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

FIA director Frederic Bertrand hopes the controversial end to the Valencia E-Prix “will never happen again” but reckons it showcases “how difficult” it is to win in Formula E.

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

The championship has drawn heavy flak from competitors and viewers after only six cars finished an inaugural Spanish race at semi-competitive speed following mass last-lap energy woes for drivers.

The rest of the field slowed to a crawl, with Jean-Eric Vergne reporting a “five-minute lap” to make the finish while a further five drivers were disqualified for exceeding useable energy limits.

Formula E and innovative sport projects director for the FIA, Bertrand pushed back against the criticism saying that six drivers who did manage energy levels to the finish were “super happy”.

But behind winner Nyck de Vries, runner-up Nico Muller and third-placed driver Stoffel Vandoorne had to serve various penalties. Engineers reckon this meant these two were forced into ‘salvage’ races early on and were therefore more representative of ‘lucky’ race strategy.

FIA director of Formula E and innovative sport projects Bertrand, who queried the decision of erstwhile race leader Antonio Felix da Costa not to slow more behind the final safety car to ensure drivers would only have to complete one more lap instead of two, did concede that he hoped “we don’t face these types of challenges again”.

When asked if events had damaged the perception of Formula E, he said: “I can understand two things.

“The first is the fact that this is not the image we have normally at the end of the race. To have this thing coming into the system could be the same with fuel or whatever.

“At the end, you give a quantity to drive with and if you obtain that quantity, and you go further, you are in trouble.

“This is clearly not the way we like it. We don't think it's the type of end of race we would like to have every weekend. Once was clearly enough, and I hope everybody learned and it will never happen again.

“Are we afraid of the impact? On one side, yes. You will always have a lot of people saying that it’s a frustrating end to the race.

“What is clear is that we hope that this will be the lesson for everyone so that we don't face these types of issues anymore.”

Read Also:

Bertrand reckoned the result had demonstrated how difficult it was to win in Formula E.

He continued: “People understand all the challenges this championship has. It's not only driving; it's not only managing your race as normal but it's also managing all these aspects of energy management.

“Let's keep it as a challenge for the championship. Let's keep these types of aspects of the championship high so that people understand how difficult it is to win here for a team, for a driver. To be consistent on the season is also very difficult.

“We prefer to have a high fight level up to the last minute and the last metres. But still, that's part of the Formula E challenge, managing energy. We can't avoid that.

“This is part of the show also at the end.”

shares
comments

Related video

FIA: Extra lap 'made life difficult' in Valencia
Previous article

FIA: Extra lap 'made life difficult' in Valencia

Next article

Da Costa blasts FIA claims after controversial Valencia FE race

Da Costa blasts FIA claims after controversial Valencia FE race
Load comments
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
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