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Formula E

MotoGP-Style Penalty Zone Considered

Formula E holds discussions on adjustments to penalty procedures…

Photo: Marc Calvo

Discussions about implementing a long-lap penalty system in the ABB FIA Formula E Championship, similar to the system employed in MotoGP, have taken place among teams and organizers in recent months.

The system, which was introduced to MotoGP races earlier this year, sees participants that have been adjudged to have transgressed take to a pre-designated area of the track.

MotoGP riders must take to the longer loop part of the track within three laps of being notified of the penalty.

The ‘longer lap’ typically costs the rider two seconds and can be handed out in any circumstances deemed appropriate by the stewards.

The discussion between Formula E teams and organizers is believed to have taken place at the Valencia test in October and ended with the majority of teams eventually discounting an application of the procedure.

This is believed to be because of the tight confines of some circuits making it difficult for consistent areas to create a genuine ‘longer lap’.

Formula E already uses an area of the track for the designated Attack Zone which has several transponder loops integrated into the circuit to let drivers trigger an extra 35 kW boost.

Teams have instead suggested that an additional energy reduction procedure could be used instead, for in-race penalties. This is still understood to be under consideration for the 2020-21 season.

Stewards currently have a range of penalties at their disposal during races. These are a ten-second time penalty, a drive-through penalty, and a ten-second stop-go penalty.

In addition, drivers can also face three other sanctions should the penalty be applied in the last two laps of a race. These come in the form of additional time added to their complete elapsed race time.

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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