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Valencia Thursday Notebook

Sam Smith’s Thursday notebook from the Formula E paddock at Valencia…

Photo: Sam Smith

***An additional ‘experimental race’ in the same procedure as was trialled at Valencia on Wednesday afternoon will take place on Friday morning. E-racing365 understands that teams’ opinions on a second ‘event’ was split during the official teams’ meeting at the circuit this afternoon, but the FIA has built it into tomorrow morning’s timetable the ‘race’ and it will begin at 14.00 local time.

***ABB FIA Formula E Championship race director Scot Elkins told e-racing365 that the system trials of the energy reduction procedure were generally “very positive” after the Wednesday afternoon ‘race’. “We’re happy with [the race] and all the team managers I have spoken today are happy too,” he said.

“It was nice to have the opportunity to see a safety car for a little over three minutes and it was nice to throw one in with five minutes to go at the end and then have a few green flag laps at the end to see how that played out.”

***Porsche team manager Amiel Lindesay said the incidents that befell both Neel Jani and Andre Lotterer in testing so far this week have been “solid real-time operational training” for the TAG Heuer Porsche Formula E Team.

“It hardens you up nicely before the races start and these sorts of tests are what we need. It validates what we do back at base and the procedures we practice, so it’s all good prep,” he explained.

***Formula E cars will run with new ‘smart antennae’ mounted atop the chassis this season. The Magnetti Marelli-supplied housings are used for GPS, telemetry and radio and transmitted to the FIA in an effort for the governing body to reduce the amount of data collated by teams.

***The Formula E Teams and Manufacturers Association held its second meeting since the end of last season on Wednesday evening. Representatives from all 12 teams attended the meeting and the now traditional post-meeting dinner afterwards.

***Nissan e.dams will unveil its new livery in a special event at its headquarters in Yokohama next week. The team is expected to feature a radically different color scheme to its predominantly grey livery of last season to incorporate NISMO’s traditional red more.

***The Mercedes-Benz EQ Formula E team could utilize some of its testing allocation between the end of the Valencia test and the formal cut-off for testing on Nov. 1, according to team principal Ian James.

“We haven’t used all of our test days yet, so we have got an opportunity between now and Riyadh to do some ‘belt-and-braces’ just to make sure we are in the best position possible,” James told e-racing365.

***E-racing365 has learned that the prospect of the FIA using driveshaft torque sensors for measuring and policing the deployment of power is now off the agenda for the 2020-21 season. This season has seen all teams having to have homologated throttle maps as part of their official homologated technical package.

***Mahindra will take its testing up to the re-configured Nov. 1 deadline with a post-Valencia test day booked for the end of October.

***The second season of the Jaguar I-PACE eTROPHY will include a pre-season test and evaluation of the new Attack Mode system it will employ in 2019-20. The test is set to take place at the Bedford Aerodrome facility in the final week of October.

***Jaguar Racing boss James Barclay says he anticipates “a similar number of entries as last season, initially” for the season opening races at Ad Diriyah next month. Organizers are currently evaluating which venue will pick up the round which was originally earmarked for the now cancelled Hong Kong event.

***Sanya is thought to be the favorite for replacing the Hong Kong round. Jaguar didn’t hold a race in Marrakesh last season but instead had a two-month gap between its first and second races at Ad Diriyah and Mexico City.

“We are just reviewing it at the moment but we will replace [Hong Kong],” Barclay told e-racing365. “We are looking at a few options. Sanya, where we raced last year, is an option but we are also looking at other options too. A decision is imminent.”

***Inaugural I-PACE eTROPHY champion Sergio Jimenez conducted his prize drive in a Gen 1 Jaguar Formula E car at Valencia today. The Brazilian, who is expected to defend his title with the Jaguar Brazil Racing this season, completed four separate runs of laps in the Jaguar I-Type 4 car.

***Jimenez’s teammate Caca Bueno could be replaced for the opening two rounds in Ad Diriyah due to a clashing Stock Car Brasil commitment at the Autodromo Internacional Ayrton Senna in Goiania.

***Envision Virgin Racing will continue to have an Audi engineer seconded to it for the duration of the 2019-20 campaign as part of its deal with the German manufacturer.

“We have to have it because it is part and parcel of the reliability and to check the powertrain systems,” Envision Virgin managing director Sylvain Filippi told e-racing365.

“There is a part of it that we don’t really see like the control systems and high voltage stuff which is the manufacturers key areas.”

***NIO 333’s Vincent Wang told e-racing365 that current Formula 2 and Renault young driver Guangyu Zhou was approached regarding the possibility of a driver with the team.

“I know Zhou from a long time before when he was a kid karting in China,” said Wang. “He is very talented but at the moment is focusing on his Formula 2 program, so it is not too likely for him to come to Formula E right now.”

***E-racing365 understands that Bruno Spengler is likely to retain his position as an official reserve and development driver with the BMW i Andretti Motorsport squad this season. The 2012 DTM champion attended the majority of races in this role during the 2018-19 season and has tested the Season Six development on several occasions.

***Three-time Mobil 1 Twelve Hours of Sebring winner Pipo Derani is understood to be in the frame for a potential Formula E test in 2020. Derani, who recently completed a IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship campaign in a Cadillac DPi-V.R, briefly tested for Mahindra Racing in the summer of 2018 and is believed to be in discussions with some squads about a possible run in spring.

***Mercedes-Benz EQ’s drivers will race with No. 5 (Stoffel Vandoorne) and No. 17 (Nyck de Vries) this season. The reason these numbers were chosen was to reflect the specific alphabet numerical with E as the fifth letter of the alphabet and Q the 17th.

***The fourth all-electric Audi road car is set to be the first model from the German manufacturer to be built around the Premium Platform Electric (PPE) platform – a new build architecture developed jointly with Porsche. The two VW Group brands go up against each other for the first time in Formula E this season.

***FIA President Jean Todt visited the headquarters of Atieva in August to view the facility where the batteries are produced and meet with its CEO Peter Rawlinson. The Gen 2 batteries feature Sony cells and are produced by Atieva, which comes under the Lucid Motors group of companies.

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

1 Comment

1 Comment

  1. Avatar

    Esteban García

    October 17, 2019 at 2:11 pm

    Complete report as always, thanks for that!
    Hope for a good season!
    Cheers
    Esteban

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