The FIA has approved a series of updates to the Formula E sporting regulations proposed during the last World Motor Sport Council.
New technology and racing formats have been added to the sporting regulations ahead of Season 9, which will mark the debut of the Gen3 era of Formula E.
Among the changes, the bigger one for the fans watching at home will be the race format itself. Starting from the Mexico City EPrix, the races will in fact run over laps instead of a set time period.
The Safety Car and Full Course Yellow interruptions will no longer be compensated by additional racing time, but rather additional laps.
Attack Mode will also change, with “Attack Charge” set to be trialled at select races over the course of the season.
The new batteries developed to fit the lighter and faster Gen3 cars will be capable of receiving 4kWh of energy inside 30 seconds, delivered by a 600kW booster.
This new technology allows for a new racing strategy – with Attack Charge combining with Attack Mode for a more powerful boost.
A mandatory 30-second stop during a pre-determined period in the race will allow the drivers to recharge their batteries in order to then make use of two enhanced Attack Mode periods, where the power output will increase from 300kW to 350kW.
While Fanboost has been discontinued, Attack Mode will be maintained in races where Attack Charge will not be implemented.
Similarly to Formula 1, Formula E will also introduce two mandatory Free Practice 1 sessions for every team to delegate to drivers who have never competed in the championship. The goal is to give up-and-coming drivers the chance to experience a higher level of competition both on track and inside the garage, with the team.
“The combination of sporting enhancements, a step change in car performance, cutting-edge battery technology and the innovation of Attack Charge will make our racing more competitive and entertaining while showcasing the future for EV development,” said Jamie Reigle, CEO of Formula E.
“This is at the heart of what Formula E set out to achieve and we look forward to seeing the new generation come to life in Season 9.”
Formula E Co-Founder and Chief Championship Officer Alberto Longo stated that switching to laps especially will allow for a greater degree of race strategy planning. “Introducing Attack Charge at races later in the season will add a whole new dimension to race strategy for teams and interest for fans,” he added.
“We are also preparing for the future with the opportunity for new drivers in the championship to take a seat and show what they can do.”
With these changes, the FIA intends to capitalise upon the successful Season 8 of the all-electric racing series, with the final goal of introducing Formula E to a wider audience.
“We have now made further slight modifications to the racing format as we endeavour to bring the ABB FIA Formula E World Championship to an ever-wider audience while encouraging teams to trial fresh talent,” said Pablo Martino, Head of Formula E Sporting Matters at the FIA.
“With the advent of the eagerly-anticipated Gen3 single-seater, a 22-strong grid featuring iconic automotive names and some of the best drivers in the sport, I am confident that Formula E’s new era will be bright.”
Season 9 of the ABB FIA Formula E World Championship will see the debut of the “most powerful and most efficient” electric cars, and is set to start with Round 1 in Mexico City on 14 January 2023.