Fanboost in France and Attack Mode in Mexico – these scenarios will form part of the TAG Heuer Porsche Formula E Team’s race routine during the upcoming Formula E season. Before the team competes in its first race in Riad, we answer the main racing series questions. But first, let’s go back to where it all began.
The Formula E
From napkin to season six.
What sounds like a crazy story is actually the moment the first all-electric racing series was devised. Some initial ideas written on a napkin in a Parisian restaurant on March 3, 2011 represented the birth of Formula E. The vision: a racing series that demonstrates the potential of sustainable mobility at the highest level.
When the Formula E races get underway in Riad, eight years later, on November 22, 2019, this will already be the sixth season of the series. This year, a total of 14 races will be held in 12 cities on five continents – contrary to the “normal” race calendar. Traditionally, Formula E begins in winter and continues until the following summer. When the championship battle between 24 drivers from 12 teams will be decided during the season finale. But until then, numerous challenges await the TAG Heuer Porsche Formula E Team, and a great many highlights await the fans. No other racing series gives spectators such a close-up experience of the sport as Formula E. Because it doesn’t take place on famous race tracks around the world, but on selected, closed circuits in urban centers. Formula E enters our cities, demonstrating that it isn’t a motorsport one-way street.
The idea of sustainability.
Motorsport events – with an eye on the future. Not just in terms of technology, but also with a focus on the environment. The ABB FIA Formula E Championship – as the racing series is officially named – is the only event in the motorsport circus to feature all-electric race cars. The core of the Formula E brand is to pursue an environmentally-friendly approach. This is not just limited to the races themselves. The Formula E race calendar is designed in such a way that the venues are as close together as possible. Everything required for the race is transported by boat and train, except for the cars. Formula E therefore takes a holistic approach: to use resources sustainably – which not only applies to motorsport itself, but also to the logistics.
Race day and the battle for the championship.
Races usually take place on a single day – except at the start of the season and the double finale at the end. This allows the restrictions on the host partner city to be kept to a minimum. The race day program includes a morning practice session for all teams, a qualifying session at lunchtime and the actual race in the afternoon. As the season draws to a close, the battle for the title intensifies. The Formula E championship has two of these: one for the best driver and one for the best team. All the points collected by the drivers count towards the championship. The one with the most points wins the individual championship, while the driver pair with the most points during the season takes the team title.
The race and its special features.
Formula E is extremely fast – sometimes even a little tempestuous. The circuits through the world’s cities are narrow; the bends tight. The races are held over a period of 45 minutes plus one lap, and demand driving skills of the highest level. The winding urban courses provide a great deal of excitement and guarantee that the races will be close. However, despite all the dynamics, drivers and teams focus on one thing on their way to the podium: energy management. Because the Formula E race requirements are very different to those of other series. Two special features, in particular, set the electric racing series apart: Fanboost and Attack Mode.
Active involvement in the race – probably the wish of many motorsport fans. Direct support for Neel Jani and André Lotterer? Thanks to Fanboost, this is possible in Formula E. A five-day online poll before each race, via hashtag on Twitter, the Formula E app and the official Formula E website, gives the TAG Heuer Porsche Formula E Team's fans the opportunity to cast their vote in support of our drivers. The one with the most votes receives a temporary 50kW power burst for the forthcoming race. Defend their lead or initiate a crucial overtaking maneuver – when Fanboost is enabled, the halo system on their car lights up purple. But this isn’t the only way to receive an extra surge of power in Formula E. Attack Mode also provides additional kilowatts. When a driver crosses the designated Attack Mode area, located off the ideal line, they have to take the long way round – but are rewarded with an extra 35kW of power. The rules state that every driver has to use Attack Mode during the race. The point at which they do so is a strategic decision that can only be taken during or shortly before the race: the exact number of activations and the duration of the additional 35kW in Attack Mode are only published by race officials immediately before the start, and vary from circuit to circuit. When this mode is enabled, the halo system lights up, as with Fanboost – this time blue. The correct energy management and the right strategy, including the use of Fanboost and Attack Mode, are the key success factors in Formula E, along with perfect vehicle tuning.
Formula E promises intense racing, and we are sure it will be a thrilling season. We will see what has happened since that March day in a Parisian restaurant. Perhaps we will even stop by – after all, Formula E is also visiting the City of Lights. How could it not?