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Formula E Changes Attack Mode for GEN3

Written by Owen Bradley, Edited by Vyas Ponnuri

Credit: Handout - Getty Images (unsure if credit needed)

The “Attack Mode” has been a big part of Formula E since the 2018-19 season. This can be activated if a driver takes the designated and predetermined line, to go to the edge of the track, which was typically where a lot of Attack Mode placements were, on various circuits.

However, for the inaugural season of the Generation Three (GEN3) cars in January 2023, this system is being overhauled and changed.

How will it change?

The system that Formula E has had for the past few seasons, as mentioned previously, was for a driver to take the Attack Mode line, and with it, receive a duration of time, which varied depending on the race, for which they would receive an additional power boost of 30kW. This proved to be a great way to encourage overtaking, particularly as Formula E races on narrow street circuits, so this additional boost really became something very useful.

However, although this is yet to be confirmed by the FIA or Formula E themselves, sources told The Race how it is set to change. Previously, drivers would have to deploy all of their Attack Mode in one go, but now - drivers can choose how they deploy their four minutes of Attack Mode, with there now being scenarios where they could decide on using the Attack Mode in a 1+3, 2+2, 3+1 or the full 4 minutes in one go.

Essentially, if a driver wants to save part of their Attack Mode for later, now they can, so we will likely end up with situations where drivers are using all of their Attack Mode, and some, where a driver saves a bit of Attack Mode for the very end of the race.

Some people have criticised Formula E and the FIA for introducing this very late, with the FIA Formula E Championship starting on January 14th at the Mexican ePrix.

To me at least, the easiest way to describe the new direction they have taken with Attack Mode, is similar to how Formula One implemented KERS (Kinetic Energy Recovery System) which ran from 2009, 2011, 2012 and 2013 before being renamed to ERS-K in 2014.

Credit: Mark Thompson - Getty Images

In F1, a driver would deploy extra battery power, most of the time on a long straight, or coming out of a low speed corner. This battery would recharge each lap, and we sort of have this system in F1 with the different ERS (Energy Recovery System) settings. If you have ever played any of the F1 video games, you would be aware of how the system works.

Therefore, a driver in Formula E will now collect their Attack Mode, but can use it in the way they want, rather than having to use it all in one go - which seems like an effective way to promote more overtaking, and definitely throws in another element of strategy into the mix.

But what do you think? Are these rules a little bit complicated? I sure hope I have described the new system well! What did you make of KERS when it was in F1?

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