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Teams Praise Attack Mode After First Usage

Formula E’s new attack mode met with positive response after first usage…

Photo: Formula E

Formula E’s new attack mode concept has been met with cautious positivity by some teams after it was first used in the Ad Diriyah E-Prix on Saturday.

The system has been added to the race format this season to ensure elements of unpredictability in the Gen 2 era, which no longer has mid-race mandatory pit stops.

It is understood that the exact details of attack mode were kept deliberately open in order to make any possible changes easier to push through.

“The regulations were left open in terms of what you need to do with it because it is an evolving product,” Audi Sport ABT Schaeffler team principal Allan McNish told e-racing365 after the Ad Diriyah E-Prix.

“Technically it worked and we didn’t have too many problems, you saw it penalized you in performance to gain extra performance which was one of the key topics. Therefore you lost time to gain time.”

“Out of the box it is never going to be perfect but I thought it was a reasonable start for it and as I said it can be adapted as the regulation has some flexibility within it.”

Panasonic Jaguar Racing driver Mitch Evans believes that the system was largely a success, and used his attack modes, which lasted four minutes on each occasion, at the 17th and 41st minutes of the race.

“I think it worked pretty well,” Evans told e-racing365.

“Obviously, I have only seen the race from my eyes, so I am not sure how the race panned out up and down the field.

“There needs to be a good balance in the attack zone between, OK you lose two seconds, but having it for four minutes, you are going to gain four or five seconds by having it.

“But either way you can really play with it well, like with a safety car restart one of us used it, we had one up our sleeves.”

Lucas di Grassi told e-racing365 earlier this month that he would like to see more creative and varied ways of the attack mode being implemented.

The FIA communicates details of each race’s attack mode applications at short notice before the start of the race, in an attempt to minimize strategic planning and add an element of unpredictability.

“It was always supposed to be slightly hard to get it, I think that’s good that adds a little bit of excitement,” BMW i Andretti Motorsport team principal Roger Griffiths told e-racing365.

“I think it’s something I never expected it to be perfect the first time. I think they can evolve it over the next few races and it can be better.

“Personally I think we need to let it play out before we make too many changes.

“We need to get more data. Two or three races and then we can have another look at it.”

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



  1. Avatar

    Kris G.

    December 21, 2018 at 12:04 pm

    As some one well pointed out the attack mode works as a virtual pit-stop, you do loose some time when pitting but because you’ve fresh tyres (in case of most championships) your pace is better in the next few laps. It did work very well and I do agree we should see it in use for a few races before make any adjustments.

  2. Avatar


    December 21, 2018 at 3:48 pm

    I loved it. I do think the race would still have been great even without attack mode or pit stops, but I really like the concept and for a first attempt it went as well as anyone could have expected.

    • Avatar

      Kris G.

      December 21, 2018 at 6:39 pm

      The biggest difference between F1 and FE talking about action on track is that in F1 after half race it colds down and for the last 10 minutes the results are predictable whereas with FE the race becomes alive after its second half and in the last 10 minutes things go crazy. The attack Mode did work pretty well in my opinion.

  3. Avatar

    Alex Pawlowski

    December 22, 2018 at 7:41 pm

    I thought attack mode was awesome. (Much better seeing in person than original marketing for it). Like with most things, it will probably have to keep evolving as teams get smarter how about and when to deploy, I do like they limit the amount of time before start of race to finalize details. Allowing them to use it on a fcy restart was brilliant.

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