The advance of electric mobility the world over is being seen on the racing front. London and Seoul are the newest venues to be part of the 2019/20 ABB FIA Formula E Championship. As per the schedule published by Formula E last night, these two capitals become part of the part of the longest and most comprehensive calendar to date.
The 2019/20 calendar was ratified following the FIA World Motor Sport Council (WMSC) meeting in Paris, comprising of 14 races in 12 cities and covering four continents. The busiest season yet of electric racing will get underway with a double-header in Ad Diriyah in November, stopping off in the iconic city of Seoul for the first time in May and once again coming to a close in the UK capital, using a unique indoor/outdoor track at ExCeL London in July.
There’re not just exciting new race locations to look forward to next season, but new teams too, with the eagerly-awaited arrival of Mercedes-Benz and Porsche - taking the total number of cars to 24 and completing a full grid for the opening rounds in Ad Diriyah on November 22 and 23.
The ABB FIA Formula E Championship moves from the Middle East and travels onwards to Santiago, Mexico City and Hong Kong, before returning to Rome for the first of the voestalpine European races. The racing picks up again in Paris, with a short stop-over in Seoul soon after, followed by Berlin to round out the European leg. Monaco misses out for a season - rotating on a bi-annual basis as in previous years.
Formula E then crosses the pond to the Big Apple for the penultimate event of the season in New York City, with London re-joining the calendar for the title-decider over the course of two days at ExCeL London on July 25 & 26, 2020.
New rules to plug into play
In addition to issuing the 2019/20 ABB FIA Formula E Championship calendar, alterations have also been made to the sporting regulations, which are set to be introduced for season six.
New for next season, drivers will have an additional 10kW of power available when using 'Attack Mode', rising from 225kW to 235kW. Also, drivers won’t be able to activate 'Attack Mode' under Full Course Yellow (FCY), or when the safety car is deployed - meaning the drivers will have to go off the racing line to activate 'Attack Mode' under normal race conditions and retain the risk of losing positions.
Furthermore, to enhance the effects of energy management, during safety car periods and under FCY, a fixed quantity of energy - equal to 1kWh per minute for the duration of the caution period - will be subtracted from the total energy remaining in each car.
This measure means that drivers will no longer be able to save energy by driving at lower speeds under FCY or behind the safety car, leading to more varied strategies and close racing to the finish line that fans have grown accustomed to seeing in Formula E. Also introduced for next season, the countdown clock will stop if the race is temporarily suspended - remaining at the discretion of the FIA Race Director - with the aim to complete the full amount of time.
The FIA has also released more details on the extended cycle of the Gen2 car, through to the end of season eight. The extension of an additional season was agreed together with manufacturers, taking into account stability of the rules and cost control. However, further updates to car performance and regulation changes can be made during this cycle, including increase of power, improvements to the battery and an evolution of the design and bodywork.
More points will also be on offer in season six, with an additional point handed out to the fastest driver in the qualifying group stages. The driver who secures Julius Baer pole position still picks up three points - as well as one point being awarded to the driver who sets the fastest lap finishing in the top-10 of the final classification.
Alberto Longo, co-founder and deputy CEO of Formula E, said: “Next season promises to be the most exciting and eagerly-anticipated in the short history of the ABB FIA Formula E Championship. More races and new faces, with the incredible new additions of Seoul and London, as well as the inclusion of Mercedes-Benz and Porsche. Looking at the list of cities and capitals backing Formula E and the electric movement, it’s the longest and most comprehensive calendar to date."
"Alongside the tweaks made to the sporting regulations, the racing has the potential to be even more intense and unpredictable than ever. We have three rounds remaining this season and a title fight that’s wide open, but I already can’t wait to get started again in Ad Diriyah in November," concluded Longo.
Four months to go and India's Mahindra Racing, which has played a sterling role in the ABB FIA Formula E Championship since season one, will be raring to show its prowess in speeding of the green kind.
Also read: Revealed: the new Formula E safety car