The biggest change for Formula E
2016/’ 17 is visual: in comes a two-tiered
spec front wing to give the cars a “more
futuristic” look. It’s a change that’s
entirely aesthetic; don’t expect added
downforce, although it is a little heavier
and (for the teams) more expensive.
The teams have minor regulation
changes to contend with. Peak power
output remains the same for qualifying
(200k W, or 268bhp) and the races
(170k W, or 228bhp). But the amount of
regeneration permitted has been upped
from 100k W to 150k W, meaning a driver
has more scope to harvest energy under
braking. There should be more energy to
play with, and faster races as a result.
Another change for season three that
will impact on performance is a slight
reduction in weight limit. A new minimum
weight of 880kg/1,940lb – a reduction
of 8kg/18lb – doesn’t sound much. But
because the base car is so heavy (and a
lot heavier than initially intended), several
teams found it difficult to reach the old
weight limit with minimal changes to
their powertrains last season. Most have
WHAT’S NEW FOR FORMULA E, ACT THREE?
converged towards the benchmark Renault
package – one motor, two gears and the
lightest possible casing materials (usually
carbon fiber). So getting down to the limit
should be easier, but it’s still an additional
challenge. Plus, reduced weight means
fractionally faster lap times and a little less
stress on the motor – but less energy in
the turns because the load is lighter,
which means a small reduction in energy
harvesting. This will all have an impact,
however small, on efficiency strategies.
Aside from the cars themselves, the big
changes for 2016/’ 17 are on the calendar.
Out go Beijing, Putrajaya, Punta del Este,
Long Beach and (controversially) London.
In come the season-opening Hong Kong
race, which ran Oct. 9, plus Marrakesh,
Brussels, and two new North American
venues in New York and Montreal.
New York is set for July 15, 2017, with
lower Manhattan and the Statue of Liberty
as an iconic backdrop for the 1.21-mile
track in Red Hook, Brooklyn. Two weeks
later, on July 29-30, Montreal’s season-closing double-header uses a 14-turn,
1.71-mile layout in the heart of downtown.
The cars look a little different for season three, but the biggest changes are in the venues they’ll race at.
(MAIN) Formula E’s
philosophy of bringing
races to city tracks gets
a spectacular boost with
the location for its
inaugural New York
event, scheduled for
July 15, 2017.
The California street track won’t host its
third Formula E event in season 2016/’ 17.
As things stand, FE champ Sebastien Buemi
has a WEC clash on the New York race date.