Formula E

Paddock Whispers: News ticker on all the important Formula E paddock topics in Jakarta

Tobias Wirtz

Tobias Wirtz

This weekend, Formula E will be racing in the Indonesian capital Jakarta for the second time. As always, you can find out what else is keeping the paddock busy besides the track action in the latest edition of our popular "Paddock Whispers" series. We update this news ticker regularly throughout the weekend.

>>> "I had no grip": Ticktum & Buemi with tyre set problems during qualifying

[04.06. | 09:00] Nio 333 driver Daniel Ticktum only qualified 20th on the grid on Sunday. The young Briton, who is considered a good qualifier, explained his poor performance in a Formula E Instagram live video with a bad set of tyres: "I had no grip on my second set of tyres. I've heard from other drivers that they had this problem. This is the first time it has hit me here."

Ticktum had already been unable to get a good lap time on his first set of tyres: He spun on his fast lap at turn 18 and then spectacularly turned the car around with spinning rear tyres.

Envision driver Sebastien Buemi was also affected by the problem. The Swiss had already complained to his race engineer on the radio during qualifying: "I don't understand it! These tyres just feel completely different to the ones before!"

>>> New Formula E boss Jeff Dodds on site

[04.06. | 07:40] The future CEO of Formula E, Jeff Dodds, is on site at the Jakarta E-Prix. Even though he will only officially take up his new job on Monday after the race, he could already be seen in Formula E gear at the race weekend.

 
 
 
 
 
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>>> Mahindra team boss explains Merhi signing

[03.06 | 03:55] The Mahindra departure of Oliver Rowland after the Monaco E-Prix came as a surprise. Team boss Frederic Bertrand has now explained the reasons behind the choice of Roberto Merhi as the replacement driver for the double-header in Jakarta. The team's actual replacement driver, Jehan Daruvala, is racing in the Formula 2 race in Barcelona this weekend. "There were several options on the table," the Frenchman told 'Motorsport.com'. "Roberto did a good test in Berlin and we think that he had the good background, the good behaviour, the good spirit, he is very motivated."

"There was clearly the Jehan option but he was busy," Bertrand explains further. In addition to Merhi, test driver Jordan King, with whom Merhi had shared the car in Berlin, had also been an option. "Our second option was the two drivers who tested with us in Berlin. Few others were also on the table but it was making sense to go on with one of the two testing and Roberto has been the one chosen."

>>> Drivers' voices on the change of Formula E CEO

[02.06 | 15:00] After the Monaco E-Prix, the departure of Formula E CEO Jamie Reigle was one of the big topics in the electric series. In the official press conference in Jakarta some drivers gave their opinion on the change at the top management of Formula E. "Every time I've dealt with him, it's been a pleasure," said championship leader Nick Cassidy. "I wish the best for the championship and hope we can continue to grow. If this change is good for the future of the series, then it's cool."

"Jamie has become a friend, so we should first thank him for the past four years he has been with us," added Porsche driver Antonio Felix da Costa. "I think his vision was definitely going into the right direction. We have to continue on this journey by welcoming the new CEO." Reigle's successor Jeff Dodds will take up his new job on June 5th - directly on the Monday after the Jakarta E-Prix.

>>> Lucas di Grassi gives chess lesson

[02.06. | 13:56] "Like chess in a Formula E car" - that's how Maximilian Günther described his race in Berlin after scoring the first podium for Maserati. The Mahindra drivers now took a cue from this: Lucas di Grassi gave his new team-mate Roberto Merhi a little coaching in the "game of kings" in the paddock. But Nissan driver Sacha Fenestraz was also very interested in di Grassi's explanations. Will they be able to benefit from it in the two races this weekend?

>>> Indonesian language course at McLaren

[02.06. | 13:10] McLaren drivers Jake Hughes and Rene Rast practised a little Indonesian in a social media video the team produced ahead of the race weekend. Was it a good sign that the language teacher laughed out loud at several times? We are not quite sure.

>>> FIA doubles times on Attack Mode

[02.06. | 08:26] The FIA has responded to the fact that there has been recent criticism of the short Attack Mode phases. Instead of four minutes, there will be eight minutes in Jakarta with the higher power of 350 kW. As before, the total minutes will be spread over two activations, with the driver able to choose between three different models: 6+2 minutes, 4+4 minutes and 2+6 minutes.

It remains to be seen whether the Attack Mode will thus regain tactical importance. In past races, the drivers had driven almost exclusively through the Attack Zone to lose positions and thus again in the slipstream of a competitor. Nobody wanted to do any leading work, especially in the first half of the race.

>>> Formula E again waives shakedown

[02.06. | 08:08] The traditional shakedown, in which the Formula E drivers are allowed to drive three laps at reduced power in a separate session before the 1st free practice in order to test the basic systems, will be omitted in Jakarta. The session had already been cut in Berlin and Monaco. While the cancellation in Monaco was justified by the fact that the track was only closed to road traffic shortly before the 1st Free Practice, it is unclear why the decision was also taken for Berlin and Jakarta.

>>> A first in Gen3: different race distances at a double header

[02.06. | 07:52] In Jakarta, for the first time since the reintroduction of lap-based races at the beginning of this season, there will be two different race distances in a double header: while the race on Saturday will run over 36 laps (85.3 km), on Sunday 38 laps must be completed, which corresponds to a distance of 90 kilometers. In Diriyah and Berlin, each of the two races had the same number of laps.

>>> Lucas di Grassi prepares for heat in Jakarta

[02.06. | 07:40] Mahindra driver Lucas di Grassi has given an insight into his preparation for the Jakarta E-Prix ahead of the race weekend. The Brazilian trained ahead of the Indonesia races not only in the team's race simulator, but also in the sauna - for the temperatures and high humidity.

>>> Preparation in the climatic wind tunnel for Sam Bird

[02.06. | 07:35] Not only di Grassi has prepared especially for the climatic conditions in Jakarta: Jaguar driver Sam Bird did cardio sessions on a fitness bike in the week before the race. The bike was set up for this purpose in the climatic wind tunnel at Jaguar Land Rover's design and development center in Gaydon, UK. The climate in Jakarta was simulated.

At 36 degrees Celsius and 90 percent humidity, Bird struggled. Even much harsher conditions would have been possible in the wind tunnel: The state-of-the-art facility can be set to temperatures ranging from -40 to +55 degrees Celsius. "I could clearly feel the effects on my endurance," Bird said afterwards. "As a racer, training is an incredibly important factor in race performance. The stresses take their toll on the body, and you have to be able to handle it physically."

>>> New race engineer for Nick Cassidy

[02.06. | 06:35] Change of personnel at Envision Racing: Robert Sattler, until now race engineer of world championship leader Nick Cassidy, moves to Aston Martin's Formula 1 team. Cassidy will henceforth work with Ramiro Garcia, who previously worked at HWA and Toyota and was already there in Monaco for induction. "It's obviously an awkward situation when you're leading the championship and that happens," Cassidy told 'The Race'. "But it's fine. I don't think we're a one-person team. We have a lot of good people here. So I think we'll be able to make it work."

>>> Formula E teams collect trash on beach

[02.06. | 06:16] Formula E has held a garbage collection campaign on the beach ahead of the Jakarta E-Prix to raise awareness about the problem of increasing ocean littering. In addition to some of the race series' staff, several teams also took part in the action, including ABT Cupra, Andretti and Maserati.

>>> Cracker contest at Andretti

[02.06. | 02:02] Andretti drivers David Beckmann and Jake Dennis faced a special challenge in Jakarta on Thursday: Lomba Makan Kerupuk - a traditional Indonesian cracker eating contest. The special feature: the cracker hangs in the air above head height and must be eaten without the aid of the hands. Although Beckmann's cookie hung lower, Dennis played to his size advantage and won clearly.

>>> Parasols & wet towels at trackwalk

[01.06. | 23:50] On Friday morning, the traditional trackwalk took place at the Jakarta International E-Prix Circuit at 9:30 am Indonesian time. As usual, the drivers walked the course with their engineers to get an idea of the circuit. Since the temperatures were already extremely high at this point and there is hardly any shade on the track, the teams were mainly using sunshades for this. Porsche driver Pascal Wehrlein additionally put a wet towel on his head.

>>> "FIA Girls on Track" in Jakarta

[01.06. | 18:58] As in the previous year, an "FIA Girls on Track" event will be held again in 2023 as part of the Jakarta E-Prix. Around 100 girls will be present in Indonesia and will get their first insight into motorsport.

>>>"World Feed" commentator Jack Nicholls leaves Formula E

[01.06. | 14:34] Prominent departure in the international TV team of Formula E: After presenter Vernon Kay's farewell also main commentator Jack Nicholls has left the racing series. The Briton gave up at the same time also his post as a BBC commentator for the Formula 1 broadcasts. Last Friday, he had commented on the first two free practice sessions. There was no official explanation for the departure. According to media reports, Formula E is said to have terminated the contract with Nicholls after he was accused of "inappropriate behavior" in three cases.

Nicholls had been a permanent member of the racing series' team since the very first Formula E race. His signature phrase, "And we go green," which he said at every race start except one, was even the title of a documentary film about the racing series in 2019. Nicholls will be replaced in the world signal by Ben Edwards until the end of the season.

>>> Jakarta E-Prix: 100 percent energy from renewable sources

[01.06 | 12:12] This year, the Formula E race in the Indonesian capital will be powered exclusively by electricity from renewable energy sources. Locally produced hydrogenated vegetable oil (HVO) will be used to generate power. To offset emissions generated elsewhere in Season 9, the racing series has also invested in a wind farm in the province of Sulawesi Selatan.

>>> DS Automobiles celebrates 100th race with special livery

[01.06. | 09:51] DS Automobiles will contest its 100th race in Formula E on Sunday. DS Penske, the French company's factory team, will therefore compete in Jakarta with a special livery. DS joined Virgin Racing in season 2 as sponsor and technical partner before the French took over the team's manufacturer's license in season five. From then on, DS worked with Techeetah, winning the drivers' title and both team championships twice in a row with Jean-Eric Vergne and Antonio Felix da Costa.

Formula E published a 60-second video on its social media channels featuring highlights from DS races to date. Those responsible made several mistakes: for example, Techeetah driver Vergne's victories in Montreal in 2017 and in Santiago, Punta del Este, Paris and New York City in 2018 are shown. However, Techeetah was still racing with Renault customer engines at the time - DS was not involved. Also, in one scene, Audi team boss Allan McNish can be seen cheering as he rejoiced at winning the 2017/18 team championship. How he made it into the video probably remains a mystery.

>>> Formula E gives away 4,000 plants, flowers & trees

[01.06. | 08:44] Formula E is giving away more than 4,000 plants, flowers and trees as part of its sustainability program after the race in Indonesia, which will be used for decoration purposes at the event site over the weekend. They will go to 20 different universities in the greater Jakarta area afterwards.

>>> Sustainability: Jaguar with recycled transmission oil

[01.06. | 07:57] Jaguar announced after the Monaco E-Prix that the team used recycled gearbox oil from supplier Castrol for the first time at the race in the Principality. For this purpose, the used transmission oil from test drives and test benches was collected, refined again and mixed with additives. As a result, the recycled oil had the same properties as the previously used transmission oil. According to Jaguar, it was the first time that recycled lubricants had been used in Formula E.

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