Formula E Drivers Expect Lots Of Attack Mode Overtakings

JAN 11 2019 BY MOTORSPORT.COM 9

Several ABB FIA Formula E drivers are expecting the championship’s attack mode to produce more overtaking at this weekend’s Marrakech E-Prix due to the placement of the activation zone.

The Mario Kart-inspired system was used for the first time at the season-opening race in Saudi Arabia, but the activation zone at the Ad Diriyah track had to be moved after criticism from the drivers.

That setting was close to a wall on the inside of tight right-hander, whereas the activation placement in Marrakech is on the outside of the long left-hand Turn 3 and goes more naturally away from the racing line.

Virgin Racing’s Sam Bird reckons activating the system will mean drivers can put the higher power on offer to immediate use as a result of the zone’s place on the track.

“There will be more overtaking here than there was at the last race due to it being just before a very long straight and it being in a better position,” Bird told Motorsport.com.

Reigning FE champion Jean-Eric Vergne, who amongst the drivers to criticise the Riyadh attack mode setting before it was adjusted, expects activating the system to be “a bit better because it’s in a better place – a better spot”.

“It was very close to the wall [in Riyadh], you almost had to touch the wall to activate it,” he explained to Motorsport.com.

The attack mode setting at the first race also meant the drivers were losing a significant amount of time making sure they were getting fully into the zone to hit the timing loops that need to be driven over to activate the system.

Motorsport.com understands that these loops are now visible on the track surface in Marrakech.

BMW Andretti driver Alexander Sims told Motorsport.com that as a result “it’s not going to be quite as hard and I would guess not quite as much of a time penalty to use it”.

“You can see it and it’s not tighter than the corner, it’s making the corner a bit more wide,” he continued.

“The big thing to me is how many marbles and how much dust and stuff is going to be put there and whether you’re first to use it or doing it after 20 cars have gone through.

“There’s probably more potential for it to enable you to overtake rather than just get a time deficit to make up.”

Categories: Formula E

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9 Comments on "Formula E Drivers Expect Lots Of Attack Mode Overtakings"

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FE Attack Mode is a race detracting gimmick as is FanBoost. A flat-out race sans gimmicks is what would attract the most FE fans both old & young.

Challenging the upper limits of the driver & car and giving the prize to the best performer makes for a true car race.

“…A flat-out race sans gimmicks is what would attract the most FE fans both old & young…”
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Also, a flat-out race would attract more top drivers that tend to seek true raw competitive racing.

Meh….rule changes are done all the time to improve sports. Adding something that provides an interesting twist is a good idea IMHO.

This is the videogame generation. If you don’t learn the gimmicks like drifting in Mario Kart, you won’t be a real competitor.

@Speculawyer said: “….rule changes are done all the time to improve sports. Adding something that provides an interesting twist is a good idea IMHO…”
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@Speculawyer- Would you feel same if Attack Mode or FanBoost was applied to Olympic foot racing?

For me there is a distinction between a sport “game” like football vs. a sport “race” like foot running or car racing.

For sport “races” flat-out no-gimmick first to cross line wins is in keeping with the spirit of true competitive sports racing.

Is FE intended to be a sports “game” or sports “race”?

You are coming oh so close to the very worn out argument, “auto racing is not a sport” .

In fact, is that what I’m hearing from you?

@Speculawyer said: “…If you don’t learn the gimmicks like drifting in Mario Kart, you won’t be a real competitor.”
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lol… yes I took the bait… missed the clever sarc/

What parts of the track will the shells and banana peels be on?

Actually, I think Attack Mode adds drama and intrigue into the race. F1 has KERS and DRS speed zones where its legal to alter their wing flap to reduce drag temporarily to overtake. Overtaking, or passing is exciting and sure to add drama and interest to fans. Have you ever watched a race where some top team dominates for the entire contest and everyone else just follows in step for two hours?

Fan boost seems a gimmick for the crowd at the track to increase fan participation. Since the TV or net audience is clueless to it, that particular wrinkle should go, in my opinion. Allowing the crowd to give advantages to their favorite driver = wacky stuff.

As for rules all sports have them. All governing bodies set rules and tweak them to increase safety, fairness and audience acceptance. Too many, of course, spoil the
show.