FIA and Formula E detail new race format for season five

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Formula E and the FIA will introduce a new race format and split power modes alongside the new-look next-generation car. The changes take into account the increased power and energy storage capacity of the Gen2 car

In a bid to promote a mixture of strategic options, as well as further enhancing and retaining the intense and unpredictable nature of Formula E races, the FIA has announced that it will be mandatory for drivers to use two different power modes over a race distance.

Drivers will be able to access 225kW of power in a higher mode – as opposed to the standard 200kW available during the race – once they’ve passed through a single activation zone. The activation zone will be clearly visible and marked out on the circuit for fans trackside and those watching on TV. The two power modes on each car will be indicated using different colors on the LED system on the halo head protection device.

The exact number of individual uses and relative duration of the higher power mode will vary at each event and will be determined by the FIA. It will be at the discretion of the teams and drivers when to activate the higher power mode throughout the race, within the limits set by the FIA.

Drivers will also be able to activate Fanboost only when the cars are running on a higher power mode, taking the maximum power available to 250kW.

Other alterations for Season 5 include changes to the number of cars making it through to the super pole shoot-out, in order to accommodate the larger grid of 22 cars. The new qualifying format now sees the top-six fastest drivers after the group stages battle it out to secure pole position.

Race distances will no longer be measured using a predefined number of laps, but will instead run to a strict time limit of 45 minutes plus one lap to reach the chequered flag.

The prize for fastest lap will also be replaced, with points being awarded to the most efficient driver classified in the top-five positions – rewarding the driver who has used the least amount of energy.

Alejandro Agag, founder and CEO of Formula E, said, “The ABB FIA Formula E Championship has always produced highly competitive and unpredictable racing. Formula E is synonymous with innovation and pioneering technology – that’s exactly what we’ll be seeing again next season with the step-up in performance and efficiency of the futuristic next-generation car, as well as trialling unique and radical concepts to usher in a new era of Formula E.

“The new format and split levels of power being introduced for Season 5 will add an extra strategic element and continue to offer intense and exciting competition between some of the most talented drivers and biggest brands in motorsport. I’m looking forward to seeing the new cars and format in action against the backdrop of iconic city skylines – starting in Ad Diriyah in December.”

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Sam joined the UKi Media & Events automotive team in 2017, having recently graduated from the University of Brighton with a degree in journalism. For the newest addition to the editorial team, stepping into the assistant editor position signalled the start of a career in the subject he studied. In addition to his work on UKi’s automotive titles, Sam also contributes to Stadia, writing content for the magazine and website.

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