- FAN ZONE
You can’t move the goalposts in motorsport, so what are the hard and fast rules to know when watching Formula E? Here's how to play, lose and win.
Below is a brief overview of the rules and regulations but, don't worry, we won’t get too technical. We'll leave that for FIA - motorsport's governing body. Click here for a more detailed look at the rules and regulations.
The ABB FIA Formula E World Championship consists of two separate titles - one dedicated to the drivers and another dedicated to the teams. The drivers’ championship is awarded to whichever driver has accumulated the most points over the seven-month campaign. Whereas the teams’ championship is decided by calculating both driver’s scores throughout the season.
Formula E follows a standard points system, used in other FIA-sanctioned series - awarding points to the top-10 finishers.
Additional points are also awarded for securing Julius Baer Pole Position and clinching the Fastest Lap in Qualifying and the race – more details on both of these below.
The driver starting at the front, from Julius Baer Pole Position, picks-up an extra three points, while the driver who sets the fastest lap during qualifying gets an additional point.
During the race, the driver who completes the Fastest Lap also receives one additional point. However, the driver must finish in the top-10 places to gain the Fastest Lap bonus point. If not, then the driver in the top-10 with the next fastest lap takes the honour.
Julius Baer Pole Position: 3 points
Fastest driver in Qualifying: 1 point
Fastest Lap in race: 1 point (if in a top-10 finishing position)
At most E-Prix, a shakedown session is held on Friday - the day before the main event - but this is dependent on the track (in our case, city streets) being available. Drivers use this session to check the electronic systems and the reliability of the car, but not overall performance as the cars run at a reduced speed.
At this time, the track layout, kerbs and features can be checked by the FIA, taking into account feedback from the competitors provided in the driver briefing.
Each event has two practice sessions - an opening 30-minute session followed by a further 30-minute session. This is reduced to only one 30-minute session on the second day of a double-header. This is the first time the teams and drivers will take to the track under timed conditions as they get a feel for the track and adapt to the car set-up. Although the timer is on, it doesn't count towards the final result. After all, it's just a practice session.
The new-for-Season 8 qualifying format allows the best teams and drivers to showcase their speed and skill but maintains the possibility of any driver to step up, pull a lap out of the bag and fire themselves up the starting grid.
The Group stage sees two groups of 11 drivers, ordered based on their Drivers' World Championship position, battling at 220kW to set lap times each in a 10-minute session, with the fastest four from each progressing into the Duels stage. Those eight will then face off in the quarter-finals, competing against one another head to head in a knockout at 250kW over the last eight into the semi-finals and on to the final.
The winning driver of the final duel takes Julius Baer Pole Position, while the runner-up lines up second. The semi-finalists will line up third and fourth, the quarter-finalists between fifth and eighth - according to their laptimes.
The fifth to 12th-placed drivers who competed in the polesitter's group will fill the odd positions on the grid. The corresponding drivers from the other group will be classified in the even grid slots. So, if the polesitter comes from Group 1, the fifth placed driver in Group 1 will line up ninth on the starting grid and the fifth placed driver in Group 2 takes 10th and so on.
Races, or E-Prix, begin with a standing start, meaning the cars are stationary until the lights go green. The drivers line-up on a dummy grid - a short distance behind the actual grid - and slowly file into position to start the race. The E-Prix lasts for 45 minutes. At the end, once the 45 minutes are up and the leader has crossed the finish line, there's still one more lap to go until the race finishes.
Introduced for the 2018/19 season was ATTACK MODE, which lets every driver pick up an extra hit of power at their own risk. To fire up ATTACK MODE, drivers will need to arm their car, drive off the racing line, and through the Activation Zone. As a reward for taking a slower line through the corner, they’ll be able to collect an extra 30kW of power. Drivers that secure the extra speed, can use it for a few laps when they want to race harder, giving them the edge to keep ahead of the competition.
On top of that, there's FANBOOST - your chance to impact the race. The five drivers who receive the highly-acclaimed FANBOOST – as voted for by you, the fans - are awarded a significant burst of power, which they can deploy in a five-second window during the second half of the race. You can vote to FANBOOST your favourite driver in the week prior to, and leading up to 15 minutes into, each race. Click here to cast your vote.
The majority of events take place over a single day in order to minimise disruption to the host city. However, where possible some events stretch to two days with double the amount of action - these are referred to as double-headers. The schedules are mirrored from each day, with only one 45-minute practice session on the second day.
The bespoke 18-inch treaded all-weather tyres used by all teams and drivers are supplied by Michelin - official tyre supplier of the FIA Formula E World Championship. Each driver can't use more than four new rear and four new front tyres for each event. That means they need to make a total of two sets of tyres last from Shakedown all the way to the end of the race.
Charging the car is forbidden during both qualifying and the race, as well as throughout parc ferme and scrutineering. Teams can charge the cars in-between sessions and during practice.
Just like a driving licence for the road - Formula E drivers must qualify to participate. In order to enter the FIA Formula E Championship, drivers must comply with the following:
If these points aren’t met - a driver judged by the FIA to have consistently demonstrated outstanding ability in single-seater categories, but with little or no opportunity to qualify, can still participate.