Like all FIA World Championships, there are strict rules and regulations to follow. From the International Sporting Code to making sure the car is legal from a technical standpoint, there are a lot of things to obey. Here are some of the key things you need to know ahead of Season 10 of the ABB FIA Formula E World Championship.
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.
If there’s a dead heat at the end of the season, the higher place in the Championship shall be awarded to the driver with the most first places in a race. If the number of first places are the same, the number of second places are looked at, then third place, and so on until a winner emerges. If this procedure fails to produce a result, the FIA nominates the winner according to such criteria as it thinks fit.
Formula E follows a standard points system, used in other FIA-sanctioned series - awarding points to the top-10 finishers.
Additional points are also awarded for securing Julius Baer Pole Position (three championship points) and clinching the TAG Heuer Fastest Lap (one championship point) in the race. However, the driver must finish in the top-10 places at the end of the race to be awarded the extra point for fastest lap.
If the scheduled race distance cannot be completed, due to rare circumstances such as torrential weather or an incident, points will be awarded from a set criteria. No points will be given if the leader has completed less than two laps, and no points will be awarded unless a minimum of two laps have been completed by the leader without a Safety Car and/or Full Course Yellow (FCY) intervention. Half points will be awarded if the leader has completed more than two laps, but less than 75% of the original race distance. Finally, full points will be awarded if the leader has completed 75% or more of the original race distance.
If you’re lucky enough to finish within the top three in the Drivers’ World Championship at the end of the year, you must be present at the annual FIA Prize-Giving ceremony. The Team Principal of the winning team needs to also be in attendance. Failure to do so could result in a fine of up to €50,000!
As a driver and team, you need to be on your best behaviour to avoid being penalised. You can be investigated and subsequently sanctioned for a variety of incidents, such as causing a collision, forcing another driver off the track or breaching the regulations.
The Stewards are the group of individuals from the FIA who decide, upon a report or a request by the Race Director, if drivers or teams are given a penalty for an incident. Depending on the offence, they can impose any of the following to a driver:
5-second time penalty – the next time a driver enters the pit lane for a pit-stop, they must stop in their position for at least five seconds before any work is carried out on their car. If they carry out no further pit stop before the end of the race, five seconds will be added to the total elapsed race time of the driver concerned.
10-second time penalty – the next time a driver enters the pit lane for a pit-stop, they must stop in their position for at least ten seconds before any work is carried out on their car. If they carry out no further pit stop before the end of the race, ten seconds will be added to the total elapsed race time of the driver concerned.
In both of the above cases the driver concerned must carry out the penalty the next time they enter the pit lane and, for the avoidance of doubt, this includes any stop the driver makes whilst a FCY or safety car procedure is in use.
Drive-through penalty – the Driver must enter the pit lane and re-join the race without stopping.
10-second stop-and-go time penalty – the Driver must enter the pit lane, stop at his pit for at least ten seconds and then rejoin the race.
If any of the four penalties above are imposed upon a driver finishing outside of the top 10 or if that driver is unable to serve the penalty due to retirement from the race, the Stewards have the power to hand them a grid penalty for their next race.
There is also the possibility that a driver could have a cancellation of lap times, time penalty, warning, reprimand or a drop of any number of grid positions at their next competition. They could also be made to start from the pit lane, disqualified or suspended from the driver’s next race.
Drivers can also pick up penalty points on their e-Licences. If they get up to 12 penalty points, their licence will be suspended for the following event, following which the 12 points will be removed from their e-Licence. Penalty points will remain on a Driver’s e-Licence for a period of 12 months, after which they will be respectively removed on the 12-month anniversary of their imposition.
Just like a driving licence for the road, Formula E drivers must hold current and valid licences.
To achieve this licence, 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. In addition, they will need to 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. If they haven’t, they need 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, which for Season 10 would be Andretti’s Jake Dennis, 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.
Even those who are participating in a Free Practice session must hold one of the E-licences.
Tyres and allocation
Only tyres which have been provided by the FIA-appointed supplier, the bespoke 18-inch all-weather tyres by Hankook, may be used throughout the Competition. At each race, drivers can use no more than four new rear and four new front all-weather tyres of the same specification. For double-header events, each driver may use no more than six new rear and six new front all-weather tyres of the same specification. All tyres must be strictly identical.
Any modification or treatments to the tyres such as cutting, grooving, scrubbing in, the application of solvents or softeners, the fitting of electric or mechanical temperature conditioners such as heat retaining devices or pre-heating is prohibited. It is prohibited to take off the pick-up rubber from the tyres.
For every last detail of the sporting and technical regulations, click here.