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Valencia Thursday Notebook

Sam Smith’s notebook from the final day of Formula E pre-season testing in Valencia….

Photo: Formula E

***Final confirmation of the Sao Paulo E-Prix next March is imminent according to FIA Formula E founder and CEO Alejandro Agag: “We need to finalize the contract with the city but everything is on a right track,” he told e-racing365.

***Rumors during the summer break that the Brazilian race might be in danger have been quashed by Agag. “There was a little bit of an uncertainty on where the walls and fences from the IndyCar race were,” he said. “And that was the question mark over Sao Paolo because maybe we would have to do new walls and fences and that would have been an additional cost. Apparently, they’ve found them and everything is fine.”

***Renault’s Vincent Gaillardot believes the primary aim and objective for all the manufacturers in Season Five will be predominantly to “show that we can make a car that can do twice as long a distance with more performance. This is why we are trying to take out the ideas for pit stops. We want to race hard on the track for 45 minutes to show the advancement of electrical technology.”

***A full simulation of the Season Five race format is likely to be undertaken at Donington Park in either September or October 2018. E-racing365 understands that a one-and-a-half day race format is broadly agreed between teams, the FIA and Formula E Holdings. A final decision on the exact race format should be made in the first quarter of next year.

***Neel Jani told e-racing365 that he was still getting used to the Michelin tires during the tests. “Here you keep the tires as cool as possible for as long as possible, so it takes some re-calibration on my part,” he said. “But the last days have been useful in several key areas for me as a new driver to the formula and the team as we prepare for Hong Kong.”

***The Formula E cars will be freighted for Hong Kong on Nov. 15 after other infrastructure shipments are sent later this month.

***Techeetah will try and complete one of its allocated filming days before shipping their cars off to Hong Kong. “Yes we hope to do one [day] before we pack away but it is not 100 percent, but we need all the time we can get,” said Techeetah Head of Engineering Leo Thomas.

***As with most teams, Dragon Racing is likely to also undertake a filming day in the next month after it has applied its new Season Four livery. E-racing365 has learned that a similar look to the Season Two “metallic maroon” color scheme is being considered.

***There are no plans for a feeder series for Formula E on the near horizon. “I think we’re becoming a point of destination for really great drivers on our own and I think a pure electric junior series wouldn’t add anything because drivers can get well prepared to drive these cars with the other series that area out there – GP2, IndyCar, whatever,” Agag told e-racing365.

***E-racing365 understands that Formula E will be announcing a major TV broadcaster as part of the Season Four package this month. The deal is likely to be revealed in two weeks’ time.

***DS Performance Director Xavier Mestelan-Pinon was not at the Valencia test this week. However, when asked about the level of DS engineering involvement in the team for the coming season, Virgin Racing team principal Alex Tai said: “You will see the same faces all the time but the focuses are likely to be different. Remember that the focus for them is becoming a manufacturer and developing for Season Five.”

***Tai joined the Valencia test on the final day after attending the birth of his baby daughter, Darcey, earlier this week. E-racing365 passes on its congratulations to Tai and his family.

***What links reigning champion Lucas di Grassi to one of mankind’s greatest achievers? “It’s great to have Lucas as the CEO [of Roborace],” Agag said. “He’s like a guy from the renaissance. He’s like Da Vinci. He’s a driver, he’s a businessman, and he’s an engineer. He can do everything!”

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 Comment

1 Comment

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    October 9, 2017 at 2:22 pm

    “a pure electric junior series wouldn’t add anything”

    Well, I would like to see electric karts, and kids would love them too.

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