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Formula E introduces standing starts after safety car periods

A new rule implemented from New York onwards means a wet race which begins behind the safety car can be stopped and restarted with a traditional standings start.

The decision will be at the discretion of the race director, a role currently filled by Scot Elkins.

From season eight onwards, any race interrupted by the safety car for whatever reason can also be restarted from a standing start.

“The FIA race director will have the jurisdiction to stop a Formula E race that begins behind the safety car in order to resume the action with a standing start once drivers have had the chance to acclimatise to the conditions,” the FIA said in its latest World Motor Sport Council decisions.

“This decision gives the FIA race director an additional option when conditions do not allow for a normal standing start straight away, such as in the case of a wet track.

“From season eight onwards, the FIA race director will moreover have the option to recommence interrupted races with a standing start, as an alternative to the existing safety car rolling re-start.”

It’s not known how this will impact the amount of energy that will be deducted from drivers during safety car periods.

At the moment, 1kWh of energy is reduced per minute of caution period. The rule was introduced to encourage energy saving, but caused drama in Valencia, when the rule meant many drivers ran out of energy before the chequered flag.

Also determined in the World Motor Sport Council meeting was a provisional calendar for the 2022 season and a confirmation of the regulations for the upcoming season, including that power permitted for cars in race mode will be increased from 200kW to 220kW.

Bethonie Waring

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