Method E’s newest period seems to reward power saving within the early phases.
It appears instinctual for drivers to wish to jostle for place within the preliminary phases of the race when the sector is bunched up. However we’re seeing a brand new method emerge in Method E this 12 months – one the place sitting again and taking it simple within the early phases pays dividends ultimately.
It’s a method that labored in Stoffel Vandoorne’s favour on the Monaco E-Prix, as he secured his first Method E win in over a 12 months. Talking at a media session, the Mercedes-EQ driver defined this new method.
Vitality saving early on is essential
Method E is usually described as a recreation of chess, and that’s for good purpose. Along with the on-track racing, drivers additionally need to consider power administration, the 2 necessary Assault Mode activations and much more.
Every driver begins the race with 52kWh of useable power and the extra time they spend racing flat out or being caught up in battles, the extra power they’ll devour. So figuring out when to preserve and when to push is an important ability for any Method E driver to own.
Dissipate an excessive amount of power within the preliminary phases of the race, and you could possibly find yourself being a sitting duck ready to be handed by those that have extra battery power in retailer. Method E’s new qualifying format has helped generate some consistency on the beginning grid by eliminating the older format that usually penalised the extra profitable drivers. However this, mixed with simply how aggressive the grid is, has additional accentuated the power administration facet.
“It’s at all times a tough stability to make,” Vandoorne informed Autocar India. “Clearly, in a really perfect state of affairs, you don’t wish to battle an excessive amount of at first. However while you’re in these prime positions, you additionally don’t wish to lose the place. So it’s a really arduous stability that it’s a must to strike.”
Vandoorne refers back to the Rome E-Prix for instance. He’d began from pole, but it surely was Jaguar’s Mitch Evans who gained from ninth on the grid. “I used to be in Rome main the race and I used to be preventing a bit with Robin [Frijns]. We have been losing some power, after which Mitch got here by means of with an power benefit. It was type of the alternative [in Monaco], the place I used to be capable of maintain again slightly bit at first after which I used to be capable of come by means of,” he defined.
“So I feel it’s simply the character of the championship proper now; we’re so shut with all the highest guys persistently on the entrance. The racing method has positively modified slightly bit. It’s extra about being environment friendly within the first half, after which there’s positively some arduous preventing after that.”
Vandoorne dedicated to Method E
The present season might be Mercedes’ final in Method E. Regardless of having a wealth of expertise in different racing collection like IndyCar and the World Endurance Championship, Vandoorne says he’s dedicated to the electrical racing collection. “Mercedes is leaving after this season, so it signifies that I’ve to search for one thing else. However my thoughts could be very a lot in Method E and that’s the place I wish to be,” he stated.
“There are numerous totally different alternatives on the market, however for me, what’s essential is to have a powerful bundle, a powerful automobile that may allow me to proceed to battle for victories and championships sooner or later.”
He’s presently linked to a possible seat on the new DS and Penske alliance group for subsequent season. However nothing has been confirmed thus far.
Vandoorne: Gen3 automobiles ought to enhance driveability
The Monaco E-Prix additionally noticed the unveil of the new Gen3 Method E automobiles, boasting a 100kW energy increase, improved effectivity and decrease weight. Vandoorne reckons all of this may “enhance the dealing with and driveability” of the automobile. However he additionally confused that with Gen3 nonetheless a few months away, the drivers are nonetheless targeted on the present season.
His Monaco E-Prix victory additionally helped Vandoorne take the championship lead, six factors forward of Jean-Eric Vergne. The Berlin E-Prix double header is up subsequent on Might 14 and 15, and it’s the place Vandoorne had scored his maiden Method E victory again in 2020. So it’s been a powerful venue for him and Mercedes, however Vandoorne factors out that it’s a somewhat peculiar and unforgiving circuit. “You actually need to concentrate on getting the automobile in the precise window on a regular basis, in any other case it might probably shortly go fairly incorrect,” he defined.
“Up to now we’ve bought it proper a few instances, however we’ve additionally bought it incorrect a couple of instances. That would be the key focus – to get the automobile in the precise window after which hopefully we should always have the ability to have a superb outcome.”