Reigning Formula E champion Jean-Eric Vergne says there are major issues regarding how Season Five Formula E races are run.
A combination of the new set time format, amount of usable energy at drivers’ disposal and the often sinuous nature of the tracks has led to the Frenchman’s continued frustrations.
E-racing365 reported earlier this year that discussions had taken place regarding the potential of varying usable energy at individual races.
Circuits like Hong Kong, Paris and Monaco, which are shorter than most tracks, invite flat-out races where strategy and management of energy use is rendered obsolete because of the newly set timed races.
Combined with the new race format of Attack Zone activations and the likelihood of Full Course Yellow and safety car periods during Formula E races, races become flat-out sprints to the finishing line.
“It has to be understood that if you bring back this hard energy save race, you’re not going to have contacts anymore because the guy can overtake by using more energy which is what Formula E is about,” Vergne told e-racing365.
“The Gen 2 car is wide [and] the track, extremely narrow. How can you overtake?
“There’s no way to overtake so it brings dirty racing, people crashing into each other.
“Today it’s not about this, because you don’t save, so you stay flat out you brake on the inside so what can you do? You end up passing over the guy.”
Vergne, who had previously warned about increased contact in races this season, said that drivers were given little option but to risk incidents due to the nature of the flat-out races.
“There’s no tactical contact, there’s just contact in general,” explained Vergne.
“This is because the drivers are fed up because you spend ten laps behind the guy who’s one second slower than you and at some point, you’re not going to say that you’re a race car driver.
“You’re not going to stay behind the guy who’s super slow.”
Drivers “Not Listened To”
Vergne also believes that he and his fellow drivers are not considered or consulted about major sporting matters in the all-electric championship.
When asked why the drivers do not have any official association, Vergne said that a general atmosphere of isolation was the chief reason.
“Nobody listens to us,” he said. “We’re not welcomed because we’re not being listened to.
“I’ve been saying for six months that this kind of things will happen, because of the safety car, because of the new format. It’s a nice format.
“It’s nicely done but the racing becomes impossible. They really need to do something with it because it’s urgent now.”