Mitch Evans is looking forward to the all-new format for Formula E races in season five, which will run to a time of 45 minutes instead of a set number of laps.
The format will be introduced at the opening race of season five, which will be held in Saudi Arabia. Also making its debut will be the new ‘hyperboost’ function, which allows the driver an additional 25kW of energy to be used for overtaking in a pre-determined section of each track.
The number of uses per driver will be determined from event to event by the FIA.
Evans, who will enter his third season of Formula E with Panasonic Jaguar Racing, is excited by the new format and predicts that we will see more surprise results than usual as a result of drivers saving energy in the early parts of the race.
“It’s gonna be really exciting, especially in Saudi Arabia it should be a bit crazy,” said the New Zealander. “The whole structure of the races has changed going from laps to time, which doesn’t sounds that complicated but when you’re dealing with the energy you’re trying to make it to the end of the race without a fixed lap and you’re trying to deal with energy numbers that change lap-by-lap depending on what the leader is doing.
“Some races you could be on the bubble with 42 laps instead of 41, or it could go up to 43 or down to 40 if there’s a safety car, you just don’t know. It’s going to be up in the air until the last few minutes of the race and I think that’s going to be really exciting, it will make a difference in the last few laps and will make exciting racing.
“I hope we’re in a position where we’re not going to be relying on uncertainty and we’ll be that team that will be consistently at the front, but for sure there are going to be some races where you’ll be on the bubble with time and someone who has been tenth and just pounding around accumulating energy will have a lot at the end and spice things up. I’m predicting that’s going to happen, I think you should see some surprise podiums this year.”
The hyperboost will be an additional dimension for the drivers to deal with in season five, which Evans believes will fuel the excitement of the racing further.
“With the hyperboost as well, no one really knows how that’s going to work, when we’re going to activate it and that’s a bit up in the air as well. We’ll probably have eight minutes throughout the race but how that’s divided, who knows? We’ll try and simulate that in testing in Spain, but you can do it as much as possible but when you have other cars dictating the pace there are so many different variables and that’s going to be exciting. I hope the racing is exciting for everyone watching.
“The communication between driver and pit wall is going to be crucial, I need to be prepared and make sure that we have gone through most scenarios. I’ve got an idea of how it’s going to pan out, but it probably won’t turn out that way!”
With Jaguar enjoying an upward trajectory between its first and second seasons in Formula E, Evans made it clear what his target for next season is as he aims to bring home his and the team’s maiden victory.
“What’s possible is hard to say, but the target is consistent podiums and wins. I wanna be fighting for the championship, last year we missed some opportunities and we made life harder for ourselves in many ways.
“Qualifying was strong for us last year but we did lack a bit of pace in the race, we’re hoping to fix that for this year and have a strong race car. On top of that, we want to get consistent podiums but I want that first win. I want it for myself, but also for the Jaguar brand. I’ve been here since day one and I want it for the team.”