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
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
How Bird's crash recovery became Formula E's fairytale of New York Prime

How Bird's crash recovery became Formula E's fairytale of New York

After crashing in practice during the opening session at the New York City E-Prix, Sam Bird immediately had a recovery job on his hands. But the Jaguar driver rose through the order and secured victory in the second race - and with it, the championship lead. Here's how an Englishman in New York became top of the heap.

Formula E
Jul 12, 2021
Why Formula E is plotting a major change of philosophy Prime

Why Formula E is plotting a major change of philosophy

Formula E has become famed for its unpredictability, which can yield exciting races - but it can be argued that it robs the all-electric championship of a clear narrative and doesn't adequately reward the best drivers. The series wants to change that, and renew its philosophy ahead of the introduction of its next-generation car

Formula E
Jun 29, 2021
How Puebla gave Formula E's new points leader breathing space Prime

How Puebla gave Formula E's new points leader breathing space

With the usual Autodromo Hermanos Rodriguez venue unavailable to Formula E, it visited the little Puebla circuit to keep its foot in the door in Mexico. A near-winner two years ago, Pascal Wehrlein looked in swaggering form throughout the weekend - but a breathless final encounter helped put Edoardo Mortara in the driving seat.

Formula E
Jun 21, 2021
The half-term report cards of each Formula E team in 2020-21 Prime

The half-term report cards of each Formula E team in 2020-21

In an eventful Formula E season, punctuated by rain and energy-conservation controversy, the 12 teams contesting the championship have endured many challenges in the opening seven races. Here's how they've got on across the first half of the season.

Formula E
May 26, 2021
How Formula E stood up to F1 comparisons in Monaco Prime

How Formula E stood up to F1 comparisons in Monaco

OPINION: It was no surprise to anybody that the laptimes achieved by Formula E cars on the full Monaco circuit were much slower than Formula 1. But perhaps the more relevant comparison was in the racing spectacle, where FE delivered in spades.

Formula E
May 12, 2021