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Griffiths: 2019-20 Season to “Re-Integrate Energy Management”

BMW i Andretti’s team principal believes that overt energy racing will reign in 2019-20….

Photo: Formula E

2019-20 ABB FIA Formula E Championship races should see a return to more-energy managed races, according to BMW i Andretti Motorsport team principal Roger Griffiths.

BMW has simulated 2018-19 race events with energy deducted for neutralization periods in races to understand how the new regulation will affect Season Six races.

A procedure where 1kWh per minute will be subtracted from the total race energy available during a Full Course Yellow or Safety Car period will be introduced this season.

The energy reduction will be sent to an FIA data-logger in real time and the amount of energy reduced is set to be displayed on timing monitors. The procedure is being trialed at this week’s test in Valencia.

“With the new regulations of the energy deduction in a race neutralization period I think we will see more energy-centered races this season,” Griffiths told e-racing365.

“Over the summer we have gone back and re-run the races to see what would have happened, I presume all teams have done something similar.

“For sure if you apply that then you are back into what we came here to do, which is getting re-integrated into energy management racing rather than flat-out racing.”

Griffiths also agrees with Formula E and the FIA’s look into modifying circuits to make tracks more flowing with less tight chicanes.

“A lot of time has been spent looking at the design of the race tracks too and where the bottlenecks can occur like the chicane at Bern and also Mexico where situations of incidents occur,” he said.

“None of us want red flags: we only had one red flag in Hong Kong in Season Four [2017-18], and then we get a load of disasters in Season Five.

“Even if we are cruising around behind a safety car, we are losing energy, as opposed to banking it for a flat-out race at the end which makes the whole championship a lot more interesting.

“You also find out which of the drivers have the ability to make progress and hit their energy targets.

“Last season it made certain drivers look better than they really are, so I am quite excited about the way the races should be this season.”

Guenther an “Exciting Talent” – Griffiths

The BMW team principal has described new signing Maximilian Guenther as “an exciting prospect” as the team prepares for life without Antonio Felix da Costa for the first time since 2016.

“From the very first moment he [Guenther] has been really good,” commented Griffiths.

“From when he first went into the simulator to the first test, he put himself into serious consideration for a drive.

“We switched him around between different engineers so he could get a feel for how the team works generally. He’s really focused and we find him a really exciting prospect.”

The loss of Da Costa has had little impact on the BMW i Andretti Motorsport team, according to Griffiths.

“In terms of losing one driver during the summer, it really had very little effect on our program which was quite remarkable because the way in which he [Guenther] was able to get up to speed with the car and give us his feedback was really good,” he explained.

“Alexander [Sims] was fully involved with the test program through the off-season and it took a bit of time to get the contract situation sorted out, but it’s great he’s back for a second season.

“He’s really fired up, positive and focused and he remained that way even though the deal wasn’t completely agreed until relatively recently, so that shows you what a great professional he is.”

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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