The number of compulsory activations of Attack Mode boost during Formula E races this season could be mixed up more than when it was first introduced last season.
Greater variety in using the extra 35 kW at drivers’ disposal this season could come into affect after a trial use of three mandatory activations of four minutes each was used at the final New York City race last July.
That was the only occasion during the 13-race calendar when three activations were allowed. The 12 previous races had seen just two usages of what was then an extra 25 kW of power.
Speaking at the Valencia pre-season test last month, Formula E race director Scot Elkins said that the FIA was still evaluating the best strategy for Attack Mode this season.
“I don’t know to be honest, we’re looking at a bigger picture really and we have to think carefully about how we do that,” Elkins told e-racing365.
“I would like it to be different in double headers, I think we want it to be different for double headers, because we want one race to be different than the other.
Teams were generally expecting more variation in activations during last season and some, including BMW i Andretti Motorsport team principal Roger Griffiths, think that the mixing up of the amount of activations should be more prevalent this season.
“To be honest we were a little bit disappointed that we waited until New York to vary it,” Griffiths told e-racing365.
“Before Season Five began and when we talked about it, it was always multiple and we never talked about just two [activations].
“I think again this season the vast majority will be two but I think the double headers are a natural place to mix it up a bit.”
It is believed that certain factions within Formula E have reservations about going beyond the two denominations of attack mode usage in races.
One of these is believed to be the TV production chiefs, some of whom think that more than two uses is confusing to the TV viewer.
“It could get too confusing,” agreed Elkins.
“Again not just from teams, but from a big picture, is it confusing for the fans, et cetera? Is it confusing for people watching on TV? We don’t know the answer to that at the present time.
“We really haven’t made a decision on it yet. We’ve talked about it a little bit, but we haven’t made a decision on it.”
The Attack Mode wording in the sporting regulations has been written vaguely in a deliberate ploy to ensure that teams cannot simulate or second guess what strategies can be employed.
Armings, activations and the amount of duration time of the Attack Mode is not known to teams until a minimum of an hour before the start of each race.