FIA: Extra lap 'made life difficult' in Valencia

The FIA has responded to the farcical end to Valencia E-Prix in which only six cars finished without taking drastic energy-saving measures, saying Antonio Felix da Costa ‘made life difficult’.

FIA: Extra lap 'made life difficult' in Valencia

Long-time leader da Costa held the lead at the restart of the last of five periods behind the safety car and crossed the timing line with 15 seconds remaining to tee up a two-lap sprint finish.

This came after incremental reductions were made following every safety car interlude to the total energy each driver could use, decisions which are made at the discretion of FIA race director Scot Elkins.

The final figure fell from the standard 52kWh by 19kWh down to a final of 33kWh.

The last reduction, combined with the short distance remaining, left minimal time to regenerate energy and forced cars to crawl to the finish to be classified while five drivers were disqualified.

This result has drawn widespread criticism from teams, who believe the final energy reduction was too severe and too late in the race, but they do not fully hold da Costa responsible.

This comes after the FIA has suggested he could have slowed the pace more at the final safety car restart to cross the line after the race timer had elapsed to instead leave only a one-lap shootout.

FIA director of Formula E and innovative sport projects Frederic Bertrand said: "I don't know if it's a mistake. I think it's a global approach of the end of the race.

“For sure, it was surprising that this choice was done this way [by Da Costa] to have that extra lap. I would say in the feeling being done, for sure it was clearly making life difficult to a lot of drivers and the leader in particular.

“It's a surprising choice, probably linked to a lot of specific way of managing the energy for them, also and understanding the way we can accumulate on it before.

“When you look at all the circumstances and the way this happened, it's a very tricky race. At the end there is in a few seconds something which happens, which maybe is not the right decision at the end.

“But it's far better to and far easier to say what was wrong after than before.”

Read Also:

Bertrand clarified that da Costa had the “option” to slow down more, adding: “Doing a different choice clearly created a difficult end of race. It was [a] much more difficult challenge with two laps.

“These 15 second have been quite important.”

The energy reduction procedure was discussed at the Formula E team managers’ meeting held on Friday following similar manoeuvres made during the previous Rome E-Prix.

Bertrand said the Valencia opener had been “consistent” with what had been discussed: “[Elkins] was asked, he answered and he applied,” he said.

When asked by Motorsport.com if the FIA would amend the procedure ahead of the Sunday race, Bertrand replied: “No, no. I think every everybody knows what they have to do for tomorrow. I’m sure everybody learns, already.”

 

shares
comments

Related video

De Vries defends Formula E after chaotic Valencia finish

Previous article

De Vries defends Formula E after chaotic Valencia finish

Next article

FIA: Valencia race shows "how difficult" it is to win in FE

FIA: Valencia race shows "how difficult" it is to win in FE
Load comments
How Mercedes and de Vries achieved Formula E glory the hard way Prime

How Mercedes and de Vries achieved Formula E glory the hard way

When Nyck de Vries dominated the first race of what would be the most controversial and unpredictable Formula E season to date, it looked as though Mercedes was in for a cakewalk. But as the campaign wore on, the path to a title double became increasingly rocky. Neither driver or team would be assured of the crown until the closing stages of the very final race on a weekend of struggle in Berlin.

The Formula E 'loan' deal that will keep di Grassi winning Prime

The Formula E 'loan' deal that will keep di Grassi winning

OPINION: The departure of Audi from Formula E meant its long-time driver Lucas di Grassi would need to find a new berth to stay on the grid. His deal at Venturi Racing will ensure the championship's first-ever race winner will remain competitive into the final year of the current Gen2 ruleset - although it may not be a long-term fit

Formula E
Sep 15, 2021
The problems laid bare by Mercedes' impending Formula E departure Prime

The problems laid bare by Mercedes' impending Formula E departure

Mercedes' planned withdrawal from Formula E at the end of the 2022 season will contribute to the big hole left by fellow automotive manufacturers Audi and BMW on their departures. Although the team may stick around under a different guise, the exit of the now-reigning teams' champion underlines FE's current issues...

Formula E
Aug 18, 2021
The F1 dilemma facing Mercedes' new world champion Prime

The F1 dilemma facing Mercedes' new world champion

After clinching the Formula E title at the Berlin finale, Nyck de Vries is a driver in demand. Although Mercedes would love to keep a reigning champion at the team, the allure of a Williams F1 drive may be too much for de Vries to ignore should a potential deal come to pass

Formula E
Aug 17, 2021
How de Vries claimed Formula E title glory as Mercedes exit bombshell looms Prime

How de Vries claimed Formula E title glory as Mercedes exit bombshell looms

As Formula E lined up to complete its seventh season at Berlin's Tempelhof Airport, all eyes were on who would be its first official FIA world champion. Despite Nyck de Vries' title lead heading into the weekend looking all but secure, the Dutchman held on - and enjoyed a good dollop of fortune - to secure a championship double for Mercedes

Formula E
Aug 16, 2021
Why Audi was right and wrong in Formula E's loophole row Prime

Why Audi was right and wrong in Formula E's loophole row

OPINION: With Audi's Formula E exit imminent, it had nothing to lose in London by attempting to vault Lucas di Grassi into the lead by pitting him under the safety car. Scorn directed at the team for putting glory before ethics should instead be pointed at a rulebook that allowed such a move in the first place.

Formula E
Jul 28, 2021
Why Formula E's London return delivered anarchy in the UK Prime

Why Formula E's London return delivered anarchy in the UK

Formula E landed for a London E-Prix for the first time since 2016, at the indoor-outdoor circuit around the ExCeL. Featuring the birth of renewed title pushes, a long-awaited maiden win and the second race's controversy, the round proved to be an exhibition of the electric series' anarchic nature.

Formula E
Jul 26, 2021
Why consistency can't be relied upon for Formula E title success Prime

Why consistency can't be relied upon for Formula E title success

It's commonly upheld as the most straightforward method of racking up titles. But, due to the unique qualifying format used in Formula E, a consistent approach can actively work against a driver and make their life harder in races. So with four races to go, is now the time to ditch the tried-and-tested approach for a win-or-bust mentality?

Formula E
Jul 23, 2021