You can’t move the goalposts in motorsport, so what are the hard and fast rules to know when watching Formula E? Here's how to race, win or lose.
Below is a brief overview of the rules and regulations but, don't worry, we won’t get too technical. We'll leave that for FIA - motorsport's governing body. Click here for a more detailed look at the rules and regulations.
Championship and standings
The ABB FIA Formula E World Championship consists of two separate titles - one dedicated to the drivers and another dedicated to the teams. The Drivers’ World Championship is awarded to whichever driver has accumulated the most points over the season. The Teams’ World Championship is decided by the combined points score of each team’s driver pairing throughout the campaign.
Formula E follows a standard points system, used in other FIA-sanctioned series - awarding points to the top-10 finishers.
- 1st - 25pts
- 2nd - 18pts
- 3rd - 15pts
- 4th - 12pts
- 5th - 10pts
- 6th - 8pts
- 7th - 6pts
- 8th - 4pts
- 9th - 2pts
- 10th - 1pt
Additional points are also awarded for securing Julius Baer Pole Position and clinching the Fastest Lap in the race.
The driver starting at the front, from Julius Baer Pole Position, picks-up an extra three points.
During the race, the driver who completes the fastest lap also receives one additional point. However, the driver must finish in the top-10 places to gain the TAG Heuer Fastest Lap. If not, then the driver in the top-10 with the next fastest lap takes the honour.
Julius Baer Pole Position: 3 points
TAG Heuer Fastest Lap in race: 1 point (if in a top-10 finishing position)
Race day format
Each event has two practice sessions - an opening 30-minute session on a Friday, followed by a further 30-minute session on Saturday. This is reduced to one 30-minute session on the second day of a double-header.
This is the first time the teams and drivers will take to the track under timed conditions as they get a feel for the track and adapt to the car set-up. Although the timer is on, it doesn't count towards the result. After all, it's just a practice session.
Teams must field at least two rookie drivers in Free Practice 1 over the course of the season, to give up-and-coming talent a taste of top tier electric motorsport.
POWER: 350KW IS AVAILABLE THROUGHOUT.
Formula E’s qualifying format allows the best teams and drivers to showcase their speed and skill but maintains the possibility of any driver to step up, pull a lap out of the bag and fire themselves up the starting grid.
The Group stage sees two groups of 11 drivers, ordered based on their Drivers' World Championship position, battling at 300kW to set lap times each in a 10-minute session, with the fastest four from each progressing into the Duels stage and the Quarter-finals. The two winners from each group then compete against one another head to head in a knockout at 350kW over the last eight into the semi-finals. Then, the eventual quickest from each group face off in the Final Duel.
The winning driver of the final duel takes Julius Baer Pole Position, while the runner-up lines up second. The Semi-finalists will line up third and fourth, the Quarter-finalists between fifth and eighth - according to their laptimes.
The fifth to 12th-placed drivers who competed in the polesitter's group will fill the odd positions on the grid. The corresponding drivers from the other group will be classified in the even grid slots. So, if the polesitter comes from Group 1, the fifth placed driver in Group 1 will line up ninth on the starting grid and the fifth placed driver in Group 2 takes 10th and so on.
POWER: 300KW IN GROUP AND 350KW IN DUELS.
Races, or E-Prix, begin with a standing start, meaning the cars are stationary until the lights go green. The drivers line-up on a dummy grid - a short distance behind the actual grid - and slowly file into position to start the race. The E-Prix lasts for a predetermined number of laps.
Laps can be added for Safety Car and Full Course Yellow interruptions, with the total laps to be added announced three laps prior to the end of the E-Prix.
Introduced for the 2018/19 season was ATTACK MODE, which lets every driver pick up an extra hit of power at their own risk. To fire up ATTACK MODE, drivers will need to arm their car, drive off the racing line, and through the Activation Zone. As a reward for taking a slower line through the corner, they’ll be able to collect an extra 50kW of power – 350kW from the stock race power deployment of 300kW. Drivers can choose to secure the extra speed if they want to race harder, giving them the edge to keep ahead of the competition or make moves up the pack. The time ATTACK MODE is armed is published by the FIA pre-race.
Later in Season 9, ATTACK CHARGE, using pioneering battery and charging technology, will allow the newer, smaller, lighter Gen3 cars to receive an in-race energy boost via a pit stop – delivered at a lightning-quick 600kW. This mandatory 30-second stop will unlock two ATTACK MODE periods with the cars running at 350kW vs the stock 300kW.
Most events take place over a single day in order to minimise disruption to the host city. Some events stretch to two days with double the amount of action - these are referred to as double-headers. The schedules are mirrored from each day, with only one 45-minute practice session on the second day.
Tyres and allocation
The bespoke 18-inch treaded all-weather tyres used by all teams and drivers are supplied by Hankook - official tyre supplier of the FIA Formula E World Championship. Each driver can use no more than four new rear and four new front tyres for each event. For a double-header, drivers are given six front and rear tyres to use across the whole weekend.
Charging the car is forbidden during both qualifying and the race, as well as throughout Parc Ferme and scrutineering. Teams can charge the cars in-between sessions and during practice.
Just like a driving licence for the road - Formula E drivers must qualify to participate. In order to enter the FIA Formula E Championship, drivers must comply with the following:
- Drivers must conduct a specific FIA training session focussing on electrical safety, specific features of the fully-electric Formula E car, as well as reviewing both technical and sporting aspects of the series.
- Drivers must have accumulated at least 20 points in the past three years, in conjunction with the FIA points system - used to qualify for a Super Licence. Or, to have previously been holding a Super Licence, or to have participated in at least three events of the previous FIA Formula E World Championship.
- The champion from the previous season automatically qualifies for a Super Licence the following year.
If these points aren’t met - a driver judged by the FIA to have consistently demonstrated outstanding ability in single-seater categories, but with little or no opportunity to qualify, can still participate.