Paddock Whispers: News ticker on all the important Formula E topics in Valencia
Formula E is holding its traditional pre-season tests in Valencia this week. To find out what else is going on in the paddock at Circuit Ricardo Tormo besides the track action, check out the latest edition of our popular 'Paddock Whispers' series. We'll be updating this news ticker regularly as the test week progresses.
>>> ACE Championship announces partnership with Quantron
[26.10. | 12:50] The ACE Championship, the electric junior racing series created by Dilbagh Gill and Nick Heidfeld, has announced that it has entered into a partnership with Quantron.
German company Quantron is the European market leader for hydrogen fuel cell trucks and will provide the race series with the transport vehicles for race cars and equipment. The race series plans to hold its first rounds next year.
>>> Hankook tests new tyre specification
[26 Oct | 22:10] According to FE Notebook, tyre supplier Hankook is to test a new variant of its all-weather tyres for Season 11 (2024/25) at a manufacturer's test in Mallorca next month. According to information from e-Formula.news, this has been developed on the basis of new specifications from the FIA, and the first track tests have already taken place.
The FIA plans that from the eleventh season onwards the motor on the front axle may not only be used for energy recovery but also for acceleration. It is also suspected that the tyre compound will be slightly softer in order to offer more grip, but this would result in higher wear.
>>> Nyck de Vries drives on Friday, Edo Mortara takes a break
[26 Oct | 21:56] As Mahindra Racing announced late on Thursday evening, Nyck de Vries will drive the #48 car on Friday. Edoardo Mortara, who had driven in "his" car on Thursday, will therefore sit out.
>>> Race simulation on Friday morning
[26 Oct | 20:18] As Formula E announced on Thursday evening, the race simulation originally scheduled for Wednesday will be made up for on Friday morning immediately with the start of the test at 8:30 am. A maximum of 21 vehicles will take part in the simulation. It is likely that the new Attack Charge will also be used.
>>> More track time without lunch break on Friday
[26 Oct | 19:47] After the session on Thursday afternoon was already extended from 3:00 to 4:30 hours, there will also be more track time on Friday than originally planned: The teams will be allowed to use the track for a total of ten hours rom 8:30 to 18:30. A fixed lunch break is not planned.
>>> Mahindra gets extra test as compensation after fire
[26 Oct | 18:26] In Tuesday's pit lane fire, one Formula E team was particularly affected: Mahindra. The team not only had to change garages, but also suffered damage to its IT infrastructure, and both race cars. Nyck de Vries' car is no longer operational due to water damage and the soot the fire has produced, so Mahindra will only be able to test with one car on Thursday and Friday - Edo Mortara's.
As team principal Frederic Bertrand revealed to Motorsport.com, Mahindra will be given the opportunity to test additionally until the opening race in Mexico City on January 13 as "compensation" for the lost track time.
"The agreement is that the time we don't have with the second car will be compensated in a private session," Bertrand said. However, the private test would have to take place at very short notice in order to be able to send the equipment to Mexico in time.
The other teams offered their help and equipment to Mahindra after the fire, Bertrand praises. "They were all in agreement that this was a disadvantage, and this would be unfair, so for that reason the consensus was quite quick on the idea that if we cannot run any car then we would have a test for the two cars somewhere."
>>> New tarmac in Valencia main reason for better lap times
[26 Oct | 12:08] Already in the first test session on Tuesday morning, the Gen3 cars achieved significantly faster lap times than last year. However, more experience with the cars and the new tyres as well as technical development of the software are said to play only a subordinate role. As several drivers have confirmed to e-Formula.news, the main reason for the better times is the new tarmac on the track.
>>> Formula E CEO Jeff Dodds not present in Valencia
[26 Oct | 08:23] The new CEO of Formula E, Jeff Dodds, is absent at the test drives in Valencia, as e-Formula.news already learned last week. Instead, he drove the DS Penske car in Varano, Italy, two weeks earlier as part of a film day, together with some journalists selected by DS.
Although at these so-called film days the power of the cars is limited to a maximum of 110 kW, DS Penske was allowed to use the full power of 350 kW. According to colleague Sam Smith, the team was also granted extra days for this by special permission "to maximise the opportunities for the team and the Formula E ecosystem".
A huge thank you to the @ds_penske_fe team yesterday for allowing me some quality solo track time in their Gen3 @FIAFormulaE car on the Varano circuit. No cars were harmed in the making of these photos (but it was close!) pic.twitter.com/nUGAksY4Ej— Jeff Dodds (@JeffFormulaE) October 11, 2023
>>> Technical director Ciliberti about to jump ship
[26 Oct | 08:13] Alessandra Ciliberti, the FIA's technical director for Formula E and project manager for the Gen3 car, is said to be on the verge of a move to Formula 1, according to Sam Smith. It would not be the Italian's first role in the series: before joining the FIA, she worked as an intern at Team Toro Rosso (now AlphaTauri).
>>> Changes to 2024 race calendar possible
[26 Oct | 08:00] Although the race calendar for the 2024 Formula E World Championship is confirmed except for the venue in Italy, there could still be changes. This is reported by our British colleague Sam Smith. For example, he says, there are currently discussions about whether the Portland E-Prix will be held as a double header. According to information from e-Formula.news, however, this is extremely unlikely. A return to Jakarta is also being discussed, but then after the conclusion of the campaign in August as the new season finale.
According to information from e-Formula.news, an expansion of the Hyderabad race into another double header is also currently being evaluated. It is not known whether one of the other races will have to make way for this. Originally, 17 races were planned for next year, but due to the cancellations of Jakarta and Cape Town, the calendar was then shortened to 16 races.
>>> Nico Müller reveals new helmet for 2024
[25 Oct | 15:00] ABT Cupra driver Nico Müller has used the time without track action to show off his helmet for the upcoming Formula E season. The Swiss driver has opted for the colours grey, yellow and black. The special thing about it is that the grey background features some typical motifs associated with Switzerland, including a pocket knife, a bar of chocolate and an edelweiss.
no driving today, so time to reveal my first helmet for FE S10! ⛑️— Nico Mueller (@nico_mueller) October 25, 2023
another masterpiece by @patartdesigns & @BellRacingHQ - looking forward to carrying a bit of home all around the globe ?????#nm51 #fullpull #abtcuprafe #bellracing #patartdesign #helmet #art pic.twitter.com/NUeF0oh3H6
>>> First teams practice fast-charging pit stops
[24 Oct | 10:45] The teams will have the opportunity to test the fast-charging pit stops in Valencia. According to colleague Sam Smith from The Race, a total of eight chargers will be available for the teams in Valencia.
A first look at fast charging ?? pic.twitter.com/OLrvwLVO50— ABB FIA Formula E World Championship (@FIAFormulaE) October 24, 2023
>>> Mahindra also with test livery
[24 Oct | 08:50] Andretti is not the only one to have prepared a special livery for its cars for the tests in Valencia. As in the past, Mahindra Racing will also compete in white. However, it is noticeable that the ZF Friedrichshafen logo is missing on the cars. On the Mahindra team clothing, the ZF logos are even covered with red tape.
A new dawn ☀️— Mahindra Racing (@MahindraRacing) October 24, 2023
So, what do we think of our paint scheme for testing? pic.twitter.com/zU5mxciR22
>>> Before Valencia: McLaren private test in Bicester
[23 Oct | 16:07] Nissan customer team NEOM McLaren has already completed a few laps with its car in the week leading up to the start of official testing in Valencia: In Bicester, the car, which has been re-foiled for the upcoming season, did some laps in typical British weather.
Papaya out on track. ? pic.twitter.com/7tHyZyCmES— NEOM McLaren FE (@McLarenFE) October 20, 2023
>>> Italy race: Vallelunga instead of Rome?
[23 Oct | 13:43] The operators of the race circuit in Vallelunga, half an hour's drive north of Rome, announced at the weekend that they are holding talks with Formula E about staging a race in the long term.
>>> Several teams in new look
[23 Oct | 12:25] While Porsche will start with the same livery as last season, several other teams have already shown off revised livery ahead of testing. Here's a quick overview for you.
>>> Gaming: Formula E launches "High Voltage"
[23 Oct | 12:00] Formula E and gaming, it's a long story with many failed attempts. In the week before the Valencia test drives, Formula E has now released its first official video game. In "Formula E: High Voltage", the player jumps into the role of a team manager and can compete against other managers on original race tracks. The game also includes a collectible component, players can collect original drivers and cars from different seasons, as well as fantasy cars and drivers.
The game is based on blockchain technology and NFTs (Non-Fungible Tokens). The manufacturer advertises that the underlying FLOW blockchain is particularly energy-efficient and that creating a digital collectible consumes less energy than, for example, a post on social media.
>>> Jake Dennis will drive F1 in Abu Dhabi
[23 Oct | 11:16] Big honour for Formula E world champion Jake Dennis: The Briton will get to drive the Red Bull team's Formula 1 car in the 1st Free Practice session at the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix. This is reported by Motorsport.com. Each Formula One team is forced to have a Formula One rookie drive each of its two cars once per season. Since Super Formula driver Liam Lawson no longer counts as a rookie - the New Zealander replaced the injured Daniel Ricciardo at AlphaTauri for five races this summer - the team had to look for an alternative.
The choice of Dennis is no coincidence: he has been a regular simulator driver for Red Bull Racing since 2018, the same year he drove the team's Formula 1 car in tests in Spain and Hungary.
>>> Sponsorship: Julius Baer logo no longer on the cars
[23 Oct | 10:29] As part of the announcement of the Sporting Regulations for the 2024 Formula E World Championship, the Fédération Internationale de l'Automobile (FIA) has also published the specifications for the liveries of the cars. Conspicuously absent are the sponsor logos of the Swiss private bank Julius Baer, which up to now have always been mandatory on all vehicles.
While the teams are allowed to use the area previously reserved for Julius Baer on the nose of the car, above the ABB logo, themselves, the area around the cockpit openings, where another logo of the bank had to be placed, is still reserved for a series sponsor. "Formula E will confirm the logo for the reserved area before the start of season 10," the relevant FIA document states.
>> Rebranding: Nio 333 becomes ERT
[23 Oct | 10:06] New name and new look at the Chinese-British team: instead of the name Nio 333, the Silverstone-based squad will now compete as ERT Formula E Team. Instead of the colour blue, the new look is based on black and neon yellow.