PressClub Global · Article.
Three lessons learned – Hong Kong E-Prix.
14.03.2019 Press Release
In our series “Three lessons learned”, we present three of the findings made by BMW i Andretti Motorsport after each race. This time: The Hong Kong E-Prix (CHN).
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Munich. The BMW i Andretti Motorsport team is contesting its first season in the ABB FIA Formula E Championship. The engineers gain more experience with every race weekend and incorporate their new findings in the further development of the BMW iFE.18 and its preparations for the coming races. In our series “Three lessons learned”, we present three of the findings made by BMW i Andretti Motorsport after each race. This time: The Hong Kong E-Prix (CHN).
1. Weather nullifies the BMW iFE.18 drivetrain’s strengths.
Showers made the Hong Kong E-Prix an eventful and unpredictable race. Different track conditions for the four qualifying groups, a race with a red flag and multiple outings for the BMW i8 Coupé Safety Car were conditions in which energy efficiency – one of the strengths of the BMW i drivetrain – had no impact on the race. No team had to save energy in the race. As such, the difference in the efficiency of the various drivetrains played a far less significant role than at previous events.
2. Good grid positions particularly important in Hong Kong.
The circuit in Hong Kong’s harbour district is one of the tightest on the Formula E calendar. This makes overtaking manoeuvres more risky and it was nearly impossible to pass a car in a direct duel without making contact in Sunday’s race; Alexander Sims (GBR) and António Félix da Costa (POR) both experienced just that, having started from 13th and 20th places. The Hong Kong E-Prix was further evidence of just how important a good grid position is in Formula E.
3. No attacking, despite ATTACK MODE.
ATTACK MODE, which is intended to be a tactical means of ensuring more overtaking manoeuvres and race action, becomes ineffective as soon as there is a safety car period in a race. In Hong Kong, virtually all the drivers chose to drive over the ATTACK MODE activation zone at the end of the safety car period. This is logical, as it cost the drivers no valuable time – in contrast to crossing the activation zone at race speed. The problem, however, is that for the next four minutes – the period, for which ATTACK MODE is active – almost all the drivers still had access to the same amount of power. It may be more power, but as there is no difference between the competitors, nobody has an advantage and there is no opportunity to use ATTACK MODE strategically.