More Details On Formula E Attack Mode Revealed

DEC 6 2018 BY MOTORSPORT.COM 7

ABB FIA Formula E teams will only be informed of the duration, minimum usage time and number of activations of the attack mode boost system one hour before each race.

As confirmed by Motorsport.com, FE is introducing the attack mode system – provisionally called hyperboost – for the start of the Gen2 era.

The FIA had previously explained that the precise details regarding the sporting rules for attack mode would be published ahead of the start of the 2018/19 season and the governing body’s World Motor Sport Council confirmed them on Wednesday in St Petersburg.

An FIA statement explained that the system “will be determined at each race by the FIA, according to the special features of the circuits, one hour before the start at the latest”.

Attack mode, which raises a driver’s power level from 200kW to 225kW once they have travelled through an off-line activation zone, is intended to increase strategy and overtaking options in FE now that the championship no longer features car swaps during races.

Motorsport.com understands that reason for keeping the attack mode details from the teams until so late on each race day is to prevent them from simulating the best way to use the system.

It is also understood that attack mode will vary from round to round, with a total of eight minutes in the 225kW mode being split in different time allocations – for example, four lots of two minutes, two lots of four minutes or one eight-minute period – per race.

Drivers will not be allowed to arm the attack mode for the first two laps of the race.

The number of drivers who can win a fanboost activation, which the FIA statement explained would give “additional extra energy of maximum 100 kJ (power minimum 240kW, maximum 250kW, and time to be managed by the team)”, has been increased from three to five.

The five drivers who win the social media-driven fanboost vote will be able to use the extra power after the 22nd minute of each race, which will last 45-minutes plus one lap from the start of season five.

The FIA has also made it mandatory for all FE drivers to wear biometric gloves at all races and tests that are attended by more than one team.

The addition of the biometric gloves rule is “for the purpose of aiding driver rescue”, according to the FIA statement.

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7 Comments on "More Details On Formula E Attack Mode Revealed"

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CDAVIS

“Attack Mode” is unnecessary gimmickry… make FE simple first past checkered flag wins… same as F1.

Bolt driver

+1. If I wanted to watch a video game I would.
As a long time racer I found the current FE quite boring with no real strategy for tires or energy usage. Battery/car changes all had to happen at the same time. Not even enough pack to allow an extra lap or two by hiding out or pitting early to have clean track for fast laps. Not great racing.

Empire State

I think what you might have seen is simply teams choosing similar strategies for the event you watched. Plenty of strategy has been involved for energy usage, and eliminating concerns of tire usage is a smart series-level decision in order to focus development efforts onto EV-specific development expenditures. One common energy strategy that used to be employed was, when a backmarker, saving energy for a run at the fastest lap competition which was useful for series points, not single-event standings. Perhaps easy to miss as a spectator of the top 3 leaderboard, but an energy strategy nonetheless.
FE needs to engage fans somehow, and perhaps traditional motorsports fans aren’t used to being engaged these ways, but the series strategies employed seem to favor heroic developments in EV tech over heroic driving. If one supports Formula E becoming big, one could quite easily forgive them for trying to attract new enthusiasts for e-motorsports rather than trying to steal market share from other motorsports. The former might support their endeavors over those of other motorsports, while the latter more likely just flock to where the racing stories are.

CDAVIS

@Empire State said: “…FE needs to engage fans somehow, and perhaps traditional motorsports fans aren’t used to being engaged these ways, but the series strategies employed seem to favor heroic developments in EV tech over heroic driving…”
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Be it a foot race, horse race, ICE race, or EV race… an true race is about who can quickest get from the starting line to finish line… why do the FE owners believe that somehow an EV race uniquely requires gimmickry to attract fans?

Imagine attracting fans to a foot race that gave a 3sec head-start advantage to the runner that most quickly laced their running shoes and also the ability for the runner with highest social media following to have access to a shorter inner track lane… that gimmickry translated to an EV race does not make such a proposition less nutty.

Dave100e

They have to resort to gimmickry because the racing isn’t fundamentally exciting.

Slow cars, with low grip and minimal aero on tight street circuits doesn’t normally make for interesting racing. Fans can see artificial changes and don’t like it. Just look at Formula 1, Monaco is the fans most hated circuit (and a fair few drivers are beginning to question it’s use too) and a lot of them don’t like DRS. For some reason FE thinks they can ‘DRS’ everything until they create something exciting. They never will.

CDAVIS

@Dave100e said: “They have to resort to gimmickry because the racing isn’t fundamentally exciting…”
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To whatever extent that is true, the aim of FE should be exclusively to continually improve the raw *race* dynamics (i.e. the recent upgrade to battery range and speed) to make the *race* more exiting. Adding gimmickry such as “Attack Mode” serves to repulse many race fans.

Bottom line: FE has a huge fan base potential if FE does not allow gimmickry to serve as a substitution for raw race dynamics.

AJ

Pointless gimmicks. Here’s what Formula E should do:

Cars go around the track for a specified amount of laps. The driver who crosses the finish line first at the end of the final lap is the winner. And that’s it. No fanboost, no “attack mode” gimmick, just race.