Less energy results in "more civilised" Formula E races - Lotterer

Formula E drivers reckon reducing energy by a set amount following on-track interruptions will result in "more civilised races" and increased strategic variation now it has been used for real

Less energy results in "more civilised" Formula E races - Lotterer

For the 2019-20 season, which got underway with two races in Saudi Arabia last month, a change to FE's sporting rules has been made so that a set amount of energy will be deducted from each car after in-race interruptions such as safety car periods and full course yellows.

The exact amount is determined by the length of the suspension and is equal to 1kWh per minute for the duration of the caution period.

The system was tested by a pair of non-competitive race simulations in pre-season testing at Valencia in October, which were intended to ensure a smooth operation of the system for the new campaign.

The new rule was used immediately in the first of the two Diriyah E-Prix races after a late-race clash between Daniel Abt and Antonio Felix da Costa broke Abt's wing and led to him crashing out.

Andre Lotterer, who finished second for Porsche in that opening race, said he thought the new rule "does produce a bit more civilised races, especially from the beginning".

"[Drivers] betting on safety cards or anything and driving flatout [cannot do that anymore], so it's nice because you can be a bit more strategic and things make a little bit more sense," he added.

"So I think it's a good way to do it."

Stoffel Vandoorne finished third in the same race and, when asked for his thoughts on how the new rule worked in full race conditions, said: "I think that adds a little bit of more strategy to the race.

"In the beginning it looked a little bit more calm because everyone was trying different things - saving a bit more or not. So, I think is good for us."

The second race in Saudi Arabia did feature a more chaotic style of racing.

But this was down to the placement of the attack mode zone - which was at the centre of the collision between Sebastien Buemi and da Costa - and the rules regarding overtaking under the safety car rather than issues with the reduction in energy caused by the multiple safety car appearances and a full course yellow.

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