Antonio Felix da Costa, BMW Andretti, Saudi Arabia, 2018

Da Costa wins season opener for BMW Andretti

Formula E

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Antonio Felix da Costa saw off a sustained challenge from Jean-Eric Vergne to win the opening round of the 2018-19 Formula E season.

The first race for Formula E’s second generation machines began on a slightly damp surface after heavy rain played havoc with the day’s activities.

Pre-qualifying running had been very limited, with drivers saying they were able to manage seven or eight laps during a disrupted, 35-minute practise session before participating in a one-off altered qualifying format. As a consequence, setu-p time had been minimal and with all-new cars competing on a true Formula E street circuit for the first time, drivers were largely on their own with the quirks of the new format.

Pole man Da Costa’s problems started early when he initially drove to the wrong grid line, leaving his car slightly skewed from the start line and at risk of a rear lock up straight off the line. Fortunately for him, a poor getaway for Jose Maria Lopez left him able to correct into the corner and avoid getting gazumped immediately,

The pace of the BMW Andretti was undeniably strong in testing and they carried that performance into the race. Coming from dead last in last year’s results, it was a pleasing sort of giant-killer narrative if Da Costa came back in an astonishingly good vehicle.

However, reigning champion Vergne didn’t let go easily, slicing his way up the field including a particularly dominant overtake on a seemingly defenceless Sebastien Buemi. Within a few minutes of the race start, he passed Lopez to challenge Da Costa for the lead with team mate Andre Lotterer only inches behind.

A yellow-flag period following Edoardo Mortara losing control of his car into the same barrier he’d ended up in during the limited practice session might have bought Da Costa some clemency but before a third of the race time was up, he had been nabbed by the reigning champion.

Without practice sessions, however, teams hadn’t completed a lot of their setup, including power calibrations. As a result, multiple cars infringed technical regulations prior to and during the early stages of the race.

The most significant problem – one which proved impossible to correct on race day – was that both the DS Techeetah and Venturi-powered cars had incorrectly calibrated the McLaren-supplied battery management software, meaning that the batteries showed 100% before they were actually fully charged. Although stewards’ documents did not detail by what margin, this is an infringement of new regulations stating batteries must be fully charged at the start of a race.

Although this might seem like a bizarre rule to enforce (who, after all, would go out partially charged) having slightly less than full charge in the battery actually provides a regeneration advantage, allowing the battery to begin recovering power earlier. As a consequence, it’s being strictly enforced – and Vergne was issued a drive-through penalty that saw him sent back to fifth place.

NIO’s Tom Dillman and Oliver Turvey (themselves relegated to the back of the grid for qualifying power usage infringements, again probably due to a lack of full setup time) were the first drivers to activate Attack Mode during the race, with mixed fortunes.

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Start, Saudi Arabia, 2018
Wet conditions added another headache for drivers
Attack Mode was confirmed to be two periods of four minutes with the extra 25kW of power available, which must be activated before the end of the race. Available after three laps, it is activated by driving through a small, off-line zone that here required a driver to dice with a wall to gain the boost.

Turvey made it work, making a move on Maximilian Gunther to inch slightly closer to a potential points-finish but Dillman actually seemed to slide backwards, having lost too much time running through the activation zone to take full advantage of the power boost.

Jose-Maria Lopez had looked to be in a good position to score a podium, especially following the Techeetah penalisation, however he too struggled with Attack Mode activation. The Argentinian driver brushed a wall trying to get close enough to the activation zone, foxing his suspension and leading him sliding until the car’s rear wishbone collapsed completely with eleven and a half minutes of race time to go.

That might have made a space for Vergne to re-catch Da Costa, if it hadn’t been necessary to bring out a recovery vehicle to collect Lopez’ car. With the race effectively neutralised for five minutes behind the safety car, Vergne was forced to bide his time and wait for the restart to activate his second Attack Mode period.

Da Costa also had the boost, however, which meant he was able to hold onto the lead despite some very bold attempts by Vergne to take it on the final lap. Jerome D’Ambrosio held on to third as Andre Lotterer was caught behind a determined Mitch Evans, who matched his best on-track result again in fourth place.

Da Costa will leave Ad Diriyah with the drivers’ championship points lead – and teams like Audi currently licking their wounds will be planning to take full advantage of tomorrow’s in-season test to make up for lost running.

2018-19 Formula E Ad Diriyah Eprix results

PositionDriver (Team)
1Antonio Felix da Costa (BMW Andretti)
2Jean-Eric Vergne (DS Techeetah)
3Jerome D’Ambrosio (Mahindra)
4Mitch Evans (Jaguar)
5Andre Lotterer (DS Techeetah)
6Sebastien Buemi (Nissan EDAMS)
7Oliver Rowland (Nissan EDAMS)
8Daniel Abt (Audi)
9Lucas di Grassi (Audi)
10Nelson Piquet Jr (Jaguar)
11Sam Bird (Virgin)
12Robin Frijns (Virgin)
13Oliver Turvey (NIO)
14Tom Dillman (NIO)
15Maximilian Gunther (Dragon)
16Stoffel Vandoorne (HWA)
17Felipe Massa (Venturi)
18Alexander Sims (BMW Andretti)
19Edoardo Mortara (Venturi)
DNFFelix Rosenqvist (Mahindra)
DNFJose-Maria Lopez (Dragon)
DNFGary Paffett (HWA)

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Hazel Southwell
Hazel is a freelance journalist who roams the paddocks of Formula E, covering the technical and emotional elements of electric racing. Usually found at...

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  • 69 comments on “Da Costa wins season opener for BMW Andretti”

    1. Are you sure Buemi was in both 6th and 7th places?

      1. The software wasn’t calibrated correctly so he appeared to be one place ahead of himself.

      2. Not only that, there are only 21 drivers listed instead of 22, and the final result isn’t correct

        As with Keith’s rankings, Stoff is higher than he should (yes yes I’ll stop). But really the table is wrong

        1. Dunno if this was a glitch but the table looks totally correct to me this morning?

          Sebastien was sixth in the final classification once some in-race penalties had been applied.

          1. Yup, now it’s fine.
            If it was a glitch it was the appropriate series to have one

    2. This was the first FE race I watched.
      Quite enjoyed it as it showed some real racing and the lack of engine noise did not disturb me at all.
      Well done Da Costa with his pole and win. But I’m most impressed by JEV; he is my DOTS.
      Vandoorne qualified well and can be glad that a Belgium made it to the podium (not he though as his race was terrible)

      The racing I liked; the Fanboost I didn’t.
      The Attack Mode, however, was ‘interesting’. It is the same for all and feels a bit less gimmicky than Fanboost or DRS. And who needs DRS when cars can follow so closely through the turns; F1 should have a serious look at that.

      One of the attractions of FE is inner city street racing.
      It’s a pity that in Saudi Arabia they forgot to build the city, and tried to make up for it with 3m high advertising boards ;)

      I’ll keep watching Formula E.

      1. I agree about FanBoost. Makes sense if you are a startup trying to get your teams to promote themselves.

        Personally I like the attack mode idea. Feels less contrived.

        Did you see the support race?

        1. Jaguar i Pace race? @hare
          Just a summary. Looked good, although the circuit looked even smaller for them.

      2. @coldfly This was my first too. JEV was my DOTS too. I didn’t like FanBoost too. Yes, The Attack Mode was interesting, it’s like aiming for nitro icon on Asphalt Airborne game. I just hate that I can’t log on RaceFans live during the race.

        But there’s four drive through penalty and I fail to decode what “not respecting Formula E season five battery software implementation guide version 5.1” is… @hazelsouthwell

      3. The Venturi powered cars (Venturi and HWA) did terribly in general, the lack of race pace was evident. Vandoorne and Massa were basically bottle stoppers for those behind them. Does anyone know why Paffett retired? I don’t recall an explanation being given for him.

        But yeah, if Mercedes wants to be in the front of FE next year, HWA needs to improve massively this year.

        I’m also surprised at the performance of the Nissan, since they were basically given control of the Renault/DAMS team which has won 3 championships, and Buemi who has contested every season of FE with the same team. Audi, too, looked to be under-performing.

        1. This was supposed to be a separate comment, not a reply :\

        2. @sundark

          Paffett had a crash – he’d been struggling with the brakes all day and just couldn’t seem to find a setup he was comfortable with quick enough. He seemed fairly robust about it when I spoke to him after!

          1. Ah, I see. Windows Update took over my PC for about 15 minutes, and I missed out on the Paffett and Rosenqvist retirements. Wasn’t Mortara’s head-on into the barriers also due to brakes? I can understand Paffett having issues adapting to the brake-by-wire system as he’s fresh from DTM, but if Mortara misjudged his braking, its quite surprising since he’s had a full season with Venturi and he’s brought in some decent results previously.

      4. Attack Mode is basically a strategy element to compensate for the loss of the pitstop, since there’s no more car swapping. The pitlane is simply a drive-through penalty lane now.

        I think its an interesting addition with a nice trade-off, given the fact that you need to give up your pace for one lap to gain pace for a couple of more laps. Fan boost should definitely go, and Attack Mode is the perfect replacement for it. Just bump the regular power output to 225 kW and give them a 25 kW boost when you drive through the white lines.

        1. Hans (@hanswesterbeek)
          16th December 2018, 6:54

          Great insight. I didn’t see that before: attack mode is just a pit stop for new tyres in. Disguise. You take a small time disadvantage by taking a slower route, but you can some performance right after that because of (fresh tyres) no extra kw’s.

          1. Hans (@hanswesterbeek)
            16th December 2018, 6:55

            (Wow, autocorrect really messed that one up…)

      5. I’ve tried to watch them previously and decided to gave it another try. Call me a hater (which I’m not) but they are just so SLOW. I would love to see them at Spa racing F3 cars for 30 minutes with unlimited power control. I think they’d look and be pathetic and ungainly. They have a LONG way to go before this is interesting; this was like watching under-powered go karts…..

      6. Ugh, they still have Fanboost? And do they still play background music during the race?

      7. Hans (@hanswesterbeek)
        16th December 2018, 6:52

        totally agree with you little review, @coldfly. However my main reason why fanboost is mildly cringeworthy is that it’s almost unfair by design, as it links popularity to performance. At best, how popular a driver is should not make ‘m quicker. At worst, quick drivers become the popular one and FE is another two-tier championship in the works.

        1. Hans (@hanswesterbeek)
          16th December 2018, 6:57

          Your review.

          You little review, you!

      8. Not my first, but the first time I’ve actually enjoyed it. Totally agree about Fanboost. It’s just idiotic. And Attack Mode, too: like DRS, I sort of want to hate it, but can’t deny that it does add interest. As Sundar says, it compensates for the lack of pitstops. The basic idea is dumber than DRS, but the execution is rather better.

        Can’t agree about the “lack” of noise, though. They’re certainly quieter than even V6-hybrid F1 cars, but the whine they do make is painful. And I can’t really see any way round that. It’s just the noise high-performance electric motors make.

        But yeah… a definite improvement over previous seasons. I’m not sure I’d be so interested if there was other racing going on, though. It’s a canny move to start the season in December. They should probably bring more of it round into the traditional off-season. Weather complicates that of course, but surely there are more southern hemisphere locations who could jump on board?

    3. Buemi had a great race. He placed 6th and 7th according to these results;)

      I really enjoyed the whole Formula E event. The support race was excellent too, with Alice Powell, and Katherine Legge putting in arguably the most impressive performances.

      However, finding the Jaguar I-Pace eTrophy was hard. It was not clearly advertised anywhere I went. Eventually I found it on motorsport.com’s YouTube channel.

      I also watched the Formula E race on YouTube.

      Its accessibility, great looking cars, close driving, unique mindset to racing is what I really like about it. More manufacturers and drivers that I know coming in. I prefer Formula E to Formula 1 now.

      I will still watch F1, but it is a frustrating series to be invested in. Has been for a very long time.

    4. Missed todays race due to prior commitments in another city. Looks like a good start to season with new gen cars.

      1. The race is on youtube.

        1. That was a nice touch by Formula-E, very interesting race. It seems like Massa will take sometime to adjust to this format of racing.

    5. Attack mode seems like it’s as stupid as it sounded, Don’t think it’s really added anything and watching drivers have to slow down/drive offline & through a box painted off towards the side of the track (With some CGI overlays that kept that trackside camera from following the cars which I wasn’t fond of) just looks really silly. Never really been a fan of fanboost and that hasn’t changed.

      Jack, Dario & Bob sounded like they didn’t know what was going on at times so don’t know if there was some issue in the comm box that meant they weren’t getting the information they needed as there usually better than this. Also think aspects of the presentation need work, The timing tower for instance ends up taking up too much space & there seemed to be some graphics missing (Race control messages, Driver/team/powertrain name graphics, lap times, gaps etc…). They didn’t seem too keen to use the OnBoards either, Did like the one’s they had mounted on the wheel guards though especially the rear facing one which would have been nice if an overtake occurred on that side of the car.

      There was some decent racing but something about this series just doesn’t grab me & i’m not totally sure why. Even when there is some good racing going on i’m just not as engaged with it as I am with other categories & as each season has gone on the less into it I seem to be.

      1. I think the lack of on-track action earlier in the day impacted the presentation – no time to test a lot of the graphics and ready the camera angles etc. Equally a bit of lack of practice with information dissemination from live action. It will shake out, it’s just initial gremlins.

        This race report took me an abnormally long time to write, for instance, partly because I was trying to work out how to describe elapsed time (without laps) in a way that made sense of the race. (Also because I was waiting for Felipe Massa to be penalised but that’s a separate issue)

      2. Like I’d mentioned in an earlier thread, IMO Attack Mode is simply a strategy element introduced to compensate for the loss of pit stops due to car swapping being eliminated. Otherwise, the drivers would simply be driving around in circles for 45 minutes and occasionally divebombing each other. I think it produced some interesting results, like when Vergne was the only front runner to activate it, allowing him to take the lead, and some hilarious results where Lopez missed the activation zone twice, or when Buemi and SVD activated it under SC and lost any semblance of an advantage that it was supposed to provide.

    6. First proper time I watched a FE race, very happy that my fellow country man won, especially after qualifying yesterday, which felt like the grid was completely mixed up and that position was always going to be hard to keep. He eventually managed to keep it, being helped by both penalties for the techeeta drivers. Their car feels like the strongest at the moment and surely they are the ones to look at, although the lack of running might have given us a different scenario altogether.

      I do like the tyres a lot. All weather tyres certainly create a challenge to the driver, avoid pit-stops (just get on with it) and are, dare I say it? Road relevant

      That is the positive, there are a lot of things that need improvement, the cars can race, so there is no point on having attack modes and fan boosts, feel like an excuse to illuminate the halo, plus getting off the racing line to activate the attack mode is just ridiculous, does feel a lot like Mario Kart. The general coverage and stewarding felt amateurish at best. Errors in deploying flags, or at least not coincident with the information that was given to the viewers (yesterday there was a marshal waving a red flag while the session wasn’t stopped, today at the start we got informed of a full course yellow when there was none). There isn’t information on the teams during the race, so we don’t know which driver belongs to which team when looking at the standings. The circuit was bad, no sense of speed whatsoever, which is odd since the barriers are right there.

      Also Buemi finished 6th and 7th so @hazelsouthwell, you might want to check that out, together with some positions that I think are wrong. Massa was the best rookie (not according to the table above, but according to the official one)? That’s fun to say, especially because he finished ahead of a highly rated Stoffel Vandoorne (eheheheh)

      1. @joaomilk unfortunately Massa was not the best rookie once he had received a time penalty for misusing power modes.

        Which, to be honest, is normal. Andre Lotterer had the record for the most disqualifications per session participated in by Marrakesh last year! (he was delighted when I told him, obv)

    7. This morning I remarked to my brothers how this was the first time in a very long time that we were screaming at the top of our lungs, dog barking nearby in confusion, at the end of a race. Pure excitement and entertainment, with a lineup of some of our favorite drivers across many disciplines, driving for some of our favorite brands in the best looking cars in motorsport today.

      That, my fellow race fans, is what it is all about in my opinion. And I am grateful to be around for the early years of what is clearly the future of motorsport.

      1. It’s great to hear how Gen 2 racing is convincing people about the potential of Formula E.
        It’s just the beginning of a new era, some things still needs tweaking, but man…that was just entertaining.

        And hard, clean battles everywhere, great moves, those cars allow racing & looks quite faster than its predecessor!
        Previous Gen forced drivers to go over the limits, touching everytime.

      2. Oh yes, I’m with you! Exciting race. Am a kiwi and as such a Mitch Evans fan and stoked he had a strong race. Those cars looks soooo good on track! Especially in a pack. I’m hooked :)

      3. Hans (@hanswesterbeek)
        16th December 2018, 7:03

        I haven’t been screaming nor do I own a dog – but I totally agree with you in the looks of these cars. They are straight outatime!

    8. it was ok but overall the whole thing felt super amaturish and nothing about the series really did anything to make me want to continue watching it throughout the season.

      drivers were getting penalties yet there were no graphics for it. there was no graphics showing which drivers were on screen, what team they were driving for or what engine they have. aside from the tower there was no gap information displayed showing who was gaining on the car ahead etc.. so much of the basic stuff we get in f1 among other series was nowhere to be found and it made things a bit harder to follow especially given how the commentators didn’t seem to know what was going on either.

      the attack mode thing is downright terrible, easily one of the most contrived and pointless things i have ever seen in the sport. and the fanboost is not much better although i’d take it over attack mode which as i say is simply terrible.

      the cars looked slow which took away a lot of the thrill of watching them, just lacked excitement even if there was an overtake or something going on.

      drivers were playing bumper cars to push guys out the way to get past and it was been hailed as ‘an amazing move’…. what is this nascar?

      so yeah not sure i shall be watching the rest of the season if todays ‘race’ is what the rest are like. especially this attack zone; my goodness that really is truly dreadful!

      1. Sincerely, after I started watching races on 2x speed, every live race is slow.
        Maybe the problem with FE car is not that they are slow, but is the torque curve – it is too stable.

      2. Hans (@hanswesterbeek)
        16th December 2018, 7:06

        I love discussion on attack mode but you need to provide me with some arguments @peterrogers!

    9. It was a good race for a street race and for the cars limitation.
      Not the fastest, nor the most powerful, but seeing close racing is good, even if helped by yellow flag. It is a good thing that cars can bump sideways without a disaster or sprinkling carbon fiber.
      The broadcast is troubled, but I think is mostly due to the nature of the circuit – and maybe the director had too much coffee.
      Still on the transmission, the self trolling graphics on crash is a funny silly idea. but I would like they waited to check if the driver is ok. Otherwise, posperity will see a very harmful accident under a silly graphic.
      On attack mode, I’m not sure if I want to see it on every series, but seems nice, especially if the activation zone demands a little more skill. Yes, it is gimmicky, but it seems inevitable in a racing world in which perfomance differences are unsurmontable by drivers grit.

    10. I really enjoyed the FE race today, would like to try catch up on the i-Pace race too.
      I like the new cars. It genuinely feels like they’re pushing all the time. I didn’t miss the lack of pit stops. I feel that the reduced practice time also helped mix it up a bit. Glad that Felix managed to get a clean start after that bizarre overshooting his mark and reversing.
      Also thanks Hazel for clearing up the bizarre number of in race penalties that were not detailed during the broadcast.

      On that… I wasn’t very impressed with the broadcast today, nor my options to watch the race. First race hiccups perhaps, but this is season 5… The false alarm for a full course yellow on lap 1 was confusing. Not a single replay of the start, despite strong evidence of a jump start. So many position changes, including a number via attack mode that were missed.

      The attack mode was interesting, although I thought that the placement of it was unusual. Essentially that last corner before the straight was flat out, but you would have to brake / ease off in order to make the trigger point. Surprised that no one got brake checked and had an incident. I thought that more than just Lopez would get caught out by it. The TV made such a point of displaying the zone, but rarely actually caught anyone going through it.
      The bing bong they play to signify team radio is very annoying!

      Regarding watching in the UK, whilst I know I can now watch on you tube (although would rather not as prefer regular commentary from Dario and Jack), I went with BBC. I was out for race time. Back in Channel 5 / Spike days, I could just set the Sky box to record it and watch at my leisure. As its only on red button / online, I can’t record it. The two options I had were to wait 2 hours for it to appear on the iPlayer on my phone (extra 3 hrs for iPlayer on the Sky Box, if I want to watch on the big telly) or watch a stream on the BBC website that started with a 15 min preview that you couldn’t skip thru, then the race itself couldn’t be paused or rewound. Bare minimum live feed coverage with little build up (no grid walk, no quali round up – bit like ESPN F1 coverage I guess)
      Bit frustrating really, but I guess I should be grateful I can watch at all…

      Definitely going to be a fascinating season. Think a lot will depend on how quickly Audi can catch up (they did well enough last year) and if Nissan can improve their efficiency.

      1. @eurobrun – the World Feed (Jack and Dario) is also available on YouTube! It’s a separate stream to the influencer one. If you look live it will be there and I think it’s immediately available after. :)

        1. Thanks @hazelsouthwell
          I didn’t realise that, but guess it makes sense. My biggest difficulty is finding the race re-run without accidentally finding the result first!
          Back in the day, I could jyst switch on the sky box and watch whether the race had started or not.
          Thanks again for the coverage and reports!

      2. As its only on red button / online, I can’t record it.

        @eurobrun I thought the same as you until a few days ago, but it turns out you can record off the Red Button through Sky. I don’t think it’s listed on the ordinary guide but if you can find the race in the search on your Sky box, you can set it to record from there. I did it for the race yesterday and it worked fine.

        1. Interesting. Thanks @neilosjames
          I’ll try that for Marrakech

      3. Reason for not so much brake checking effect is that you can push your apex way over late, which pushes your entry later, which compensates for braking point offset for the slower apex.

        Clever way of doing the activation zone to be honest.

    11. Racing was OK (although not brilliant) but everything that surrounded it was a bit of a turn off.

      Attack mode is really, really bad, Like properly awful and late in the race after the SC it just looked really absurd and more than once resulted in the sort of DRS style push of a button highway pass which I really don’t find all that interesting or exciting.

      The TV graphics were a total mess not showing key bits of info such as investigations, penalties and who was driving for what team and manufacturer. The commentry duo sounded lost, Making the wrong call’s and not seeming to understand the rules or what was happening. There was no pit reporters to report on drivers who were having tech issues. Having the live team radio’s open doesn’t work as more than once commentators were interupted by nothing but static. I also noticed more than once that they were pumping in fake crowd reactions (Clapping and cheering) to try & drum up some excitement. Oh and all these weird sounds effects when certain graphics triggered and music during replays were also terrible.

      The whole presentation felt like a minor club race rather than a big league championship. Not a good start in my view, Maybe i’ll watch the next race but I don’t see myself making a point to, Will probably just catch highlights or something later.

    12. this race is dedicated to all the people who says FE is not racing especially totto wolff

      1. its only racing if you like gimmicks, bumper cars and yellow flags from slow looking cars which are about as exciting to watch as a car driving past your house.

        if you want to watch some pure racing from fast looking exciting cars then formula e is definitely not for you! i shall certainly not be watching it again.

        1. it hurts isn’t it? not a single word you said is true… they are not slower anymore, there was only 1 yellow flag and F1 is the king of gimmicks. DRS? that garbage defined races. please shhh

    13. hmmmm not sure i’ll be watching it again as i can’t say i enjoyed todays race at all just as i have not others i watched last season.

      too many gimmicks, as bad a circuit as they all seem to be, cars looked really slow and unexciting visually, attack mode is bad, fanboost is dumb, directing was abysmal, the graphics were a joke.

      the electric tech is cool but execution from this series is severely lacking in every other regard so i’m out i’m afraid!

    14. Well, I thought that was pretty exciting. More passing than I remember in the average F1 race. I’m looking forward to the next one.

      1. I also should have mentioned that the Techeetah livery of gold and black proves conclusively to be the best on any grid.

    15. It was a bit like a bottle of non-alcoholic beer.
      The marketing would have you believe that it’s tastes the same and is better for your body but one sip and your senses tell you it’s not the real thing.

      1. @ceevee: Well said!

        The hype is faster than the racing. The irony of hosting an E-race in the world’s premier petrol state makes the incongruous messaging complete.

    16. This was the first race I’ve watched and it was good close racing, need to ditch the random fan boost though.

    17. FE goes from strength to strength!
      Excellent race, cars look amazing, visually faster and more stable and arguably on average the most talented drivers in any series.
      Like it or not, it’s surely the future of single seater racing.

      Boost and the attack lane gimmick are not needed, instead just allow them to manage the power when they want. IE use more power to overtake but then conserve at other times etc.

      1. How can you affirm that “on average” the FE had the best drivers?
        Massa was destroyed by Bottas, the number two in Mercedes. Buemi and Vergne didn’t get Red Bull, where we had Vettel, Ricciardo, Verstappen and even Kvyat and Gasly. There are others rejected from F1 that were unimpressive.
        In F1, apart of the ones above, there are: Le Mans winner Hulkenberg, F2 champion Russell and 2nd Norris, 2007 F1 WDC Raikkonen, Leclerc, Kubica, Perez, Sainz…
        FE could match Indycar field, but is far from F1 level.

        1. mate this is a bad take.

    18. Good racing, decent build up but the live presentation is still amateur hour. Given that there seems to be an official commentary team they need better access to what’s going on!

    19. I watched and enjoyed the racing. If formula 1 wasn’t in such a pathetic state then I’d not have watch FE, but now that i have I’ll keep watching.

      Id say F1 has one last chance to get their regulations right for 2021. If they dont i think FE will be the premier world series by 2030. Mainly because FE stands for something and the cars are making massive progress, where F1 doesn’t know what it is and the regulations have been going in circles for decades because of the lack of identity.

    20. Tommy Scragend
      16th December 2018, 9:29

      I haven’t watched much Formula E in the past, but I watched this race last night on iPlayer and I actually quite enjoyed it.

      I quite like the way that no one really seems to know what’s going on, or understands the rules properly, thus making the races ever-so-slightly chaotic. It reminds me of Formula 1 from back in the day.

      I expect that this characteristic of Formula E will disappear as time goes on and it becomes more established (as happened with F1, which is largely dull now), but I might just try and enjoy it while it lasts.

      1. Yep, the unpredictable nature of FE is a top attraction. Just about any driver could end up winning a race this year, which will keep me watching.

        Qualifying was a bit anti-climatic due to the red flags and the fact there was no Super Pole shootout this time, but in general I find FE qualifying to be quite thrilling; on-the-limit, drivers sliding around, kissing the walls, with nothing to lose – especially in Super Pole. The top speed doesn’t really matter when you can that kind of intensity.

        Lots to improve, but a good start to the Gen 2 season.

    21. I quite liked the race, but everything leading up to and some parts of the race were farcical. This is barely a sport.
      – The running before the race made the grid a lottery
      – The numerous penalties before the race for drivers in new cars, who hadn’t quite managed to atune their batteries to not give power spikes, which means they were penalised for the organisation’s lack of flexibility and the stewards lack of common sense
      – The same for penalties in the race, which were all for power spikes over kerbs, which is a ludicrous thing to do
      – The Fanboost is an abomination
      – Attack Mode makes it into Mario Kart
      – These sort of street circuits are bad.

      Really, the cars are awesome, the speed is pretty impressive now, there are brilliant drivers in there and the actual racing was great. But all the surrounding stuff is pretty bad, and really turns me off from watching it.

    22. All the bleeps and blips creeping into race broadcasts are driving me to distraction. I can’t tolerate them and invasive graphics. Offer a variant with no additional FX and I’ll keep watching (that goes for F1 coverage, too).

    23. I do wonder how much the track contributed to the good racing. I can’t recall a better track in FE, except perhaps the one in Uruguay and it looks like a proper race track rather than some of the ghastly efforts they come up with. It even had a ‘technical section’ – wiggly bits – instead of the usual unimaginative 90 left, 90 right, 90 left etc.

      It is still a bit Village Fete with delusions of grandeur, but I quite like that.

    24. The track is ugly and quite frankly sucks IMO. But they will no doubt attract better venues as popularity increases.
      I was taken back by the number of big name manufacturers – Mercedes, BMW, Audi, Porsche and Nissan. Ferrari, Honda, Toyota and others will surely have to throw their hat into the ring in the near future. This will enhance the progression/technology.
      It is critical for Formula E to draw a big name – ALO should be on their radar. They should pay him a king’s ransom to enter – it would pay huge dividends viewership wise. He would love to have a Formula E car in his museum I would think:)
      FE has a long way to go, but like it or not, it’s the future. When exactly the tide will turn is hard to say but it
      It has come a long way in a very short period of time.
      If F1 isn’t concerned, they should be. Unfortunately, Ferrari and Merc have F1 by the balls. The prohibitive costs and lack of competition are slowing killing it. It will always be more more glamorous though but that only goes so far.

    25. F1 may have gimmicks that we don’t like, but FE is looking like they are going to win the Silly Rules and Gimmicks awards for 2018.
      It makes no sense that someone should be penalized for NOT fully charging their battery. How can this make you faster.?? It seems it does, but why.??
      For those out to “Save The Planet”, yes FE cars are electric and “non poluting” , but where did the Watts come from to charge them …. gas turbines that feed the local grid. Maybe they can give additional boost to teams that bring in their own solar panels. Do these work when it is raining.??

      1. Running with a not fully charged battery allows the car to use regeneration earlier than other cars, which is an advantage. Also, even if your local power plant is coal, electric cars convert that power to motion more efficiently than gasoline.

        Perhaps learning a little about physics and engineering would improve your enjoyment, rather than repeating talking points that stem from ignorance of science.

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