Formula E news: electro Formula in Hellhole

Well, what else to call this place called Ad-Diriya? Welcome to Saudi Arabia – one of the craziest places on our poor planet. Now there are also crazy electric car races. So, the first stage of the new season 2018-2019 Formula E took place in Saudi Arabia. The contrast of opposites: Arabia is known as the “global gas station” for its unlimited oil reserves – and these people quite seriously decided to support the electric racing championship! However, there are good reasons for this:

Who else in their right mind will bring their sport here? World Championships are almost impossible here: it’s generally difficult for non-Muslims to visit Saudi Arabia; for women, the burqa is strictly obligatory, and it is easier for Jews to go to the moon than to their sworn friends. Even Formula 1 could hardly have come here, and Comrade Ecclestone would not even be allowed on the threshold. And the Saudis have their opinion – and by hook or by crook they are trying to declare themselves and their country, to create a positive image for it, in addition to the capital of all Muslims and the global oil tower. So the proud Bedouins agreed with enterprising Europeans. The latter bring here a show and in return they get paid (and quite a lot!) petrodollars. And it will take place already ten years.

Motorsport in Saudi Arabia

Drift – the king of the local public and youth. Drift without special rule is formally prohibited by law and tradition, but popular to the point of madness. It’s forbidden due to constant death, injury and racing without rules at all. Is it security? No, not heard. A lot of money, the best cars, and breakdowns: do not repair, but change the car entirely. The main thing is beautiful, with smoke, sparkles and more expensive than the neighbors. The helmet was invented by cowards; the barriers for the spectators are an insidious Jewish idea, and Allah will decide how long to live. More about motor sport in Arabia really have nothing to say. In 2016, there as the most popular racing – “Race of Champions”, where he won the unforgettable Juan-Pablo Montoya. Champagne is prohibited under the threat of death.

However, there is progress. In the summer of this year, a girl from Saudi Arabia sat behind the wheel of a Formula 1 (Renault) car in France. And no, dear pranksters, the burqa did not prevent her – surprisingly, the pretty Asel Al-Hamad did without traditional attire. And her face is quite. Moreover, just six months ago, driving a car for women was punished with serious sanctions, and now it has even been elected to the local federation. The fact is that sharia and obscurantism are so strong in those parts that they sometimes allow themselves one-time image actions in support of dissent. Look, they say, we also have democracy and equality, yeah.

Ad-Diriya town and its race track

This is a suburb of the capital of Riyadh, in fact. The population is about 35 thousand people. Once, it was from here that the ruling dynasty came to the fore, and indeed this town was the capital of Arabia. The historical part of the city is destroyed, and the modern one looks like a collection of mosques. However, in this strange state, everything literally looks like a mosque.

In Formula E, thinking about increasing the power of the “attack mode”

The adjustment of the “attack mode” is one of the small changes that the leadership of the electric system is considering after the first race on new cars. “Attack Mode” appeared in Formula E this season. At the first stage in Saudi Arabia, the regime could be activated by riders twice during the race – for four minutes it provided an increased power of 225 kW (instead of the standard 200 kW). The mode activation zone was located on a narrow part of the track outside the racing track at the very beginning of the circle. The initial location of this zone was criticized by the riders, so it was moved just before the race.

Formula E changed the zone of activation of the “attack mode” in Riyadh after criticizing the pilots

On the question of, whether it is planned to change the power level in the following races amid criticism from the pilots, the head of Formula E Alejandro Agag said: “It depends on where it will be located in the following stages. Perhaps a slight increase in the increase would be acceptable; it could potentially make the difference bigger. But now the difference was quite noticeable, it seems to me that it was enough for the drivers for overtaking. So if changes are made, then small ones – everything worked well.” Several riders noted after the race that the “attack mode” was not enough for effective overtaking.

“Attack Mode is not enough,” Audi Abt, an Audi racer said. “It’s more like some time wasting mode because you lose time on it.” By activating the mode, I lost the position, and then I could not recoup, because there is not enough extra 25 kW. We should have about 250 kW of total power during such a regime, so that you quickly accelerate and overtake. Now, if someone is defending, you will not overtake him.” According to Lucas di Grassi, with the “attack mode” riders reduced the number of strategic options during the race. “Perhaps on other routes need to oblige riders to drive through the pit lane to activate,” – he suggested. The proposal that the activation should take more time, expressed the pilot of the Virgin Sam Bird: “We need to lose six, seven, eight seconds, and not one. It must be like this: you probably miss the position, and then you fight with new rivals, you break through to the top. You lose six or eight seconds, but in the next three laps you have more power. Something like that would be interesting.”

Formula E standings: in Formula E already 11 racers

Their “electric racers” Formula E have already 11 people. 9 more vacant places, but for how long will the seats in the electro-cabinet remain free? It is unlikely, because the case is closely approaching the tests – the most important part of the work of the new championship before the start of the season.

When we know the entire pilot of Formula E?

If in the youth championships the main composition of the pilots is announced a few days before the first race of the season, then in the series of a serious level the teams enter into contracts with riders long before the start. The reason is that the youth categories, ranging from Formula 3 and up to GP2 – a big business with millions of investments. Each driver, without exception, is obliged to pay indirectly for his participation in the championship, regardless of his talent and skills. There are no money and no place. Money is rarely paid directly from the pilot to the team. We are talking about the sponsorship of a particular young pilot. The driver, who wants to prove himself in the upcoming season, brings with him considerable sponsorship – up to 2.5-3 million euros in the top team category GP2. And this money is often at the last moment. The pilots are trying to reduce the fee for the performance, the sponsors until the last moment in thought the teams are actively playing to raise prices, inviting other racers to negotiate.

Everything is different in Formula E. The teams need money here, but this is not so critical. More often, Formula E teams do not really need capital inflows from riders. On the contrary, they themselves pay serious money to fast and well-known pilots so that they bring the corresponding results. Therefore, it is vital for teams to start working with their riders as early as possible. It is desirable – even before the tests. Fans of Jarno Trulli will be very pleased. Fans of small but proud teams will be delighted even more.

Heidfeld, Sarrazin and Trulli: new top-class pilots in Formula E

So, to the seven pilots, whose names were already known by the beginning of June, four more were added: Nick Heidfeld and Stefan Sarrazin (Venturi team), Jarno Trulli (Trulli GP), Katerina Legg (Amlin Aguri).

Woman is on board. Katerina Legg in Formula E

But about Katherine Legg (Katherine Legge) and her arrival in the championship of electric vehicles – everything is debatable. She is wonderful racer but only because she is a racer, and not a male pilot. Experienced – but without any special achievements except for the very youth championships. The face of DeltaWing is futuristic prototype for cars in endurance racing. Face and chest, we add. And this girl (she is 33 years old, by the way) will perform at Amlin Aguri. Well, after all, women are needed here. Formula E is a new type of race with all sorts of crazy innovations, ranging from electricity as the sole driver of cars. Now here is the female pilot. We do not mind at all. Only female pilots have a higher level: Danika Patrick, Natasha Gashnan. They are fast and successful racers enough. Why aren’t they? It’s strange and incomprehensible.

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