'Flat-out' FE races will reduce unpredictability

'Flat-out' FE races will reduce unpredictability
By AutoSport

01/01/2019 at 22:46Updated

ABB FIA Formula E champion Lucas di Grassi believes that flat-out races with the series' new Gen2 cars will result in less in-race strategy variation and unpredictability.

BMW's Antonio Felix da Costa won the first race of FE's Gen2 era from pole at the 2018/19 season opener in Saudi Arabia.

He was overtaken during the race by Jean-Eric Vergne's DS Techeetah car, but the reigning champion then had to serve a drivethrough penalty for exceeding the maximum permitted power limit.

Drivers were understood to be pushing at the maximum throughout the race, and although energy levels were aided by a late safety-car period it has been suggested that cars could have completed the distance flat-out even without that intervention.

Audi driver di Grassi, who finished ninth in Ad Diriyah, said losing the element of in-race energy management could also result in less entertaining races.

"What we had in Formula E is that energy management played a good part of the race strategy," he told Autosport.

"So you could use more energy in the beginning; you could use more energy in the end.

"But if you go flat out everybody does the same thing. It takes away racing capacity; racing unpredictability."

Da Costa said flat-out races are what FE should be aiming for, not only to challenge drivers but to also send a wider positive message about electric vehicles.

"This is cooler, we're going back to a flat-out race," he said.

"[Ad Diriyah] was pretty much a flat-out race from the beginning to the end and no car change.

"Your concentration levels, especially on a track like that, have to be a little bit higher as well. It's the way it should be.

"We wanted to pass the message that electric cars have the range to do a full race without having to be swapped."