Racing at full throttle to the chequered flag: Tech forecast for the Santiago E-Prix
Posted on: 22 January, 2019
As if we need an excuse to talk about our winning podium in Marrakesh again! We left the second race of the season at the top of the driver’s championship and moved up to second in the manufacturer's battle. Next up on the 2018/19 FIA ABB FIA Formula E Championship calendar is the Santiago E-Prix and this year we’ll be racing on a new track. We’ve teamed up with Toni Cuquerella Estrugo, our Chief Engineer, who gives us his thoughts ahead of race day.
The Santiago E-Prix is a new track this year and there can be surprises with new street circuits; primarily because we’re not going to full-time permanent tracks, and sometimes it’s possible there could be some changes to what we're expecting. This track does have a new asphalt surface and that will play a big part in the weekend.
Another new track with the new Gen2 car means there's very little in common to last year, so we'll be taking a completely new approach. The first sector looks to be slow with consecutive corners where overtaking is impossible; this section will be about getting the balance of the car right. Then, from what we know, the rest of the track is stop and go where the drivers will spend more time at full throttle followed by heavy braking; this could make it an interesting track for energy management.
At every race, the team will do a track walk on Friday morning before shakedown and we’ll be walking with the drivers, looking at the best lines to take and checking that the track is as we expected. The closer the track is to the one Jerome and Pascal use in the simulator the better, so anything that we spot that seems unusual needs to be taken into account.
We know the temperatures in Chile will be much higher than what we've had on race day in Saudi Arabia and Morocco. We're not expecting the tyres to be a big issue, but the new asphalt is expected to be gentle on the tyres, which means the drivers will need to warm up to it perfectly. This is something that we’ll be looking at in detail on our track walk because it might be that we find a completely different asphalt than what we’re predicting. The right rear tyre will be the one heating faster and fading first when pushing.
In the first two races we, like the other Formula E teams, tested two different approaches with Attack Mode to replace pitstops. It has mixed up the order and also allowed some different strategic scenarios. Without doubt it’s useful for overtaking and in Santiago I think we’ll see it being used strategically to overtake cars again; this time around the time loss going into the Attack Mode is estimated to be low, so the gain is going to bigger.
We want to have both our cars racing at the maximum possible to the chequered flag and, if we can achieve this based of the package we have so far, I believe we can take a strong team result.