The ABB Driver of Progress award recognises the driver who successfully balances the demands between pace, overtaking and energy efficiency to ultimately make up the most positions in a race.
A league table recording the positions gained by every driver will be revealed immediately after each race, alongside in-depth data and analysis to illustrate how the encounter, and the battle for the award, unfolded.
The driver finishing the season with the most positions gained across the calendar will be named the ABB Driver of Progress for Season 10.
Season 9's winner
Di Grassi secured the honour at the Hankook London E-Prix season finale in quite astonishing fashion, even in the context of a season he spent mostly in ‘recovery mode’. He ran a large part of the race half a minute behind the pack because of someone else’s crash, saving energy and doggedly sticking with it in the hope of some chaos for drivers up ahead that could swing things back towards him.
His efforts were duly rewarded with the spanner in the works for those up the order, in the form of two Safety Car periods and two Red Flags. The Brazilian took full advantage. By the end of the race Di Grassi had gained 14 spots from his starting position and made it into the top 10 - scoring points for only the third time in 15 races.
That surge through the pack was enough to see him home at the top of the ABB Driver of Progress standings – climbing 69 places across the entire season.
Picking moments: How the award is won
Energy recuperation and the balance between flat out raw pace and usable energy available is the cornerstone of strategy in the ABB FIA Formula E World Championship. It's all about choosing moments and knowing when to push, and getting that balance right over an E-Prix.
"Energy conservation is everything in Formula E," says Maximilian Guenther (Maserati MSG Racing). And he's right. Nailing the trade-off between managing the finite amount of energy at their disposal and going flat out is the perennial battle for drivers and engineers over the course of any E-Prix.
👑 Will anyone be able to dethrone @LucasdiGrassi as this year's @ABBgroupnews Driver of Progress?— Formula E (@FIAFormulaE) January 5, 2024
The accolade returns in Season 10 and will be awarded to the driver who makes up the most places throughout the campaign! pic.twitter.com/kPMOqyupZF
Making the most of usable energy available over a race distance is often the difference between silverware and coming home empty handed.
In Formula E, drivers start each race with finite usable energy and they'll aim to use every last jolt of juice - leaving nothing on the table at the chequered flag.
The more a driver pushes the accelerator, the greater the drain on their usable energy. If they flew flat out for the full race distance, they'd over-consume and get slapped with a penalty. If a driver does get it wrong and goes over that limit, a 2kWh buffer allows them to safely make their way back to the pits.
Knowing when to pounce and when to conserve is absolutely key for any driver looking to make the points. It's all about strategy, and intelligently selecting the right time to make the jump.