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Formula E reveals new Mario Kart rules for next year

Published: 07 June 2018

► New Formula E car in action
► Top speed of around 190mph
► Could use Mario Kart rules

Formula E is getting an all-new, striking chassis for next year, and now it’s announced some innovative rules to go with it. Because the new car – which you can read about on this page – has the capacity to last a whole race without a driver change, the new rules aim to re-add some strategic spice to races.

It’s a mee, Mario! 

Earlier this year, we reported that Formula E was considering adding Mario Kart-like power-ups to racers, and it turns out that’s actually happened. From 2019 drivers will be able to access 225kW of power in a higher mode – 25kW more than usual, but only when they’ve passed through a single activation zone. Formula E says this area will be visible and marked out for fans and TV viewers, and to make to make it a strategic tool, we presume it won’t be on the racing line, either.

We’ve already seen the second-gen Formula E car has lights around the Halo device, and now we know they’ll be used to signify which power-mode (225kW or standard 200kW) the car is in. Sadly, or fortunately – depending on how you feel about it – FanBoost will also be making a return, and drivers with that will get a 250kW of power for a lap.

Formula E electric race car

‘Formula E is synonymous with innovation and pioneering technology - that’s exactly what we’ll be seeing again next season with the step-up in performance and efficiency of the futuristic next generation car, as well as trialling unique and radical concepts to usher in a new era of Formula E,’ said Alejandro Agag, Founder and CEO of Formula E. ‘The new format and split levels of power being introduced for season five will add an extra strategic element and continue to offer intense and exciting competition between some of the most talented drivers and biggest brands in motorsport.’

With 22 cars on the grid, Super Pole has also been tweaked, so only the top six will be allowed to participate.

Points for efficiency

Finally, the driver’s fastest lap award will now be replaced by the ‘most efficient lap’ award, with points awarded for the most conservative driving. In previous years, drivers without the chance of a win or points would use an unsustainable amount of energy to try and bag the fastest lap points – but now they’ll be rewarded for driving slowly.

Whether or not that’s a better thing, we’re not sure, but it does fit in the ‘power and resource management’ ethos of the rest of the series.

Below you’ll see the provisional race calendar for next year’s championship, and then you can read everything else you need to know about the new Formula E car.


Formula E 2018/2019 car: championship calendar

Round

City

Country

Date

1

Ad Diriyah*

Saudi Arabia

December 15, 2018

2

Marrakesh

Morocco

January 12, 2019

3

TBA

TBA

January 26, 2019

4

Mexico City

Mexico

February 16, 2019

5

Hong Kong

China

March 10, 2019

6

TBA

China

March 23, 2019

7

Rome

Italy

April 13, 2019

8

Paris

France

April 27, 2019

9

Monaco*

Monaco

May 11, 2019

10

Berlin

Germany

May 25, 2019

11

Zurich**

Switzerland

June 9, 2019

12

New York City

USA

July 13, 2019

13

New York City

USA

July 14, 2019

Formula E 2018/2019 car: everything you need to know

The new 2018/2019 season chassis has been designed by Spark Racing Technologies, and it marks a radical change from the previous one. This year’s car looks far less like an open wheeled, poor relation of an F1 car, and has its own unique, prototype feel.

A new swept-back front wing links to enclosed wheels, while the floor of the car also suggests a more Le Mans-style footprint. The back of the car is finished with an incredible X-Wing style spoiler, and a huge diffuser.

This is the first final design we’ve seen of any race car with a Halo device, and thanks to a clever paint job and a swooping lines – it’s not that ugly after all, is it? To top things off, the new Halo device also features a ring of embedded lights, and knowing Formula E, it’ll be used to indicate boost or battery level, driver popularity or perhaps the amount of retweets for something.

Unlike previous seasons, the new cars will be powered by a McLaren Applied Technologies battery instead of a Williams Advanced Engineering unit, after the former won the contract for this year. What’s more, this season will also see the removal of mid-race car swaps, as range should now be long enough to complete an entire race.

By Curtis Moldrich

CAR magazine's online editor and tech lover

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