The ABB FIA Formula E Championship is close to defining a potential new boost mode system for the new race format which will be implemented in the 2018-19 season.
Season Five, which will see the recently unveiled ‘Gen 2′ Formula E car race for the first time, is set to potentially include a once-only application of a 25kW power boost during a race.
E-racing365 has uncovered plans to introduce a possible eight-minute boost mode which will increase cars’ power from 200kW to 225kW during a race.
This ‘mini boost’ would only be used once by the driver. The time would be capped at eight minutes per car and be used irrespective of whether there is a safety car or full course yellow period.
The boost mode would only be able to be activated between the second and penultimate laps of the race.
While nothing is yet confirmed, Formula E, the FIA and teams are all leaning towards employing this or a similar strategy for the races in Season Five.
Most drivers are cautiously enthusiastic about the idea, which, if implemented, could go through initial testing this spring at one of the planned group tests.
“It’s a good idea if it happens like this,” Felix Rosenqvist told e-racing365. “However, I wonder if it will be as exciting as a pit stop. I doubt it.
“My fear is that everyone would use it in the beginning, as it just comes naturally when you’re under pressure, or if you have a bad starting position and aim to advance a lot in the first laps.
“For example you’d be a sitting duck in the first five laps, or after a safety car. I like the idea, but think there should still be some kind of pit stop, for more excitement.”
Pit stops have been discussed but most are not in favour of a token pit stop without a strategic element.
A tire-change stop is out of the question due to the philosophy of Michelin’s product which is centered around its durable sustainability.
DS Virgin Racing’s Alex Lynn is in favor of the idea of a boosted period in the races but would like to see the information regarding the strategic elements of the format relayed innovatively.
“Personally, I think this potential system seems cool,” he told e-racing365. “I’m very keen on keeping a strategy element to the race.
“It would be great if there was a timer on the dash and maybe some LED display on the side of the car for the spectators and TV viewers.”
Nicolas Prost, meanwhile, says he would prefer the idea if the boost were to be in a different format.
“I really like the idea of having different energies, but I would prefer eight [separate] one-lap boosts or three [for] three laps, but not all in one go,” he told e-racing365.
“If there is safety car or yellow flag, then it is bad luck, so if the boosts are spread a little bit it would be fairer, in my opinion.”
The new Formula E car features an LED display on the halo safety device around the cockpit.
It remains to be seen if this could be a viable way of relaying any information during a race.
E-racing365 understands that Formula E Holdings Ltd. has already looked at ways that it can inform spectators and TV viewers in a more visceral manner of displaying additional data and information.
Late last year, the championship investigated the possibility of LED displays on the wheels of the new car but this is now believed to have been dropped.