Formula E to vote on safety car changes after Valencia farce

Formula E will vote in changes to its safety car procedure for the 2022 season in a bid to avoid the energy management woes that underlined the contentious Valencia E-Prix.

Formula E to vote on safety car changes after Valencia farce

At the June 2019 meeting of the FIA World Motor Sport Council, the series introduced an amendment that means for each minute spent under safety car of full-course yellow conditions, 1kWh can be deducted from the 52kWh race total of useable energy.

This followed pressure from manufacturers to ensure that interruptions to the race, which allow drivers to conserve energy, did not lead to flat out sprint races.

As Nissan global motorsport director Tommaso Volpe explained to Autosport: “Energy management is a key performance differentiator.

“It’s where we generate some of the most valuable IP for the core business.”

However, a total of 19kWh was taken away by the FIA in the opening Valencia race, which culminated in only nine of the 24 drivers finishing, while many slowed to a crawl in a bid to reach the finish when the race ran for a lap longer than expected.

PLUS: How Valencia E-Prix farce left Formula E with an image problem

To address this, the Formula E Teams and Manufacturers Associations is in talks with teams, the championship and the governing body to alter how these in-race reductions are made.

Autosport understands that the current options tabled are deducting less energy per neutralised period, making no reduction during a safety car deployed in the final 10 minutes or, pausing the 45-minute plus one lap race timer during the intervention and then adding that time on at the end.

Antonio Felix Da Costa, DS Techeetah, DS E-Tense FE21, Sebastien Buemi, Nissan e.Dams, Nissan IMO2, Rene Rast, Audi Sport ABT Schaeffler, Audi e-tron FE07, Sergio Sette Camara, Dragon Penske Autosport, Penske EV-5, Pascal Wehrlein, Porsche, Porsche 99X Electric, Edoardo Mortara, Venturi Racing, Silver Arrow 02, Robin Frijns, Envision Virgin Racing, Audi e-tron FE07, Stoffel Vandoorne, Mercedes-Benz EQ, EQ Silver Arrow 02, at the start

Antonio Felix Da Costa, DS Techeetah, DS E-Tense FE21, Sebastien Buemi, Nissan e.Dams, Nissan IMO2, Rene Rast, Audi Sport ABT Schaeffler, Audi e-tron FE07, Sergio Sette Camara, Dragon Penske Autosport, Penske EV-5, Pascal Wehrlein, Porsche, Porsche 99X Electric, Edoardo Mortara, Venturi Racing, Silver Arrow 02, Robin Frijns, Envision Virgin Racing, Audi e-tron FE07, Stoffel Vandoorne, Mercedes-Benz EQ, EQ Silver Arrow 02, at the start

Photo by: Alastair Staley / Motorsport Images

The winning solution, along with alterations to the group qualifying format, will then be voted in for the 2022 season following the next FIA WMSC meeting in Paris on 15 October.

Volpe continued: “Everybody has their own opinion on different solutions.

"We will convert to what we believe is the best compromise and the good thing is that compared to other sports, we really discuss openly between teams, FIA and FE [Operations], which is very good.”

Read Also:

However, Volpe - who led Infiniti’s involvement in Formula 1 - said any subsequent rule change was not a direct response to controversial events in Spain but rather to reinforce the importance of energy management.

He said: "The main task is not to avoid what happened in Valencia specifically. It is to avoid flat out races at the end and keeping the importance of the energy management.

"What happened was very unfortunate. But in a way, it was functional to raise the question, ‘should we change the rule?’

"The rule as it is written is not wrong per se but we have to consider how to manage it in case things like Valencia happened again.

“It's just that the rule proved to be challenged by a specific race that's never happened before.”

The FIA also deducted 4kWh from the race total that could be used in London following team simulators runs that predicted a flat-out contest.

shares
comments

Related video

Mercedes: Vandoorne's Berlin E-Prix qualifying won FE teams' title
Previous article

Mercedes: Vandoorne's Berlin E-Prix qualifying won FE teams' title

Next article

Mercedes FE race team investigating new manufacturer tie-up

Mercedes FE race team investigating new manufacturer tie-up
Load comments
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
How Evans came, saw and conquered Formula E in Rome Plus

How Evans came, saw and conquered Formula E in Rome

Mitch Evans and Jaguar dominated the Rome E-Prix weekend, winning both races to bring alive a season in which he'd scored just one point from the previous three weekends. Supreme overtaking and strategy proved key in bringing the Kiwi back into title contention on a weekend that he was, his rivals conceded, “in a different league”

Formula E
Apr 11, 2022
How a Formula E mainstay's new home is helping it prepare for Gen3 Plus

How a Formula E mainstay's new home is helping it prepare for Gen3

Under a former guise, the NIO 333 Formula E squad took victory in the championship's inaugural season, but a difficult recent history has resigned the team to the back of the field. Now with a new base and the much-vaunted Gen3 regulations incoming, the Chinese team is looking reinvigorated

Formula E
Mar 30, 2022