The ABB Driver of Progress award will recognise the driver who successfully balances the demands between pace, overtaking and energy efficiency to ultimately make up the most positions in a race. A league table recording the positions gained by every driver will be revealed immediately after each of the eight remaining races. The driver finishing the season with the most positions gained across all 16 races will be named the ABB Driver of Progress for Season 9.
Heading into Round 9 and the Monaco E-Prix at one of the most iconic, instantly recognisable motorsport venues on the planet this Saturday (6 May), Andre Lotterer (Avalanche Andretti) tops the ABB Driver of Progress table with 46 positions gained in eight races to date, ahead of the current leader of the Drivers’ World Championship standings, Pascal Wehrlein (TAG Heuer Porsche Formula E Team) on 43 positions gained.
Rewarding intelligent, dynamic and efficient racing
The new award will spotlight Formula E drivers who demonstrate the highest degree of skill and efficiency, regardless of starting position on the grid or where they finish on the podium and is sure to reveal powerful examples of outstanding competitive driving performance.
“Progressing through the field is not an easy task in Formula E," says Alberto Longo, Co-Founder & Chief Championship Officer, Formula E. "It requires patience, quick reactions and a crucial ability to balance driving efficiently and carefully to preserve energy while fearlessly challenging to make up places. These are essential skills required to be an effective Formula E driver. The ABB Driver of Progress award will recognise the competitors who proves they lead the way when it comes to Formula E’s unique demand for intelligent, efficient and dynamic driving.”
Positions gained per driver will be calculated over the 16-race season to produce an overall winner who will be named ABB Driver of Progress. Losing places or failing to finish a race for any reason will result in a zero score.
“ABB is committed to driving sustainable progress off-track, so it is fitting for ABB, as a global technology leader, to reward drivers making the most progress on-track. This new award furthers ABB’s partnership with Formula E and underlines their shared commitment to pushing the boundaries of technology to drive progress.
“Mastering energy management and maximising energy efficiency are vital driver skills, particularly when they’re faced with the challenge of progressing through the pack," says Daniela Lužanin, Head of the ABB Formula E partnership. "The same qualities underpin ABB’s commitment to creating a more sustainable future, as seen in ABB Formula E, where ABB Ability™ OPTIMAX® energy management software is helping to deliver more efficient energy use at all E-Prix."
Energy recuperation and the balance between flat out raw pace and usable energy available is the cornerstone of strategy in the ABB FIA Formula E World Championship. It's all about choosing moments and knowing when to push, and getting that balance right over an E-Prix.
"Energy conservation is everything in Formula E," says Maximilian Guenther (Maserati MSG Racing). And he's right. Nailing the trade-off between managing the finite amount of energy at their disposal and going flat out is the perennial battle for drivers and engineers over the course of any E-Prix.
Making the most of usable energy available over a race distance is often the difference between silverware and coming home empty handed.
In Formula E, drivers start each race with finite usable energy and they'll aim to use every last jolt of juice - leaving nothing on the table at the chequered flag.
The more a driver pushes the accelerator, the greater the drain on their usable energy. If they flew flat out for the full race distance, they'd over-consume and get slapped with a penalty. If a driver does get it wrong and goes over that limit, a 2kWh buffer allows them to safely make their way back to the pits.
Knowing when to pounce and when to conserve is absolutely key for any driver looking to make the points. It's all about strategy, and intelligently selecting the right time to make the jump.