A number of Formula E drivers have predicted that this weekend’s race in Monaco will see similar levels of overtaking that we saw in Berlin.
Berlin saw 326 overtakes over the course of two races due to the fact that no one wanted to lead the race because you can save more energy slipstreaming the car behind.
Sebastien Buemi explained that the race will be like Berlin as the new Gen 3 car currently has a lot of drag due to the amount of energy available in the battery.
“We will see a similar race to the one in Berlin, but the main difference is that we won’t go three-wide around a corner due to the nature of the track.
“No one will want to lead the race again because you will lose so much energy towing everyone around.
“The number of laps that we will have to do is very high, so there will be a lot of drivers saving energy during the race. I expect a lot of overtaking, but it should be less than we saw in Monaco,” stated Buemi.
Sam Bird is also expecting there to be a high level of overtaking in Monaco but is hoping it is less crazy than it was in Berlin.
“I am expecting to see the same thing as we saw in Berlin. I am just hoping it is not as crazy as it was in Berlin. We will have to do a lot of saving due to the high amount of laps that we have to do,” explained Bird.
Mitch Evans felt that the Berlin E-Prix was boarding on “dangerous” levels for the drivers, but again is expecting to see a high amount of overtaking in Monaco due to the nature of the Gen 3 car.
“It was pretty dangerous in Berlin. Plus the overtakes are not real overtakes, as we are not fighting for the lead of the race we are just shuffling around waiting for the right moment to strike.
“It will be the same in Monaco. No one will want to lead so I expect there to be a few overtakes into Turn 1 as the leader backs off to let the second through,” explained Evans.
Jean-Eric Vergne also agreed with Evans saying that the overtakes in Berlin were not real overtakes.
“For me, the overtakes in Berlin were not real. Our engineers were asking us to drop back and save energy. This is not racing and we need to do something because these cars have too much drag, and you lose so much energy in free air compared to being in the slipstream,” said Vergne.
Lucas Di Grassi questioned whether the amount of overtaking in Formula E is a problem, but agreed that the amount of drag on the car is a contributing factor to the amount of overtaking we are seeing in Formula E.
“First, is the overtaking an issue? I quite like it. But the car does have drag compared to the slipstream effect. We have two options, reduce the drag or give us more energy.
“However, when the Attack charge comes in (the fast charging pit stop) I think that will stop the need to worry about saving energy as much as we are now.
“I think the FIA made a mistake when they took the wheel covers off the car. That increased the drag of the car by 10%. If we had wheel covers in Gen 3, then maybe the issue would not be so big. So yes, we will see a similar race in Monaco to Berlin.” concluded Di Grassi.