Formula E has revealed dramatic new changes to race formats for next season’s championship.
To mark the introduction of the second generation cars and the arrival of several large manufacturers into Formula E, series organisers have opted to introduce time limited races and a new activation zone that will allow drivers access to higher power modes.
Rather than using lap limits, every ePrix will now have a time limit of forty-five minutes plus one lap. To mark this change they have also chosen to stop rewarding the driver with the fastest lap, but will now instead offer the extra points to the driver in the top five to have used the least amount of energy.
Perhaps the most radical change however is the ability for drivers to access a higher power mode by driving through an activation zone that is specifically marked out on the track, and will presumably be placed off the normal racing line.
Should drivers choose to use it they will be able to access 225kW of power as opposed to the usual 200kW, and drivers with FanBoost will have to drive through the activation zone to gain access to 250kW of power.
Those with a higher power mode will be identified on track through a new lighting system on the halo of the new Gen2 car, although drivers will be limited in how many times they can access this by the FIA on a track-to-track basis.
Other changes include allowing six drivers into the super pole shootout due to the increased number of drivers on the grid, and the new calendar for the 2018-19 season was also announced.
It includes the new race in Saudi Arabia as the season opener, with the series returning to Monaco for the third time in May.
There is still no place for a British ePrix however, and organisers have left a slot in January free for as of yet unnamed race.
Speaking about the raft of changes, series CEO Alejandro Agag said, “The ABB FIA Formula E Championship has always produced highly-competitive and unpredictable racing.
“Formula E is synonymous with innovation and pioneering technology – that’s exactly what we’ll be seeing again next season with the step-up in performance and efficiency of the futuristic next generation car, as well as trialling unique and radical concepts to usher in a new era of Formula E.
“The new format and split levels of power being introduced for season five will add an extra strategic element and continue to offer intense and exciting competition between some of the most talented drivers and biggest brands in motorsport.”