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Mexico City Friday Notebook

Sam Smith’s Friday ABB FIA Formula E Championship notebook from Mexico City paddock…

Photo: John Dagys

***Venturi Formula E, Dragon, Renault e.dams and Panasonic Jaguar Racing were all given a fine after Friday’s shakedown session for breaching article 27.1 of the Formula E Sporting Regulations. This relates to the use of electromagnetic radiation between 5 and 6 GHz and is understood to center on the use of 5G Wi-Fi by the teams. The fine of 5,000 euros included 3,500 of it suspended until the end of the season.

***The sanction for the four teams is because the Wi-Fi frequency can disturb the FIA’s data gathering system. The FIA retains the right to disqualify any of the teams should a second occurrence of an excessive range of GHz be used in the remainder of the season.

***The public unveiling of the second-generation Formula E car will take place at the Geneva Motor Show on Tuesday at 7:45 a.m. CET. FIA President . Jean Todt and ABB FIA Formula E Championship founder and CEO Alejandro Agag will present the car while a representative of each of the nine registered manufacturers will also be present.

***Agag told e-racing365 that the showcasing of the car will be “a landmark occasion” that will prove how far the championship has come in four years. He indicated that the car has already completed several on-track full-race simulations.

***The Formula E boss responded to recent comments by former F1 chief Bernie Ecclestone, who suggested F1 should look at an all-electric future, by reiterating Formula E’s agreement with the FIA to be the exclusive electric single-seater championship. “[F1] cannot go full electric because we have an exclusive license. We have 21-and-a-half seasons left, so maybe after that they could,” he told e-racing365.

***Agag has revealed ambitions of obtaining Lucas di Grassi’s race-winning chassis from the inaugural Formula E race in Beijing in 2014, at the end of the season. The future of the 39 remaining cars, which belong to Formula E Holdings Ltd, are yet to be decided.

***Jaguar technical manager Phil Charles believes that manufacturers will have to quickly learn about the car’s aerodynamic properties. “The view that we have at the moment are that it is not a huge step to where we are now,” he said. “We are still looking at a similar CLTD [Cooling Load Temperature Difference], so it will be about learning the finesse of the new car to get the best out of it.”

***Audi Sport ABT Schaeffler team principal Allan McNish has been coy on whether Audi will employ either of their Marrakesh rookie test drivers, Nico Mueller and Nyck de Vries, for Season Five development testing. McNish told e-racing365 that “there are currently no fixed plans in place” for other than regular drivers di Grassi and Daniel Abt to conduct the testing.

***Sebastien Buemi is hopeful the handling issues he faced in Santiago are behind him. The Renault e.dams driver said they suspect it was related to how “you use the tires” and have worked “very hard” since last month to find a solution. “We understood the problem and we were struggling to find the solution. Now, hopefully we’ve found one,” he told e-racing365.

***Despite podiums in the last two races, the Frenchman sits fourth in the drivers’ championship due to the disastrous start to his season in the double-header round in Hong Kong.

***Techeetah has taken additional measures on a backup communication method, following its pit box meltdown in Santiago that saw the Chinese-backed team lose radio and TV feeds while Jean-Eric Vergne and Andre Lotterer were battling for the win. “After a post-race analysis we realized we could do more,” said team principal Mark Preston. “We had a long discussion with the drivers about what we can put on the pit board if it happens again.”

***Di Grassi spent Thursday afternoon speaking to students and media at the La Ibero Americana University in Mexico City. The reigning champion gave a keynote speech which included a range subjects from future EV technology and the future of the automotive industry.

***E-racing365 would like to congratulate DS Virgin Racing’s communications manager Tom Phillips and his wife Tessa, who welcomed in to the world a baby son on Thursday evening.

***DS Virgin’s Sam Bird and Alex Lynn took to the all-electric karting track at K1 Speed. Making their way from the back of the grid, in karts reaching speeds of nearly 45 mph, Bird and Lynn stormed to victory in a fraught battle against DS Virgin teammates.

***Bird, the newly crowned K1 Speed E-Prix champion, said: “It was a tough race, coming from the back of the grid and racing some strong competitors, but I hope my performance today is a reflection of the weekend to come here in Mexico City.”

***Check out the action below, including commentary from Jack Nicholls.

John Dagys contributed to this article

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

1 Comment

1 Comment

  1. NaBUru38

    March 4, 2018 at 9:36 pm

    Meanwhile, tickets for the Punta del Este ePrix are not for sale yet.

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