Robin Frijns expects Formula E cars to be “on the limit” in this weekend’s Mexico City E-Prix, with record speeds possible in qualifying due to the heavily modified track layout.
A number of changes have been made to the ABB FIA Formula E Championship’s configuration of Autodromo Hermanos Rodriguez ahead of this season’s race, including a brand new section and the removal of both chicanes.
With no chicane on the long right-hander Peraltada curve that completes the lap, Envision Virgin Racing’s Frijns is preparing for record speeds in qualifying of up to 150 mph (240 km/h).
“I think it’s extremely important and a wise decision to remove the chicane from this circuit layout as we’ve seen some bad incidents here in the past,” he said.
“It should also make the racing much more exciting and I believe there could be more overtaking opportunities this time round.
“From our time spent on our simulator, the data has shown that we could be approaching our fastest speeds around the Peraltada bend which means we’re going to be really on the limit.
“It’s going to be a great race and I think I could really capitalize on being in the later qualifying group.”
Mahindra Racing’s Jerome d’Ambrosio has also praised the removal of the chicanes, which he actually thinks will increase overtaking in Mexico.
Formula E tracks previously included a number of tight chicanes in an attempt to improve overtaking possibilities but last season’s races were often red-flagged and interrupted by collisions at these corners.
Track layouts have been re-profiled to removed the tightest corners this year in order to reduce contact and bunching-up of cars.
“The cars are getting faster and we all agreed the style of the Formula E chicanes contributed to a number of red flag incidents last season,” said d’Ambrosio.
“By removing the chicane in Mexico we’re increasing the straight-line coasting and that’s a really good tool to promote overtaking in the championship.
“Battery temperature shouldn’t be an issue in Mexico but it will be a different story for tires, because this track is quite hard on tires.”
The Attack Mode activation zone has been placed on the inside of the stadium section, meanwhile.