Wolff received "weird texts" about controversial Valencia FE race

Venturi Racing team principal Susie Wolff says she received “a lot of weird texts” that she “didn’t even know” how to reply to after the controversial opening Valencia E-Prix race.

Wolff received "weird texts" about controversial Valencia FE race

Formula E and the FIA drew widespread criticism when only nine cars were classified in the first Spanish race after much of the 24-car field exceeded the useable energy limits.

This was headlined by three drivers stopping on track, three hitting the pit-limiter to effectively coast to the finish and a further five cars being disqualified.

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

By way of a response, the FIA has amended its energy reduction protocol for the Monaco E-Prix whereby no changes can be made to the limits beyond a new 40-minute cut-off to ensure drivers have sufficient capacity to regenerate energy in the remaining laps.

When asked by Autosport for a reaction to the FIA amendment, Wolff opened by saying that she had had a hard time explaining events in the Valencia E-Prix that had been “way more complicated” than they might have been.

Wolff said: “I got a lot of weird texts and in the first instance I didn’t even know what to reply.

“Of course, that [situation] wasn’t perfect but the main thing is we’ve learned from it.

“The FIA have reacted, and we won’t find ourselves in the same situation again.”

Some of this confusion owed to the cars that stopped on track. They were not out of battery, reckoned to have 40% remaining, but had instead exceeded an FIA limit.

Wolff continued: “The biggest point for me was it looked like we all ran out of energy.

“But the fact that the cars were still able to run is what confused everybody so much because there’s battery left.

“Then of course explaining the whole battery...it ended up being way more complicated than it had to be.

“But, like I said, the most important thing from my perspective is that we’ve learned from it, we’ve moved on and we’ll hopefully never see it happening again.”

Norman Nato, Venturi Racing, Silver Arrow 02, Tom Blomqvist, NIO 333, NIO 333 001, Jean-Eric Vergne, DS Techeetah, DS E-Tense FE21

Norman Nato, Venturi Racing, Silver Arrow 02, Tom Blomqvist, NIO 333, NIO 333 001, Jean-Eric Vergne, DS Techeetah, DS E-Tense FE21

Photo by: Sam Bagnall / Motorsport Images

BMW Andretti team principal Roger Griffiths added that the response from the FIA had been “encouraging” and that it had come via consultation with the teams.

He said: “It’s encouraging the way the FIA has reacted.

“Also Formula E and the teams and the manufacturers were involved.

“We have recognised that Valencia didn’t work out the way any of us would have hoped.

“But what we haven’t done is just sit, ‘well it was a one-off, it will never happen again’.

“We have recognised that it could have been a little better and we’ve tried to address that.

“It’s shown that the FIA is open-minded and willing to listen, it’s shown that, as a community, we’ve tried to address the problem.

“And to try and address it in a way that it becomes more understandable to the fans that are watching on TV.”

shares
comments
Formula E updates rules to avoid Valencia-like mass retirements

Previous article

Formula E updates rules to avoid Valencia-like mass retirements

Next article

Late Monaco FE track layout changes hasn't affected drivers' preparations

Late Monaco FE track layout changes hasn't affected drivers' preparations
Load comments
Why electric racing cars should be four-wheel drive Plus

Why electric racing cars should be four-wheel drive

OPINION: Circuit racing has traditionally favoured front- or rear-wheel-drive setups, eschewing the equal distribution of power. But for Formula E and other electric-powered series, our columnist believes it’s a perfect fit

Formula E
Oct 13, 2021
How motorsport's most prominent power couple found joint success Plus

How motorsport's most prominent power couple found joint success

The Wolffs have carved their own paths in motorsport, leading their respective teams to success in Formula 1 and Formula E. But the two came together last month as their drivers finished first and second in the FE drivers' championship - a feat they are hugely proud of. In a rare joint interview, they reflect on a remarkable season

Formula E
Sep 21, 2021
The top 10 Formula E drivers of 2020-21 Plus

The top 10 Formula E drivers of 2020-21

OPINION: The 2021 Formula E campaign was one without a narrative for much of the season, with no single car or driver able to break away from the pack. That makes choosing a top 10 especially difficult, particularly as the qualifying format meant some worthy performers were unable to enjoy their day in the sun

Formula E
Sep 19, 2021
How Mercedes and De Vries achieved Formula E glory the hard way Plus

How Mercedes and De Vries achieved Formula E glory the hard way

When Nyck de Vries dominated the first race of what would be the most controversial and unpredictable Formula E season to date, it looked as though Mercedes was in for a cakewalk. But as the campaign wore on, the path to a title double became increasingly rocky. Neither driver or team would be assured of the crown until the closing stages of the very final race on a weekend of struggle in Berlin

Formula E
Sep 17, 2021
The Formula E 'loan' deal that will keep its original missionary winning Plus

The Formula E 'loan' deal that will keep its original missionary winning

OPINION: The departure of Audi from Formula E meant its long-time driver Lucas di Grassi would need to find a new berth to stay on the grid. His deal at Venturi Racing will ensure the championship's first-ever race winner will remain competitive into the final year of the current Gen2 ruleset - although it may not be a long-term fit

Formula E
Sep 15, 2021
The problems laid bare by Mercedes' impending Formula E departure Plus

The problems laid bare by Mercedes' impending Formula E departure

Mercedes' planned withdrawal from Formula E at the end of the 2022 season will contribute to the big hole left by fellow automotive manufacturers Audi and BMW on their departures. Although the team may stick around under a different guise, the exit of the now-reigning teams' champion underlines FE's current issues...

Formula E
Aug 18, 2021
The F1 dilemma facing Mercedes' new world champion Plus

The F1 dilemma facing Mercedes' new world champion

After clinching the Formula E title at the Berlin finale, Nyck de Vries is a driver in demand. Although Mercedes would love to keep a reigning champion at the team, the allure of a Williams F1 drive may be too much for de Vries to ignore should a potential deal come to pass

Formula E
Aug 17, 2021
How de Vries claimed Formula E title glory as Mercedes exit bombshell looms Plus

How de Vries claimed Formula E title glory as Mercedes exit bombshell looms

As Formula E lined up to complete its seventh season at Berlin's Tempelhof Airport, all eyes were on who would be its first official FIA world champion. Despite Nyck de Vries' title lead heading into the weekend looking all but secure, the Dutchman held on - and enjoyed a good dollop of fortune - to secure a championship double for Mercedes

Formula E
Aug 16, 2021