Formula E cuts Attack Mode in Berlin over battery concerns

The FIA has reduced the amount of Attack Mode available for the Berlin E-Prix amid concerns over batteries.

The typical eight minutes of Attack Mode — effectively a power boost activated by taking a longer, wider line at one point on the track — will be reduced to six minutes for Saturday’s race and four for Sunday’s.

While Berlin is currently enjoying clear, warm weather, the battery concerns this time around aren’t thought to be temperature-related — unlike at the Sao Paulo E-Prix earlier this year, when high temperatures led to many drivers finishing with an excess of energy as they were unable to push too hard. Instead, much like upcoming races on permanent tracks in Shanghai and Portland, the circuit at Berlin’s Tempelhof Airport features a number of high-speed sections that put increased strain on the WAE-supplied battery.


“The duration of Attack Mode for the Berlin E-Prix has been reduced as part of the normal and continuous process of cars life cycle monitoring,” the FIA said in a statement. “The Sporting Regulations have been specifically designed to allow for this flexibility in format.”

NEOM McLaren team principal Ian James downplayed the significance of the change, explaining that there’s always been room for such adjustments, and that it could even benefit the sporting side of things.

“When the new Attack Mode format was developed, it was done so with degrees of flexibility to enable us to make sure that the Attack Mode profiles could be suited to the various circuit characteristics,” he told RACER. “And I think we’re seeing that here in Berlin, where we’ve got not the full eight minutes that we’ve seen in the past but a shortened time for both Saturday and Sunday’s races. This obviously is an advantage if it means that the sporting format of the race benefits from that.

“Where we’ve got to be careful is that we’re not doing that because of any technical constraints. I know that the FIA, together with their suppliers, will be looking at how we can make sure that we’re always doing it for the right reasons in future.”

Story originally appeared on Racer