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Formula E Losing “Unpredictability” With Flat-Out Gen2 Racing

1st January 2019

ABB FIA Formula E champion Lucas di Grassi believes that flat-out races with the series’ new Gen2 cars will result in lower in-race variation and unpredictability.

BMW’s Antonio Felix da Costa won the first race of FE’s Gen2 era from pole at the 2018/19 season opener in Saudi Arabia.

He was overtaken during the race by Jean-Eric Vergne’s DS Techeetah car, but the reigning champion then had to serve a drive-through penalty for exceeding the maximum permitted power limit.

Drivers were understood to be pushing at the maximum throughout the race, and although energy levels were aided by a late safety-car period it has been suggested that cars could have completed the distance flat out even without that intervention.

Audi driver di Grassi, who finished ninth in Ad Diriyah, said losing the element of in-race energy management could also result in less entertaining races.

“What we had in Formula E is that energy management plays a good part of the race strategy,” he told Motorsport.com.

“So you could use more energy in the beginning; you could use more energy in the end.

“But if you go flat out everybody does the same thing. It takes away racing capacity; racing unpredictability.”

Da Costa, however, said flat-out races are what FE should be aiming for, not only to challenge drivers but to also send a wider positive message about electric vehicles.

“This is cooler, we’re going back to a flat-out race,” he said.

“[The Ad Diriyah race] was pretty much a flat-out race from the beginning to the end and no car change.

“Your concentration levels, especially on a track like this, have to be a little bit higher as well. It’s the way it should be.

“We wanted to pass the message that electric cars have the range to do a full race without having to be swapped.”

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