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Formula E Ad Diriyah: Attack mode zone changed after criticism

The attack mode activation zone for the ABB FIA Formula E Ad Diriyah E-Prix has been moved after consultation with the championship's drivers

Several drivers, including reigning champion Jean-Eric Vergne, criticised the placement of the zone, which is situated at the exit of Turn 17 at the season-opening circuit, and that corner feeds onto the track's main straight.

The off-line activation area is located to the right-hand side of the corner exit and houses the three timing loops that the drivers must run over to activate the attack mode.

The zone has been moved 23m closer to the start line, where the race will get under way on the straight between the uphill Turn 17 and the big braking zone at the right of Turn 18.

The painted white lines that signal the start and end points of the zone have also been "increased in size for better visibility", according to an FIA bulletin.

"After discussion in the driver briefing, the attack zone has been relocated appropriately 23 meters closer to the start line from the original location," read the bulletin.

"Effectively, the original 'exit line' of the zone is now the 'entry line'."

The FIA has also released the precise format the attack mode will take for the Ad Diriyah race.

The drivers will be allowed to arm the system five times as a maximum, with two activations of four minutes permitted per driver.

The system is mandatory to use during the race.

When asked about the changes, Vergne told Autosport that "it's a bit better".

"It's good that they responded, the only thing that I hope is that in the future they tell us what they want exactly, like if we [are supposed to] lose one second, two seconds," the DS Techeetah driver continued.

"We have the simulator, we know what is dangerous or not, and obviously this place was not right. [But] they all realised it.

"I'm happy they changed it, but in the future I hope they can contact us and check with the drivers first."

There have also been several changes to the starting order ahead of the race, including the disqualification of provisional second-place starter Tom Dillmann.

Dillmann has lost his front row start for the race for not respecting the maximum number of laps in qualifying.

The NIO driver has been excluded from qualifying and will start last alongside his team-mate Oliver Turvey, who has been relegated for a missing sensor on the FIA datalogger.

But Dillmann has escaped punishment for "assumed non respect of the red flag", per an FIA bulletin, during practice.

The NIO drivers will now start 21st and 22nd with Dillmann bringing up the rear of the field.

"Due to the weather conditions the driver was unable to enter the pits in a safe way, when the red flag was displayed," read the bulletin.

Also penalised after qualifying were Audi's Lucas di Grassi, and Virgin Racing drivers Sam Bird, Robin Frijns.

All three drivers had their best times in qualifying deleted going over the maximum power allowance of 250kW on their flying laps.

In statements, both teams blamed "a power overshoot hitting a bump" and they claimed there was "no performance gain". Virgin is an Audi powertrain customer.

Di Grassi will start 18th, ahead of the two Virgin cars.

Nissan e.dams rookie Oliver Rowland also lost his best lap from qualifying and will start 14th.

Revised starting grid

Pos Driver Team Gap
1 Antonio Felix da Costa BMW 1m17.728s
2 Jose Maria Lopez Dragon 0.385s
3 Sebastien Buemi e.dams 0.541s
4 Stoffel Vandoorne HWA 0.762s
5 Jean-Eric Vergne DS Techeetah 0.843s
6 Jerome d'Ambrosio Mahindra 1.349s
7 Andre Lotterer DS Techeetah 1.589s
8 Mitch Evans Jaguar 1.984s
9 Gary Paffett HWA 2.201s
10 Alexander Sims BMW 2.639s
11 Daniel Abt Audi 2.657s
12 Felipe Massa Venturi 2.679s
13 Edoardo Mortara Venturi 2.602s
14 Oliver Rowland e.dams 3.121s
15 Nelson Piquet Jr. Jaguar 3.761s
16 Maximilian Guenther Dragon 4.155s
17 Felix Rosenqvist Mahindra 5.309s
18 Lucas di Grassi Audi 7.376s
19 Sam Bird Virgin 11.897s
20 Robin Frijns Virgin 13.838s
21 Oliver Turvey NIO -
22 Tom Dillmann NIO -

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