Meeting on Friday in Paris, the FIA World Motor Sport Council ratified several decisions concerning the 2021-2022 season of the Formula E World Championship. The first was the most anticipated and already widely anticipated, sinceannounced a few days earlier by the leaders of the discipline, namely an overhaul of the qualifications format.
“A new format for qualifying, divided into groups followed by knockout matches, has been approved in order to maximize the enthusiasm for the fans and encourage the emergence of the best drivers and teams.”, announces the FIA.
The new system will split the 22 competitors into two groups, based on the championship standings. In each group, the pilots will have ten minutes to complete as many laps as they wish with 220 kW of power. The fastest four in each group will qualify for the second phase, which will consist of a final draw with direct confrontations in the form of quarter-finals, semi-finals and then final. The allocated power will then be increased to 250 kW.
Formula E is playing stoppage time!
In addition, measures were announced to develop the intervention procedures of the safety car and Full Course Yellow, in order to avoid controversies such as the one that marked the Valencia E-Prix this year. Only nine of the 24 drivers had been able to cross the finish line at normal speed after a drastic reduction in the energy allocated following several neutralizations.
From now on, Formula E will use an additional time system directly inspired by football to ensure an energy management issue, rather than a reduction in the allowance. Thus, the 45-minute race plus one lap may be lengthened, up to an additional 45 seconds for each minute spent under neutralization, unless the latter occurs after the 40th minute of the race.
“This will reduce the impact of neutralization periods on overall green flag race time, while protecting the strategic role of energy management.”, says the FIA.
No E-Prix in South Africa
Finally, the schedule for next season has been amended, confirming the rounds organized for the first time in Vancouver and Seoul. On the other hand, the test project in South Africa, supported by Jaguar, is paying the price for uncertainties linked to the COVID-19 pandemic. Formula E was planning to go to Cape Town on March 5, a date which has however been kept for a destination to be defined. The season will start as planned in Saudi Arabia at the end of January, ending in Seoul in mid-August.