FE test race showed 'worst case scenarios'

FE test race showed 'worst case scenarios'
By AutoSport

08/11/2018 at 12:41

HWA driver Gary Paffett reckons the problems the Mercedes-affiliate squad encountered during the recent race simulation at Formula E pre-season testing was "good practice for worst case scenarios".

At the request of the teams, FE and the FIA allocated a full race-length stint - 45 minutes plus one lap - on the second afternoon of running during the Valencia test.

This was give the teams the chance to simulate the new race distance and sample the attack mode race format - with timing loops fitted to the ground on the outside of the fifth corner that the drivers had to pass over to activate the system.

The cars left the pitlane in single file and the race was not recorded by official timing systems, but it was red-flagged after just a few corners when Paffett's HWA team-mate Stoffel Vandoorne stopped on-track and Audi's Daniel Abt hit the temporary chicane built on the track's main straight.

The electrical systems on Vandoorne's car remained live and it was declared 'red' - an FE first - which meant it had to be carefully recovered and then quarantined in the pits.

Will Formula E launch a Vandoorne career comeback?

This led to a delay of almost 45 minutes in restarting the race and the time spent sitting in the sun caused several cars to have battery temperature problems towards the end of the restarted event.

Some also drivers had their power levels reset during the stoppage, while others did not.

Paffett believes the lessons he and HWA learned through the simulation race will be beneficial for the squad as it prepares to make its FE debut.

"The initial start of the race was fine and then after the red flag with the problem with resetting the power on some cars and things and some of the energy deltas and stuff weren't perfect," Paffett told Autosport.

"So we had to a bit of firefighting during the race and a bit of improvising.

"But we might have to do that so I think it was good practice for us - it was good practice for worst case scenarios.

"It wasn't smooth by any means but a good practice at least and something that we'd like to do more of.

"The race management side of things is definitely the thing that's most different to what we're used to so that [was] a good thing to be able to do actually, just to get into a situation and try to get yourself out of trouble, which we had."

The simulation race was nominally won by Audi driver Lucas di Grassi.

The season three champion passed Alexander Sims on the run to the line as the BMW driver battled his own battery temperature problem.