Formula E is likely to retain attack mode in some form when the Gen3 rules set kicks in for the 2023 season.
The system, which provides drivers with a power boost, was introduced at the start of the Gen2 era in 2019 and proved an instant hit with competitors and teams as it stretched extra strategy dynamics within races – which previously relied on car-swap pitstops in the Gen1 era.
Drivers arm the attack mode system by pushing a button, which is connected to an FIA data logger, then have a five-second window to negotiate transponder loops that are laid off-line on the track.
This then gives the cars an extra 30kW of power for a nominated time per attack mode taken.
The FIA issues the number of arming’s and activations allowable approximately an hour before each race begins and, though the maximum is five per race and 600 seconds, more often that not two activations per race of four minutes are used – though for double-headers this is often mixed up to give one arming.
On three occasions there have been three activations: at New York City in 2019, Mexico City in 2020, and in the second of the Rome E-Prixs in 2021.
Similarly, just one activation has been employed on three occasions – the other 2021 Rome race, Berlin 2021 and Berlin 2022.
Now, the FIA and Formula E are starting to form foundations for the new sporting format that is likely to include a pitstop for rapid charging of cars.
Speaking to The Race last week, the FIA’s director of Formula E and innovative sports projects, Frederic Bertrand, said that attack mode had become “probably one of the exciting parts of Formula E” and something “really part of the DNA of the championship and of the spirit we want to put in”.
“So, for the future and for Gen3 for sure the way we will manage the pitstop will be a key topic and it will probably be more linked to activating power and to giving more power,” said Bertrand.
“We will also work on the way we have to implement attack mode, but more in a 2.0 version I would say.”
The precise role of attack mode may change in that it will have to work in conjunction with what is presumed to be a pitstop in a certain period of the race, which is expected to remain at 45minutes plus one lap.
Some teams and drivers are known to have lobbied the FIA in an effort to return to a lapped race, but it is believed this is unlikely to be reverted to in Gen3 as it stands.
“The way we will implement it [attack mode] and the way we will create the entertainment around this part of the race is something we need to keep innovative and is something we need to keep a little bit different from what we currently have,” said Bertrand.
“But we will try to keep the best of it, and we will try to improve what can be improved in the attack mode – maybe the activation, maybe the way to create strategy around attack mode.
“Still keeping attack mode as being part of the increase of the show for the fans and also for the drivers because I think they all now really enjoy attack mode and this part of the race.
“So definitely it will stay, in which exact form we will have to define in the coming weeks.”
It is believed that some simulations of sporting formats could take place at certain tests this summer, particularly between the Jakarta and Marrakesh E-Prixs in June.