Formula E

Attack zone causes discussion at Formula E in Cape Town: "Didn't know where it was until 2 days ago"

Tobias Wirtz

Tobias Wirtz

With the decision to place the attack zone on the outside of the fast turn 12, Formula E is deviating from its normal procedure of placing the activation track for attack mode in slow sections of the track. This is causing mixed reactions among the drivers. In particular, driving back to the racing line could become a problem in the race.

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In the past, Formula E has predominantly chosen slower track sections for the position of the attack zone, such as in Mexico City: here, the activation zone is located within the stadium section. In Hyderabad, too, the racing series chose the slowest point on the track: hairpin turn 3 at the end of the long straight. In Cape Town, however, those responsible made a different decision.

The positioning in the middle of the curve allows different approaches: Drivers can either stay on the racing line as long as possible and then let themselves be carried to the outside, or they can drive through the entire curve on the outside. After the trackwalk, drivers seem to predominantly want to choose the second option.

"We didn't know where the attack zone was until two days ago," Lucas di Grassi described to 'e-Formel.de'. "You still drive through turn 11 normally, then afterwards you try to position the car so that you get a good exit from the attack zone. So you just drive along (the outside edge of the corner), there's not much else you can do. But at least the track looks very clean there, so you don't lose so much time."

Müller: "Time loss less than on other tracks"

"In the end, you have to drive where everyone else is driving because the track is a bit cleaner there," Nico Müller explained when asked by 'e-Formel.de'. "I assume that taking as much momentum as possible and choosing as round an approach as possible will be the faster option."

"You have to come out of the last loop well, because otherwise the angle becomes relatively acute," the Swiss continued. "I think the time loss will be less than on other tracks because you can take relatively a lot of speed should the track be clean there."

"You definitely have to approach the corner on the outside, otherwise you won't hit the loops," Max Günther tells our microphone. "But we'll certainly work that out in free practice, how to drive optimally there. After all, you want to keep the time loss as low as possible. But in such a fast corner, that's already a very interesting position for the attack mode. That will be interesting."

"I think we'll keep the corner completely on the outside," Nick Cassidy also agrees. "The fact that it's such a fast corner is more of an issue. But we've had that a few times in Formula E as well. I think we'll get used to it quickly."

"Not optimal" - threat of collision in race?

Kelvin van der Linde sees a completely different problem: "Normally, the attack zone is in slower corners. I'm curious to see how that looks when two cars meet side by side at the exit of the corner." "The drivers who get attack mode will probably drive relatively slowly," Edoardo Mortara agrees with him. "Then, when they return to the racing line, they meet drivers who are going much faster. That's not ideal."

Andre Lotterer was also curious, he said, "how it will be when the cars meet at the end of the corner at these speeds. I think the car driving on the racing line has to play along a little bit. When you go through the attack zone, you don't see the car on the racing line." However, he said this is nothing new for him. "In principle, it's no different than if the attack zone were in a hairpin," the German said.

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