race pair is required to be waiting at the false grid
a specified amount of time before their run. The drivers
are belted in and no adjustments can be made on the
cars. An interviewer speaks to the crew chiefs and discusses
the set up choice ("I see you have gone with a
high down-force set-up, are you surprised to see a low
drag set-up on your opponent?") while media techs
mount the in-car cameras on standard quick mounts.
the 'broadcast' booth, the announcers call the race.
They choose what camera feeds to show and what information
to put on the screen. They have access to live telemetry.
Key information is displayed using the same methods
used in video games. For example, an energy bar shows
battery power remaining as a percentage for each car.
What other information might help tell the tale of this
battle: Throttle; Brake; Speed?
suspense builds with the cars poised waiting for the
lights. The cameras around the track catch all the action
because there is only one battle to focus on. The GPS
positioning constantly calculates who is ahead and turns
that car's on screen data display to green, while the
trailing car's data display flashes red.
a technique made popular in Downhill ski racing broadcasts,
the data display freezes time and energy left at the
half way point. "Car one has a three tenth of a
second lead but 5% less energy left". "I do
not think that will be enough, Bob."
cars fly across the finish line. The announcers pull
up slow motion replays and give their take on where
and how the race was won. There is time for a commercial
before the next race.
cars trundle slowly back to a holding area where the
in-car cameras are removed while the officials rule
on any challenges, do weigh-in or run rule compliance
checks. The drivers remove their helmets and give a
quick interview. They are released and head back to
the pits to digest the data and prep for their next
course, there is an App for this. The free Formula E
App shows the 'broadcast' version. This allows the fans
at the track to see the race live but catch the action
out of their immediate view.
premium Formula E App allows the user to choose what
cameras to watch from. What data to display. How and
where on the screen they want the data - energy remaining
shown as a bar graph, dial or numeric display, etc
They can also choose unlimited replays - which camera,
slow motion or backwards. Frame by frame. Special access
to interviews and roving cameras that was not included
in the 'broadcast' version.
the fans, it is truly international. Formula E running
in Miami this weekend but you are a fan in Germany?
Check your cell phone and see the latest.
Formula E website works the same way; the live free
version with Youtube length videos with the commercials
front loaded; the premium version with all the controls.
Choose which rounds to watch when it suits your schedule.
rules must strongly penalize crashing and blocking.
series should have experienced judges with live access
to in-car cameras and telemetry. The rules need to be
clearly written and fairly enforced. Rulings should
be made immediately. The goal is: hard, tough racing,
but always leave your opponent track space plus one
technical rules must encourage passing.
racing cars that make major use of aeronautical down-force,
the car in front, in clean air, always has a handling
advantage. The rules need to encourage passing so the
race to the first turn does not decide the winner each
time. 'Assigned Battery Capacity' limits are one answer.
the racing begins, the officials calculate (or test)
the exact energy (Watt hours) required for a full speed
flat out run through the course for a single car. Before
the first two cars race, their engine management system
is programmed to allow them to use that exact amount
minus, say, 5%. Not enough so that a car might come
to a stop on the track, but enough that the motor could
cut out before the car crosses the finish line.
will this create passing? The lead car still has the
advantage of better grip, but the car that is behind
gains an energy advantage by drafting. The car ahead
must consider driving an inefficient defensive line
and making minimal use of regenerative braking to keep
the lead, while the car behind has the choice of attacking
right away or driving efficiently and making maximum
use of regenerative braking to build a power reserve
for a move later in the race.
example, Driver_A over-commits to gain the lead in the
first corner, brakes late and takes away the line, but
must come almost to a stop to make the corner. Driver_B
quickly adjusts the brake bias to the rear which makes
the car squirrelly and difficult to control under braking,
but allows more energy recapture from engine braking
(regenerative braking). Driver_B also drafts the lead
car tightly down the straightaway, building even more
of an energy advantage, and then, perhaps, moves out
and fakes a try at recapturing the lead. The lead car
is forced to brake hard and late trying to defend. They
both fight wheel spin coming out of the final corner
with the second car still trailing by a car length,
but Driver_A uses up the last of the lead car's energy
about 300 yards from the finish line. The car is going
fast, but cannot accelerate anymore. Driver_B still
has energy to spare and just beats Driver_A across the