Formula E…

Photo: DS Techeetah

A Formula 1-style summer shutdown period could be implemented into the ABB FIA Formula E Championship during the summer or early fall of 2019.

E-racing365 revealed last month that plans for an enforced downing of tools for manufacturer and team staff were on the table.

It is now understood that at least a seven-day shutdown of some kind is likely to happen after the end of Season Five, which begins next month.

Recent Formula E seasons have run from December to July, leaving a five-month window for the organizers to choose from.

This compares to an off-season period of three-and-a-half months in Formula 1, which conducts its mandatory two-week break in August.

Formula E has to work to pre-defined pre- and post-homologation periods for the following season’s development testing, however.

This year’s testing window, between Seasons Four and Five, began in March and came to a close at the end of September, although it did include an atypical change in overall car design that won’t take place in 2019.

The FIA has already issued a complete registration period for seasons up to 2020-21, detailing how new manufacturers join the series and a set of date milestones and supply conditions.

A testing schedule is also included, which allows running between Jan. 1 and Oct. 1 for 2019-20 and 2020-21.

For manufacturers providing customer powertrains, the registration procedure dictates that: “the first car must be supplied to the competitors by Sept. 15 (in kit form) and by Sept. 30 (in assembled form) of the relevant year at the latest.”

Some manufacturers have the resources to have separate race and development teams but many are unable to operate in this manner, meaning some staff don’t get adequate opportunity for quality downtime.

“There’s quite a busy period when we’re racing and doing parallel development for the following season,” Panasonic Jaguar Racing team principal and Formula E Teams and Manufacturers Association chair James Barclay told e-racing365.

“There’s actually a conversation about just trying to make sure that we give ourselves a nice balance.

“When we’re racing or when we’re developing, you have to have most of that in parallel anyway, but it’s just trying to make sure there is some degree of break.

“It’s just trying to find if there’s an opportunity. It’s early days discussion, and a work in progress between the teams and manufacturers, the FIA and Formula E.”

A decision of if and when Formula E implements a summer shutdown is not expected until early 2019.

Jake Kilshaw contributed to this report.

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 Motorsport.com from 2014-17. Contact Sam

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