Formula E world champion Nyck De Vries is concerned that the new time extension rules for Safety Car periods will lead to more races ending with “no overtaking” and “no racing”
Following the ridiculous end of last season’s first Valencia E-Prix, which saw several drivers run out of usable energy after severe energy limit cuts caused by a series of safety cars, the championship has introduced new rules to limit the 45-minute time limit. races instead of reducing the energy restrictions.
Asked by RaceFans how he felt about the new Safety Car rules, De Vries said he fears the element of time extension could be conducive to less eventful racing.
“I think it will generally reduce the risk of extremely low energy targets if we have Full Course Yellow or Safety Car by the end of the race,” he explained.
“I think it’s a bit of a shame actually because I think once we run into late Full Course Yellows or Safety Cars, we’re going to run into a near full-push scenario, which was the case in season five when I wasn’t there.
“Once you go into a scenario where the targets are too high – London for example – and there’s very little energy management, there’s just no overtaking and no racing. Plus, people who have a strategic race…their benefit of the work they did during the race can be taken away from them.
“So I think it will be easier for everyone. They have certainly protected themselves against a scenario like Valencia. But personally I don’t think it will improve the race.”
Further rule changes for the 2022 Formula E season have been introduced to address complaints from teams and drivers who have long believed they are unfairly penalizing the most successful drivers. Most notably, the much-maligned group qualifying system has been replaced by a new ‘duels’ format, intended to create a more level playing field for drivers.
De Vries believes the new changes designed to make racing more creditable are what the series “needed”.
“In general, I am very positive about the changes,” said De Vries. “I think it’s just going to create more consistency and stability, which I think the championship really needed.
“But at the same time, it’s new for everyone and we have yet to discover how that will be practical. So I’m very much in favor of it overall and I think it will bring what we needed, but let’s see how we all deal with it when it gets dark.”
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