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Season Six Race Procedures Detailed

New Formula E regulations for 2019-20 explained in updated sporting regulations drafts…

Photo: Formula E

The FIA has given additional detail on the new procedures for Season Six of the ABB FIA Formula E Championship that will aim to reduce the likelihood of flat-out races.

The main thrust of the measures will be based around 1 kWh of energy being deducted from each running competitor’s total race energy for every minute under Full Course Yellow or safety car conditions.

The new regulation dictates that:

“The calculation will be made in full minutes and no partial minutes will be calculated. 1 kWh = 1 minute of FCY or SC. The energy reduction will be sent to the FIA logger in real time and the amount of energy reduced will be displayed on the timing monitors.”

Should a race, which will continue to last 45 minutes plus one lap, finish under either a FCY or safety car period no energy will be taken away.

Additionally, the race director has the discretion to cancel this energy subtraction if deemed necessary.

Some drivers welcomed the news when it was announced at the FIA World Motor Sport Council last month but several have also called the move too complicated for fans and viewers to easily understand.

“I think that it is a fix but to be honest going back to lap [races] is much easier,” Sebastien Buemi told e-racing365.

“Even to explain it to people is difficult, like ‘what is the Full Course Yellow [procedure], what is the kilowatt capacity, so you stop to explain to people how you are stopping it in some circumstances plus reducing the energy.

“I think going back to an amount of laps would kind of sort out everything, plus it would give the FIA the opportunity to access and decide the level of energy management that they want according to the type of tracks.”

Race Suspension Regs Expanded

The rules regarding the red flagging and suspension of a race have also been modified for next season, which is set to get away in Ad Diriyah, Saudi Arabia, in November.

More detailed instructions when a race suspension occurs now state that cars must:

“Take a position either in their respective garage (if the car requires repairs) or in the working lane in front of their respective garage (in this case the car is considered in Parc Ferme and no work may be done to the car with the exception of plugging in a jump battery and utilising the same cooling systems as permitted on the dummy grid).”

Additionally, cars “shall be lined up at the pit exit, in Race order at the time of the stoppage.”

The move to establish clearer procedures was made before last month’s Swiss E-Prix which saw some drivers confront FIA officials in an incorrect belief that the race should have restarted in the order in which it presented itself before the red flag was issued.

The race director holds overriding authority on restarting the race and, in the case of Bern, it was deemed that there could not be a properly established positions order from between the start line and first-corner incident.

The new regulation states that:

“All cars which entered their garage will be placed at the end of the restart order. These cars shall be placed at the end of the restart order (if the work is completed at the 5-minute signal. If a car does not complete repairs at the 5-minute signal, they may re-enter the Race once the work is completed.)”

Cars that are damaged in a race-stopping incident can be worked on irrespective of their location and can rejoin the race after it has been resumed.

Previously, the first car to arrive in the pit lane had to proceed directly to the pit exit staying in the fast lane with all other cars then forming up in a line behind the first car.

However, at the Swiss E-Prix, the cars formed on the start grid and the pit lane was closed, contributing to Andre Lotterer’s penalty for driving through the pit exit while it was under a red light.

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

2 Comments

2 Comments

  1. Avatar

    W Reich

    July 9, 2019 at 12:49 pm

    “will aim to reduce the likelihood of flat-out races” – yeah, GOD FORBID we ever get a flat-out race, how boring that would be, right? 😛

  2. Avatar

    Sam Smith

    July 11, 2019 at 5:34 am

    You’ll find that a great deal of motorsport is not flat out racing. Fuel saving on allocations is common, managing tires, etc.

    The F1 turbo days, some of the most celebrated in the sports history, was usually an endurance test to save tires and hardware.

    Efficiency is a key driver in manufacturers showcasing their products whether ICE or EV.

    Just stating facts.

    I love a flat-out 10 lap Formula Ford blast as much as anyone but only once in a while.

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