FE drivers react to "lottery" 2021 tyre rules

Formula E drivers have reacted to the “lottery” of new “very difficult” limitations on tyre usage for the 2021 season and are “clearly not looking forward” to further Gen3 restrictions

FE drivers react to "lottery" 2021 tyre rules

To lower consumable costs, the FIA and FE have introduced a 25% reduction to the allocation of the all-weather Michelin tyres available per race weekend for this season.

Previously, each car could use “no more than four new rear and four new front” tyres (equivalent to two full sets) for each round, but this has been cut to three for 2021 - and four for a double-header race event.

As such, under Article 25.3 of the FIA Sporting Regulations, if a one driver sustains a puncture during free practice, the team must replace the tyre with an unused tyre from their team-mate's allocation.

Envision Virgin Racing driver Robin Frijns crashed during second practice ahead of the opening race in Saudi Arabia but did not damage his tyres.

Even still, he said the new restrictions “make life sometimes very difficult.”

“Especially if you have a crash in FP1 or FP2, you are on the back foot for at least one day," Frijns said.

“We are 90% of the time driving on street tracks and a mistake can cause big damage.

“It’s quite easy to damage the tyre as a result. It makes life more difficult."

Robin Frijns, Formula E Diriyah E-Prix 2021

Robin Frijns, Formula E Diriyah E-Prix 2021

Photo by: Motorsport Images

Jaguar Racing team director James Barclay told Autosport: “It has had [a big impact].

“You have to be a lot more careful on your plan. You have to optimise the tyre and use the tyres at the best time.

“It’s another element that you really have to take into consideration. It just makes it more challenging for everybody.

“Going off-line, you don’t want to harm your tyres. It makes it a real tightrope, as though Formula E wasn’t enough of a tightrope, it’s another element.”

For the new Gen3 rules cycle coming for the 2022-23 season, when Hankook takes over from Michelin as the sole supplier, each car will be limited to one set of tyres (two fronts and two rears) per round.

Sam Bird, who won the second Diriyah E-Prix for Jaguar, having crashed out of the first race in a shunt with Alex Lynn, said: “Thinking ahead to Gen3… that’s going to be really difficult.

“Certainly, if you do have any contact with the wall or have a puncture, your day can be very compromised.”

DS Techeetah driver Jean-Eric Vergne added: “[I’m] clearly not looking forward for Gen3 with one set of tyres for the weekend.

“I don’t know why we have this rule, to be honest.

“It’s quite difficult because sometimes you can get unlucky and have a puncture in the shakedown, for example.

“[It’s] nothing to do with you, but it’s a possibility.

“The regulation, as it’s written, you cannot change it, so it’s a bit of a lottery."

shares
comments
Rowland wants "too extreme" FE qualifying format changed
Previous article

Rowland wants "too extreme" FE qualifying format changed

Next article

Neom in frame to replace Diriyah as Saudi Formula E location

Neom in frame to replace Diriyah as Saudi Formula E location
How Formula E's double-duty drivers influenced their Le Mans teams' fortunes Plus

How Formula E's double-duty drivers influenced their Le Mans teams' fortunes

Eight Formula E drivers made the 7,000-mile sprint from the streets of Jakarta to the fabled Circuit de la Sarthe and every one had a story to share at this year's Le Mans 24 Hours. Despite a range of triumphs and disappointments, each driver doubling up on the day job played a key role in their teams' fortunes

Le Mans
Jun 14, 2022
How Evans kept cool in Jakarta heat to renew his Formula E title push Plus

How Evans kept cool in Jakarta heat to renew his Formula E title push

Jean-Eric Vergne had comfortably taken a landmark pole for Formula E's first visit to Indonesia and looked set to win his first race of a highly consistent campaign. But the DS Techeetah driver couldn't answer a late attack from Jaguar's Mitch Evans, who profited from the Frenchman's change in battery management tactics to seize a third win of the campaign

Formula E
Jun 6, 2022
Why de Vries' F1 practice debut could add a new path to his current crossroads Plus

Why de Vries' F1 practice debut could add a new path to his current crossroads

A Formula 2 and Formula E champion, Nyck de Vries is currently considering where his future in motorsport lies. Continuing in WEC and Formula E is possible and he's also courted glances Stateside after impressing in an IndyCar test. But ahead of his Formula 1 FP1 debut with Williams, he could have another option if he impresses...

Formula 1
May 18, 2022
How Jake Dennis’ struggles turned him into a Formula E front-runner Plus

How Jake Dennis’ struggles turned him into a Formula E front-runner

Having emerged as one of Formula E’s strongest drivers in his one-and-a-half seasons in the championship, Jake Dennis cemented his place in the series with a breakout maiden season. But it's not always been smooth sailing for the Brit

Formula E
May 10, 2022
How Vandoorne recaptured Mercedes' winning feeling in Monaco Plus

How Vandoorne recaptured Mercedes' winning feeling in Monaco

The Mercedes Formula 1 team is struggling, but its Formula E arm is in fine form at the moment and once again leads the drivers' standings courtesy of Stoffel Vandoorne. Here's how the Belgian took a well-judged Monaco victory to emerge at the head of the brewing four-way championship tussle

Formula E
May 2, 2022
Will lighter, greener, faster Gen3 deliver on Formula E's many promises? Plus

Will lighter, greener, faster Gen3 deliver on Formula E's many promises?

With a fighter-jet inspired design, revamped technical specifications and a new tyre supplier, Formula E's Gen3 car is set to shake up the series. But can it deliver on all of the promises that Formula E has set out to ensure that manufacturers consider the outlay on going racing in an all-electric arena worthwhile?

Formula E
Apr 29, 2022
Why spanning different genres has lent Lotterer's career longevity Plus

Why spanning different genres has lent Lotterer's career longevity

Although now well into his 24th consecutive season in racing, Andre Lotterer has no intention of winding his career down. Here he talks to Autosport about his and Porsche's continued progress in Formula E, his love for racing in Japan, and recalls his sole Formula 1 outing - and considers what's next in his lengthy career

Formula E
Apr 27, 2022
Why Nissan's e.dams buyout signifies its Formula E victory intent Plus

Why Nissan's e.dams buyout signifies its Formula E victory intent

The e.dams Formula E squad is one of the most storied in the championship's short history as its original benchmark, but its successes in the Gen2 era have been fleeting by comparison. Nissan's decision to take full control ahead of Gen3 marks a statement of intent that it intends to get back to winning ways

Formula E
Apr 12, 2022