News and Updates Following The Long Beach ePrix
The sensational Long Beach ePrix may have only been a few days ago but we’ve had plenty of news following the race. As always, here’s your weekly update.
Changes To Fanboost?
Formula E CEO Alejandro Agag is currently talking to the FIA about the feasibility of changing the rules surrounding Fanboost. The current rules allow for fans to vote for their favourite drivers up to ten minutes before the start of the race. Agag wants to allow voting to go into the first ten minutes of the race to give the audience a chance at impacting on the results live.
‘We are trying to convince the FIA to allow us to keep voting for the first ten minutes of the race, rather than stopping ten minutes before the start of the race. This will give the fans a bigger influence on the race as it happens’, said Agag.
His comments follow the Long Beach ePrix where Nelson Piquet was one of three drivers to receive the fanboost vote, although as he led the entire race he was never required to use it. The rule changing would allow fans to vote for chasing drivers, although the unsporting nature of the proposed change could be an issue.
‘The FIA are not so keen on the idea of Fanboost because they say it is not sporting. They told us that the fans will alter the result of the race and they were not happy about that’.
Before the season started there were concerns that Fanboost could spoil the spectacle, with many expecting fanboost to guarantee passes; but so far this has not been the case. The 30kW boost has assisted several drivers to get past slower cars during the opening rounds but its effectiveness has not ruined the spectacle in any way and in some cases drivers have not even used the boost.
Piquet Jr Holds Off Using Fanboost
Nelson Piquet was so dominant in Long Beach that he never used his Fanboost, he revealed post-race.
Interestingly, Piquet cited overheating issues as the reason he did not use the controversial boost system. ‘I didn’t use it because I didn’t want to mess things up – It’s one more variable on the car. I know I should have used it but with the battery overheating a little bit I didn’t want to have any chance of something going wrong’.
The comment highlights the infancy of the battery technology used in Formula E. The impressive technology has been suspect to overheating issues at a number of races so far and other cars have encountered problems when using the fanboost power, including Jean-Eric Vergne at the Uruguay ePrix.
Teams and drivers will be hoping that cooler air temperatures at the European rounds will provide the batteries with adequate cooling, allowing for the fanboost to become an asset and not a liability.
Formula E and Pit Lanes
In past Formula E races, car swaps were performed in each teams’ temporary garage, away from the traditional pitlane. The Long Beach ePrix marked the first time that drivers did not return to their temporary garages as they instead performed the switch in designated bays in the IndyCar pitlane.
According to Autosport, Alejandro Agag has revealed that the Long Beach system could be used at all future races. ‘We had a lot of discussions, about a year and half before we launched the championship, about how we wanted the garage and pitlane to work’, said Agag.
The switch to the Long Beach style of in-race car swaps didn’t require major work to be carried out, and Agag has suggested ‘maybe we will do this everywhere from next year. It also allows us to give more accessibility to the paddock for fans, which gives better experience’.
Fans that attended the Donington Tests last summer will surely agree with Agag, as the chance to see cars in traditional pitlane offered superb viewing to those sitting in the grandstands opposite the start-finish straight.
Long Beach Highlights Video
The title says it all. What a race it was!
Written by: Anil Parmar