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Tighter Formula E Tech Regs Sought

Key figures want to see Formula E tech regulations tightened up in light of recent events…

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A number of key figures in the ABB FIA Formula E Championship have expressed concern that the all-electric series’ technical regulations need to be tightened up.

Recent disputes and protests have created some volatility in the paddock, especially after a formal protest was launched after the Monaco E-Prix by Mahindra Racing.

The protest centered around an alleged non-compliance of an intricate tire pressure rule against the top two finishers in the E-Prix, Jean-Eric Vergne’s DS Techeetah and Oliver Rowland’s Nissan edams.

The protest was dismissed by the FIA after two technicalities were discovered in the paperwork.

No official comment or explanation regarding the actual pressure or temperature readings taken from the two cars was ever communicated.

In addition to the tire pressure/temperature furore, the convoluted and ongoing topic of Nissan e.dams’ current technical package, which is believed to include a unique twin-MGU setup, is also set to come to a head soon.

The present situation regarding the lobbying of Nissan’s rivals is unknown but e-racing365 understands that FIA technical director Gilles Simon has been deployed to try and resolve the issue.

One option being explored by the FIA is to outlaw the concept completely for next season but this would leave Nissan with little time to react as the development testing phase for next season is already active and ends on Oct. 1.

When asked by e-racing365 in Rome last month if Nissan e.dams had an alternative technical plan for 2019-20, Nissan Global Motorsport Director Michael Carcamo refused to be drawn if a backup plan was in existence.

These topics have created some unease in the Formula E paddock as areas of the regulations are continuously being pushed to the maximum by competitors.

“There are some gaping holes and huge gray areas in the present regs,” one team principal told e-racing365 in Monaco.

“They have to be tightened up because if they are not then the protests will come flying in and you can bet your house that Porsche and Mercedes have almost forensic experts looking at them every single week for the tiniest loopholes.”

Some drivers are also known to be concerned about the uncertainty surrounding some of the perceived grey areas, with Mahindra’s Pascal Wehrlein telling e-racing365 in Monaco that there were “too many strange open areas in the tire rules.”

“It was funny that they changed the rule about the tire pressures now after what happened to us in Paris. It just seems strange they change this as the season is going along,” continued Wehrlein.

E-racing365 understands that a further change to the minimum tire pressure for the next race in Berlin is being considered in light of the Monaco controversy.

It has been rumored that some teams have deliberately run lower pressures so that extra heat can be worked into the tires more easily and take advantage of additional stimulation of the Michelins’ sidewall area.

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

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