Formula E drivers running out of juice: Valencia talking points Car News

Formula E has built a reputation for frantic finishes, but the first race in Valencia was extraordinary, even by electric racing series standards.

Because it was a wet race and the safety car was deployed five times, it played hell with all the teams’ energy calculations, meaning that as the leader at the time, António Félix da Costa started the last tour, seven of the top 10 started this last tour with 1% or less of their battery remaining.

Cars came to a stop on the track, others slowed down considerably as they tried to squeeze the last remaining electrons out to reach the checkered flag, while drivers and teams were surprised with the round going one lap longer than planned.

The only shame was that there were no spectators to see it live. It would have made a great viewing in the gallery.

Mercedes EQ driver Nyck de Vries emerged from the chaos as the winner, with Nico Müller and Stoffel Vandoorne completing the podium. On the penultimate lap, Müller was ninth and Vandoorne 15th.

On Sunday, the Brits occupied the top four qualifying places, with Jake Dennis winning the second race in an impressive fire-flag victory for the rookie in the BMW i Andretti Motorsport car.

It was all the more majestic as Formula E raced, exceptionally, on a permanent circuit. With a wider track, the slip streaming tactics should have meant Dennis would have a hard time keeping the field behind him. In theory, everyone would stay in Dennis’ wake the entire race, saving electricity, and then leap at the last minute when he was vulnerable with minimal energy.

But that never happened, in part due to the masterful energy management of Dennis and his BMW team, in part to because Norman Nato took out Alex Lynn from Mahindra, Dennis’ main hunting horse, giving Dennis a vital respite for the hunter pack.

This race was also not without controversy, as the defending champion Felix da Costa received a bizarre penalty for accidentally triggering his attack mode multiple times. The penalty brought him down to 22nd, which means he is now 33 points behind championship leader de Vries.

Formula E then heads to Monaco for a lone header on May 8, in a season that shows no sign of calm.


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This notice was published: 2021-04-26 11:29:32