By Aaron Bearden, Open Wheel Editor
Boosts are no longer limited to fan votes and arcade racing games. Beginning with Season Five, they’ll be making their way to the ABB FIA Formula E Championship.
FIA and Formula E officials brought to light on Thursday an innovative new race format that will be utilized by the all-electric single-seater series beginning with the Season Five opener in Saudi Arabia on December 15.
Taking advantage of the new Gen2 cars, which are anticipated to have vastly improved battery life and forego the current need for teams to switch to a second car mid-race, Formula E events in Season Five will no longer have a pre-set lap distance, opting instead for standardized timed races similar to those seen in sports car racing.
All races in Season Five will be scheduled to run for 45 minutes with an additional lap. Bonus points will no longer be offered for the drive that can complete the fastest lap, with the most energy-efficient drive in the top five instead securing bonus points.
The Gen2 cars will be given two mandatory power modes – a ‘standard’ 200kW mode, and a higher 225kW power that promises increased speeds for a limited time. The current power mode being used will be displayed using different colors on the LED system affixed to the Gen2 car’s halo head protection device.
Drivers will be able to access the higher power mode by driving through the single activation zone – a special area off of the standard racing line on each course. The activation zone will be clearly marked and visible both on TV and in person for fans watching the E-Prix.