Formula E drops minimum pitstop times from Marrakesh

Credit: Formula E

Formula E will no longer use minimum pitstop times after organisers deemed them as no longer necessary.

The minimum time was originally introduced to ensure that drivers would not try to save time on doing up their belts when switching cars in order to gain a competitive advantage.

As such the minimum limit had several seconds built in to it to allow teams more than enough time to ensure drivers were safely strapped in.

This was gradually lowered as teams became more efficient at the process, and the FIA now felt that it was not required.

The move was received negatively by current championship leader Sam Bird, saying that he still had concerns that drivers would try to cut corners in order to save time.

He told Autosport, “From an excitement point of view, for fans, I suppose it makes sense. However from a safety aspect, for me, it’s not ideal.

“There’s nothing stopping drivers not doing the bottom belts up in order to gain time, and then that becomes extremely dangerous.

“If things like this start to be ignored then it’s not the right thing to do.”

However reigning champion Lucas di Grassi said that he thought the move was “positive” and that he would never risk not doing his belts up correctly.

However he did say that the series could move to a belt system that was more efficient, such as the system used in WEC.

“The current belts are standard single-seater belts that are not designed for a quick change,” di Grassi told Autosport.

“In LMP or GT you have a different buckle system, it’s much more simple and effective.

“I’m sure I will never risk not having the belts done up properly.

“But because the belts are not made to go this way, if the mechanic does not do it properly or tries to do it too quickly under pressure, it could take 15 or 20 seconds to do it all over again.

“It’s part of the game, but it should not be part of losing the race.”