Formula E will keep pitstops for season five

Formula E looks set to keep mandatory pitstops as part of its race format for season five and beyond.

Motorsport.com reports that Formula E’s Sporting Working Group (SWG) will meet next month to discuss proposals on the way forward for the sport – particularly after the need to swap cars mid-race is made obsolete by the 2018/19 campaign.

By that time, new McLaren Applied Technologies battery will produce enough usable energy for drivers to use one car per race.

Nevertheless, Andretti’s Roger Griffiths – one of two nominated representatives on the SWG acting on behalf of the Formula E teams – the series is set to maintain some form of a pitstop, though it is unlikely to feature a change of tyres.

“We’ve talked about a conventional pitstop where we would change tyres, but you can’t see many benefits in that because we wouldn’t be changing tyres that are worn out,” said Griffiths.

“It just means bringing extra equipment, extra wheels and there would be no real message as to why we are doing that.

“Trying to come up with something that adds an element of strategy is one of the solutions we are looking at.”

The FIA is conscious of races becoming a procession if the new season five technology is introduced, and are keen to find any solution to avoid that.

“We could have a minimum stop drive through or in the box itself, so there might be narrow window to come in and pit,” added Griffiths.

“There could also have an option to choose to make a stop; on that stop you get additional power to use. So, the longer you stop the more power you get, so when you come out you could run faster than you did previously.

"This could be something else which works well and introduces an element of strategic thinking.”

Abt Schaeffler Audi Sport driver Lucas di Grassi would also like to see strategic pitstop elements retained going forward.

“There are a lot of things that could be considered from quite conventional plans like pitstops to more radical ones like we have seen in Rallycross with an extra corner,” he told Motorsport.com.

“Other components that make strategy that you can play with will be crucial I think – not only the amount of energy we have but the strategy around using it should be considered.

“Maybe two pitstops at any time during a race could work. It all has to be analysed, but I am in favour of keeping this strategic possibility open.”

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