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Teams Comfortable with Enhanced Tech Policing

Teams react calmly to new technical crackdowns ahead of Formula E season…

Photo: Marc Calvo

ABB FIA Formula E Championship teams are largely at ease with the FIA’s recent tightening on ensuring that the series’ technical rules are completely complied with.

E-racing365 reported last week that new checks via homologated throttle maps are being put in place for the new season to adequately police manufacturer software for the coming campaign.

This follows widely held suspicions last season that the Gen 2 Formula E car was being manipulated through manufacturer coded software to create what amounted to driver aids, particularly in wet conditions.

Most manufacturers are using this week to complete final tests on their software to ensure it complies within ‘the corridor’ of measurements the FIA will test on maps that include switching between power settings within a 30-second window.

These have to be submitted and homologated by the FIA no later than seven days before the first round of the season at Ad Diriyah next month.

“[The FIA] have always said to us that with having nine manufacturers they don’t always want to be interpreting the laws and they want things more black and white because it makes things easier,” DS Techeetah team principal Mark Preston told e-racing365.

“If you have gray areas then everyone will have a dig in there and do different things and then you run in to trouble, so I think it’s a smart move really at this stage of the championship’s life.”

Last season, Nissan e.dams was at the center of the first significant Gen 2 powertrain controversy after its twin-MGU system was eventually outlawed.

This followed an intensively political period last spring which saw rival manufacturers lobby the FIA regarding the Nissan IM01’s initial homologation and how it was passed to race in the 2018-19 season due to concerns about its technical make-up and application of power on the track.

Nissan’s global motorsports manager Michael Carcamo told e-racing365 that he is comfortable with the governing body’s recent tightening of technical policing.

“I would say that it’s the FIA’s job to ensure competitiveness and parity or fairness within the paddock, so for them to do that is what we hope the governing body will do,” said Carcamo.

“It’s [then] our job to respect the rules and to work within the regulations that have been set. So, for us it is not a problem that they do that at all as it actually just creates a very clear framework for the teams to operate in.

“As far as the rule is the same for everybody and clear for everybody and applied for everybody as well we are OK.”

Envision Virgin Racing, as a powertrain customer of Audi, is one of two teams that does not have a representative at Technical Working Group meetings. The Group recently met to discuss the new policing measures.

“Personally we don’t hear too much because we do not attend the [Technical Working Group] meetings because of our customer status,” Envision Virgin’s managing director Sylvain Filippi told e-racing365.

“But I understand that things are being looked at and everyone has to abide by the regulations and at the end of the day we have free software, and by definition you can code a lot in there.

“The FIA though can come up with regulations that try and stop that, but my opinion is I don’t think it is a massive issue because there is not much to complain about with the level of racing. You don’t hear drivers saying the cars are too easy to drive.

“They are super difficult to drive no matter what system you have on it. As long as the rules are the same for everyone then I’m not too concerned.”

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 from 2014-17. Contact Sam

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