Buemi: Software now the FE equivalent of F1 aero

Nissan e.dams driver Sebastien Buemi reckons Formula E software updates are now the championship’s equivalent of Formula 1’s aerodynamic development war.

Buemi: Software now the FE equivalent of F1 aero

While updates to powertrain hardware are frozen by FE’s regulations from the moment teams homologate their technology ahead of each season, software is left open for squads to introduce new variations.

When asked by Motorsport.com if software updates are now being introduced by FE squads in a similar fashion to how F1 teams implement new aerodynamic devices, Buemi said: “Exactly, yes, it is completely.

“You know [with] the hardware everything is more or less frozen when you go in the new season but there are so many things that you can do on the software.

“[This] helps with either the management of the energy or on a performance lap – there are many things we can try to have to make the car quicker.

“At some point of course it remains a compromise between having the best possible set-up, mechanically on the car. But the systems and the software are nearly the biggest performance tool you have today.

“So, we work a lot on that and we keep improving the car by adding new systems throughout the season, so yeah you can compare it to that clearly.”

FE teams can introduce powertrain hardware changes once their designs have been homologated, but only “for the purpose of improving reliability or safety may be approved by the FIA and/or after full consultation with all other manufacturers”, according to FE’s 2018/19 technical regulations.

Teams must wait for a 30-day period to expire prior to event scrutineering if the request is related to safety, reliability or driver comfort and 60 days if the change is “regarding a technical modification to a car”.

Buemi – the 2015/16 FE champion – also outlined the need for FE teams to evaluate their software updates to avoid costly mistakes rather than just adding them in constantly.

A software change led to a problem that cost the Techeetah team in qualifying for the season four finale in New York, as drivers Jean-Eric Vergne and Andre Lotterer exceed the maximum power allowance as a result of a glitch.

“It’s at some point quite important to stop and just make sure that everything you have is working well and you don’t try to bring new updates constantly,” said Buemi.

“It is very easy to do a small mistake in the software world or the coding world and then the car stops on the track.”

shares
comments
Formula E announces UK YouTube live streaming for new season

Previous article

Formula E announces UK YouTube live streaming for new season

Next article

Vandoorne "would've liked more preparation" for Formula E debut

Vandoorne "would've liked more preparation" for Formula E debut
Load comments
Why electric racing cars should be four-wheel drive Prime

Why electric racing cars should be four-wheel drive

OPINION: Circuit racing has traditionally favoured front- or rear-wheel-drive setups, eschewing the equal distribution of power. But for Formula E and other electric-powered series, our columnist believes it’s a perfect fit.

Formula E
Oct 13, 2021
How motorsport's most prominent power couple found joint success Prime

How motorsport's most prominent power couple found joint success

The Wolffs have carved their own paths in motorsport, leading their respective teams to success in Formula 1 and Formula E. But the two came together last month as their drivers finished first and second in the FE drivers' championship - a feat they are hugely proud of. In a rare joint interview, they reflect on a remarkable season

Formula E
Sep 21, 2021
The top 10 Formula E drivers of 2020-21 Prime

The top 10 Formula E drivers of 2020-21

OPINION: The 2021 Formula E campaign was one without a narrative for much of the season, with no single car or driver able to break away from the pack. That makes choosing a top 10 especially difficult, particularly as the qualifying format meant some worthy performers were unable to enjoy their day in the sun.

Formula E
Sep 19, 2021
How Mercedes and de Vries achieved Formula E glory the hard way Prime

How Mercedes and de Vries achieved Formula E glory the hard way

When Nyck de Vries dominated the first race of what would be the most controversial and unpredictable Formula E season to date, it looked as though Mercedes was in for a cakewalk. But as the campaign wore on, the path to a title double became increasingly rocky. Neither driver or team would be assured of the crown until the closing stages of the very final race on a weekend of struggle in Berlin.

Formula E
Sep 17, 2021
The Formula E 'loan' deal that will keep di Grassi winning Prime

The Formula E 'loan' deal that will keep di Grassi winning

OPINION: The departure of Audi from Formula E meant its long-time driver Lucas di Grassi would need to find a new berth to stay on the grid. His deal at Venturi Racing will ensure the championship's first-ever race winner will remain competitive into the final year of the current Gen2 ruleset - although it may not be a long-term fit

Formula E
Sep 15, 2021
The problems laid bare by Mercedes' impending Formula E departure Prime

The problems laid bare by Mercedes' impending Formula E departure

Mercedes' planned withdrawal from Formula E at the end of the 2022 season will contribute to the big hole left by fellow automotive manufacturers Audi and BMW on their departures. Although the team may stick around under a different guise, the exit of the now-reigning teams' champion underlines FE's current issues...

Formula E
Aug 18, 2021
The F1 dilemma facing Mercedes' new world champion Prime

The F1 dilemma facing Mercedes' new world champion

After clinching the Formula E title at the Berlin finale, Nyck de Vries is a driver in demand. Although Mercedes would love to keep a reigning champion at the team, the allure of a Williams F1 drive may be too much for de Vries to ignore should a potential deal come to pass

Formula E
Aug 17, 2021
How de Vries claimed Formula E title glory as Mercedes exit bombshell looms Prime

How de Vries claimed Formula E title glory as Mercedes exit bombshell looms

As Formula E lined up to complete its seventh season at Berlin's Tempelhof Airport, all eyes were on who would be its first official FIA world champion. Despite Nyck de Vries' title lead heading into the weekend looking all but secure, the Dutchman held on - and enjoyed a good dollop of fortune - to secure a championship double for Mercedes

Formula E
Aug 16, 2021