What needs to change about Formula E to gain popularity?

22-08-2021 17:56
by GPblog.com
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What needs to change about Formula E to gain popularity?

This season, Formula E is considered an official World Championship for the first time. Nyck De Vries had the honour of taking the seventh title in Formula E, which was therefore the first world title. For the first time, there were fans at the races in Berlin, but the electric racing class is still not as popular as its F1 counterpart. What needs to change about Formula E to make the class really popular?

Abolishing the Fanboost

As ideological as the idea is, the fanboost is actually a desperate attempt to get fans involved in racing. More often than not, fanboosts result in penalties for misuse, rather than being used effectively to overtake. Formula-E would do better to get rid of these boosts to create a fairer championship. Now it's often the same drivers who get the fan boost.

A 'normal' qualification

A fairer championship connects to the next point. Before the last race in Berlin, there were theoretically fourteen drivers who still had a chance at the world title. A big reason for this is the qualifying format used. It allows for surprises up front, but it doesn't reward the fastest team.

Currently, qualifying is divided into four parts. In order of the championship, the top six go out first and the 'worst' six go out last. They often have the track with the most grip and therefore often set the fastest times. In the end, the six fastest times from the qualifying session go to the Super Pole, to fight for pole position. This gives a fair chance to all drivers, but often the fastest drivers are already eliminated because they had to set their time in the opening phase.

The fastest team has to start from the back and that was often the fate of Mercedes. De Vries and Stoffel Vandoorne often had to start from the back of the grid, but managed to gain ten places on a street circuit. A normal qualifying format, like in Formula 1, makes the team want to get the maximum out of the car all the time, because the fastest car is actually allowed to start on pole.

Temporary street circuits

On one hand, this makes Formula E unique, on the other hand it makes it the odd one out in motor sports. The race in Monaco is the only one that is still a 'real' circuit and where Formula E races, only since this year on a normal circuit. The idea is logical that on a street circuit the room to make mistakes is minimal, but you can also follow each other less easily.

Also, the first race on a real circuit, namely in Valencia, was a very exciting one. Teams made wrong calculations, so strategy played an important role. Racing on a real circuit, if necessary with some adjustments, makes it closer to a real racing class.

Do not touch the battery during the safety car

In Formula 1, no fuel is taken from the car when the safety car is on track and so no electricity should be taken from the limit during a safety car. Of course this makes the drivers think less about saving energy, but it also makes them go full throttle until the end. Now they have to drive calculated, because when they get to the flag they are at exactly 0 percent.

Taking away the energy only makes the fans, especially the new fans, very unclear about the battery percentages. To make the sport more understandable for the fans, who you want to attract, you have to make it as easy as possible to understand. Consuming energy during a safety car causes confusion.

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