Formula E rule changes aimed at encouraging more energy saving for 2019/20

New changes announced to the ABB FIA Formula E sporting regulations have been released, the major alteration aimed at encouraging energy conservation.

Following Friday’s meeting of the FIA World Motor Sport Council in Paris, the regulations have been altered so that energy consumption is set and deducted from cars during full course yellow periods.

According to Autosport, ‘the exact amount will be determined by the length of the race suspension and will be equal to 1kWh per minute for the duration of the caution period. This means that if the safety car is out on track for six minutes, all drivers will have 6kWh subtracted from their remaining energy when the race restarts.’

The regulations for the current season means that, during a full course yellow in the event of an accident, drivers are not obliged to significantly save energy. As has happened on a couple of occasions this year, cars’ energy can be depleted to such an extent that they run out of power close to the finish line, as Pascal Wehrlein found to his cost in Mexico City.

Other changes to the regulations sees the popular ‘Attack Mode’ innovation power rise by 10kW to 235kW although drivers will now no longer be allowed to activate the system during Full Course Yellows and safety car situations. And an additional point will now be awarded to the driver topping the group running phase of qualifying.

 

The FIA statement as to the rule changes reads as follows:

  • During a race suspension, the timekeeping system will stop, unless otherwise announced by the Race Director, with the aim of completing the full race time
  • The fastest driver in the qualifying group stages will score one championship point
  • Maximum power output of the RESS will increase from 225kW to 235kW in Attack Mode
  • Activation of Attack Mode will be forbidden during Full Course Yellow and Safety Car periods
  • For each minute spent under Full Course Yellow or Safety Car conditions, 1 kWh will be subtracted from the total available energy measured from the point at which the race was neutralised
  • The homologation cycle for the Gen2 car will be extended to include season eight for reasons of cost control and to account for new manufacturers entering in season six. This decision does not exclude the following potential updates:
  • Power increase
  • Battery performance improvement
  • Design evolution

A modification to the Technical Regulations was also approved, reducing the maximum number of MGUs (rotating electromechanical power converters) from two to one.

Fraser Masefield

Fraser Masefield

Sports news and features writer, web editor and author.

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