Formula E regs updated to avoid Valencia-like mass retirements

The FIA has updated the Formula E regulations to prevent another incidence of the mass final-lap retirements and disqualifications that drew heavy criticism in the Valencia E-Prix. 

A late 5kWh reduction in useable energy limits brought about by a fifth safety car period meant the opening race of the Spanish double-header fell into controversy when five cars were disqualified for exceeding energy limits and a further three cars stopped on track. 

This followed a provision voted in at the June 2019 meeting of the FIA World Motor Sport Council that allows Formula E race director Scot Elkins to deduct 1kWh of the 52kWh race total for every minute spent behind the safety car or under full-course yellow conditions. 

However, under Article 37.9 of the Formula E Sporting Regulations, the race director has the “discretion to cancel this energy subtraction if deemed necessary”. 

The lack of heavy braking zones at the permanent Circuit Ricardo Tormo venue meant drivers could not regenerate energy levels in the remaining final two laps to reach the finish. 

But the FIA has now introduced an amendment meaning no energy reductions will be made beyond a new 40-minute cut off for the 45-minute plus one lap race timer. 

A statement supplied by the FIA to Motorspor.com read: “Following what happened in race one in Valencia, the FIA and the promoter do not wish to see a similar scenario happen again. 

“With that in mind, and to prevent any further risk of miscalculation in regard to the energy consumption, it has been decided to no longer apply energy reduction if a safety car period ends beyond the 40th minute of a race.  

“This will grant teams an additional margin for error, without detracting in any way from the spirit of Formula E, in which energy management is a key element.” 

Read Also:

This will come into immediate effect for the Monaco E-Prix on the full grand prix circuit configuration this weekend. This update comes despite FIA director of Formula E Frederic Bertrand having called on long-time race leader and defending champion Antonio Felix da Costa to slow the field at the final safety car restart to ensure only a one-lap run to the finish.  

The issue of energy reductions had been raised in a team managers’ meeting held the day prior to the Valencia E-Prix opener. 

This followed the final-lap collision in the preceding Rome E-Prix between Mercedes driver Nyck de Vries and Jaguar Racing’s Sam Bird. 

Bird told Motorsport.com he had been in the battle with de Vries on the fringes of the top 10 owing to miscommunication over remaining energy levels and race distance. 

But no amendment was made for either Valencia race. 

Had Sunday victor Jake Dennis not slowed the pack to allow only a one-lap sprint then drivers and team bosses reckoned a similar spate of retirements would have reoccurred.  

shares
comments

Related video

Vancouver City votes in favour of 2022 Formula E race
Previous article

Vancouver City votes in favour of 2022 Formula E race

Next article

Susie Wolff got "weird texts" about controversial Valencia race

Susie Wolff got "weird texts" about controversial Valencia race
Load comments
The sharing mentality that transformed the fortunes of two FE teams Prime

The sharing mentality that transformed the fortunes of two FE teams

Electing not to share data with its competitive customer team would have been a straightforward means of gaining an edge on at least one of Mercedes' Formula E rivals last season. But by reciprocating the relationship forged under its initial HWA guise, when it was a customer to Venturi, both teams have reaped the rewards

Formula E
Nov 30, 2021
How Mercedes's Formula E squad replicated the F1 team's best trait Prime

How Mercedes's Formula E squad replicated the F1 team's best trait

With its ultra-successful sister team in Formula 1 and a support network providing some of the best minds and resources in the business, Mercedes Formula E team principal Ian James knew his squad had all the winning ingredients. But mixing it together was no easy feat and required key attributes to be grown from within

Formula E
Nov 29, 2021
How Formula E's polarising newcomer Ticktum can prove himself Prime

How Formula E's polarising newcomer Ticktum can prove himself

OPINION: Few figures in racing today divide opinion like Dan Ticktum. The Formula 2 race winner now has the chance to wipe his professional slate clean with his move into Formula E, but it won't be easy at the squad which has brought up the rear for the past three years. Here are the three key criteria he must meet to make a lasting impression on the series.

Formula E
Nov 27, 2021
How Mercedes pulled off a silent coup in Formula E Prime

How Mercedes pulled off a silent coup in Formula E

By virtue of its Formula 1 success, Mercedes was expected to rise to power in Formula E before long. That it won both the drivers' and manufacturers' championships this year, after only two seasons as a full works effort, belies a tricky path littered with potential pitfalls

Formula E
Nov 26, 2021
Why electric racing cars should be four-wheel drive Prime

Why electric racing cars should be four-wheel drive

OPINION: Circuit racing has traditionally favoured front- or rear-wheel-drive setups, eschewing the equal distribution of power. But for Formula E and other electric-powered series, our columnist believes it’s a perfect fit.

Formula E
Oct 13, 2021
How motorsport's most prominent power couple found joint success Prime

How motorsport's most prominent power couple found joint success

The Wolffs have carved their own paths in motorsport, leading their respective teams to success in Formula 1 and Formula E. But the two came together last month as their drivers finished first and second in the FE drivers' championship - a feat they are hugely proud of. In a rare joint interview, they reflect on a remarkable season

Formula E
Sep 21, 2021
The top 10 Formula E drivers of 2020-21 Prime

The top 10 Formula E drivers of 2020-21

OPINION: The 2021 Formula E campaign was one without a narrative for much of the season, with no single car or driver able to break away from the pack. That makes choosing a top 10 especially difficult, particularly as the qualifying format meant some worthy performers were unable to enjoy their day in the sun.

Formula E
Sep 19, 2021
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.

Formula E
Sep 17, 2021