Audi team principal Allan McNish reckons ABB FIA Formula E’s attack mode concept provided the "mix-up" the series needed on its on-track debut at the Ad Diriyah E-Prix.
The system, which raises power levels from 200kW to 225kW for set periods of time after drivers have travelled through an off-line zone, was used for the first time during last weekend’s 2018/19 season opener in Saudi Arabia.
Despite the tight confines of much of the Ad Diriyah track, the race featured plenty of overtaking moves up and down the field.
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McNish, who’s drivers Daniel Abt and Lucas di Grassi rose from 12th and 18th on the grid to finish eighth and ninth on what turned out to be a disappointing day for the reigning FE teams’ champion squad, said that “from a racing perspective it was quite interesting”.
“Watching when [drivers] used it, people were actually getting overtaken then having to fight back and things like that,” he told Motorsport.com.
“So it does create a little bit of a mix-up, which is ultimately what Formula E were looking for.
“That’s never a bad thing because I do believe that overtaking is a skillset a driver needs to have and so therefore we saw some guys doing some pretty strong overtaking manoeuvres.
“[Venturi driver and FE rookie] Felipe Massa one of them, he was getting quite robust. He’s 37 years old he wants to keep it cool!
“But it did offer up those sorts of opportunities, so it’s something that I think we can develop as we go on, with the other side of it [was that] it was quite clear you could follow closely again.
“There are parts of it where the racing’s still robust, still quite elbowy, and that’s not a bad thing.”
Following the Ad Diriyah race, FE CEO Alejandro Agag said that increased power is among the minor changes the championship is considering making to the attack mode system.
Stoffel Vandoorne, HWA Racelab, VFE-05 Daniel Abt, Audi Sport ABT Schaeffler, Audi e-tron FE05
Photo by: Malcolm Griffiths / LAT Images
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