Formula E’s 4th season is just 3 months away and the FIA have revealed that there are significant changes in store. After the success of Season 3 and crowning Lucas Di Grassi as the world champion, all eyes are looking towards December where Round 1 at Hong Kong begins.
For the upcoming season, the drivers will be granted access to more power. In season 3, the drivers were limited to 170 kilowatts of power during the race. Now, the power has been increased to 180kW of power. On the surface it may not seem like much, it does mean that drivers can go faster that ever before. Meanwhile, the power output for qualifying remains at 200kW.
In the event of a double-header, there will not be a non-qualifying session. To encourage team participate in roadshows and have more fan interaction, there will be 6 promotional days per team. There will also be an aditional practice session day as well as a separate practice session exclusively for rookies. Another feature is that the fastest lap can only be achieved by drivers in the top 10. Previously, any driver below the top 10 may sacrifice his race in pursuit of a fastest lap since they are worth 1 point.
This may have been a reaction to the drama in the season 2 finale. Title contenders Sebastien Buemi and Lucas Di Grassi collided with each other on the opening lap. This ruined any hope of a win or top 10 finish, so both drivers changed their strategy. The race soon turned into a farce with the drivers making small cameos in the race to set fastest laps. In the end, Buemi won the championship by 2 points, but it denied fans the opportunity to see the main contenders duel it out fair and square.
The FIA also released the official entry list for the 2017-18 championship. While all the teams remain the same, there have been a few changes in nomenclature. The Andretti team have dropped MS Amlin as their title sponsor i light of their future partnership with BMW. Similarly, Dragon Racing have also dropped Faraday Future as their title sponsor in the wake of the latter’s financial issues. The NEXTEV name was dropped in favour of NIO. The Abt Schaeffler team also had Audi Sport added on to their name, further highlighting the increased involvement of Audi.
In terms of driver lineup, the Renault e.Dams team have retained the lineup of Sebastien Buemi and Nicolas Prost for a 4th season in a row. The Dragon Racing team dropped French driver Loic Duval in favour of Swiss driver Neel Jani, Jerome D’ Ambrosio was retained for the upcoming season starting in December. DS Virgin retained Sam Bird and brought Alex Lynn to replace Jose Maria Lopez.
While the whole calendar has yet to be confirmed, Hong Kong, Marrakesh, Mexico, Paris, New York and Montreal have been retained from last season. New additions this season are the Santiago ePrix in Chile, the Sau Paulo ePrix in Brazil and the Rome ePrix in Italy. A German ePrix has also been confirmed but the venue is still pending.