Sunday, August 1, 2021
Cars

Eight lessons Alex Lynn can teach us about Formula E


3 Range anxiety is a problem in Formula E, just as it is on the road for EV drivers

“The first race in Valencia this year [when a number of drivers were disqualified after exceeding their allocation of energy because of a high number of safety car and full course yellow periods] was a mathematical error. The rules are based around us taking away a percentage of energy for every minute we spend under the safety car and a full course yellow, which usually works. But if you have a safety car or FCY in the last five minutes and you take away four percent because you’ve had four minutes of safety car, guess what? Not many people are going to make it to the end. It was such an odd thing to experience and you couldn’t believe what the car was telling you, that you’ve only got a tiny amount of energy left. The rules have been rectified since, but it wasn’t the best. It ruined what was quite a cool race and I was just sad for the result. In Formula E the drivers do feel a responsibility for the show because we are trying to show off that EVs are cool and that you can race them. It is a cool series and when stuff like that happens it leaves a bad taste.”

4 Racing on the full Monaco Grand Prix circuit was Formula E at its best – and more entertaining than F1 at the Principality

“Monaco was the best Formula E race I’ve seen. We were on the right sized circuit for the cars, and vice versa. For me it was what Formula E is and should be. It’s ironic that Monaco feels great for racing given its reputation in F1, but it felt right and created overtaking on corners where we’d never seen it before. Our style of racing really worked at Monaco.”

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5 Formula E is the most intense and satisfying form of motor racing Lynn has experienced

“I would go as far to say that competing in Formula E consumes you as a person. The hours and dedication it takes to extract the maximum from the car, but also to learn how to do it, is very time consuming. It takes so much mental capacity too. There are two styles of driving during the day: you’ve got the race which is all about energy saving, and qualifying which is about going as fast as you can and is more quintessential to what we’re all used to. You set the car up one way, then only in a couple of hours’ time you have a race which is the total opposite: saving energy, battery temperature, tyres. People see 45 minutes on a Saturday or a Sunday, but the preparation time… we do 10 days in the simulator for every day in the car. And those days in the sim are from 8am to 8pm. It is all consuming, this championship, but very rewarding at the same time. I don’t think I’ve raced in a championship that makes me feel as good when the result goes well, or even slightly well. To even score a point, when you look down the entry list… At Monaco I finished ninth, but we beat both factory Porsches, both factory Audis, both factory Mercedes. When you think about it, it’s not bad!”



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