2018/2019 Formula E Championship: New venues and big rule changes announced
After the FIA World Motor Sport Council (WMSC) meeting in Manila on June 7, the FIA and Formula E revealed the calendar for the 2018/2019 Formula E championship. This season starts on December 15, 2018 in Saudi Arabia, which is also the debut of this EV racing series in the Middle East. The teams will then compete in 13 races in 12 cities spread across four continents. The final race is a double-header in New York on July 13 and 14.
The next season also sees the introduction of the newly-titled voestalpine European races which will comprise of races in Rome, Paris, Berlin and Zurich, along with Monaco. Other notable cities where the races will be held are Marrakesh, Mexico City and Hong Kong.
The FIA also announced some changes to the race format, keeping in mind the increased power and energy storage capacity of the Gen2 car debuting this coming season. Unlike the last car, this can complete a full race distance without the need to make a mid-race car swap.
It will now be mandatory for drivers to use two different power modes over a race distance. In addition to the standard 200kW available during the race, drivers will now have access to a high power mode that provides 225 kW. An activation zone has been devised on the circuits, clearly marked out for fans trackside and on TV, which drivers will have to pass through to access the higher mode. The two power modes on each car will be indicated using different colours on the LED system on the F1-like halo head protection device.
The exact number of individual uses and relative duration of the higher power mode will vary at each event and will be determined by the FIA. Although, teams and drivers can decide when to activate the higher power mode in the race.
A tweak has been made to the existing Fanboost voting system. Now the three drivers who will receive extra energy, will only be able to do so when the cars are running in a higher power mode, taking the maximum power available to 250kW.
The new Formula E machine that will be used in Season 5 of the championship
The qualifying format has also been altered to accommodate the larger grid of 22 cars. Now six cars will be able to make it to the super-pole shootout after the group stages.
Further, race distances will no longer be measured using a pre-defined number of laps, but will instead run to a strict time limit of 45 minutes plus one lap to reach the chequered flag. The prize for fastest lap will also be replaced, with points being awarded to the most efficient driver classified in the top-five positions.
2018/2019 Formula E Championship calendar
|1||Dec 15, 2018||Ad Diriyah, Saudi Arabia|
|2||Jan 12, 2019||Marrakesh, Morocco|
|3||Jan 26, 2019||TBA|
|4||Feb 16, 2019||Mexico City, Mexico|
|5||Mar 10, 2019||Hong Kong, China|
|6||Mar 23, 2019||TBA, China|
|7||Apr 13, 2019||Rome, Italy|
|8||Apr 27, 2019||Paris, France|
|9||May 11, 2019||Monaco, Monaco|
|10||May 25, 2019||Berlin, Germany|
|11||Jun 9, 2019||Zurich, Switzerland|
|12||Jul 13, 2019||New York City, USA|
|13||Jul 14, 2019||New York City, USA|