June 7, 2018 / 11:38 AM / 9 months ago

Motor racing-China to have two races in new-look Formula E season

LONDON, June 7 (Reuters) - China will host two rounds of the 2018/19 Formula E all-electric series, which starts in Saudi Arabia in December and ends with two races in New York in July next year.

The governing FIA published a 13-race draft calendar on Thursday, with Hong Kong pencilled in for March 10 and another Chinese round, the location of which has yet to be finalised, following on March 23.

Chinese-owned Techeetah are currently leading both the team and driver standings.

One slot, on Jan. 26, remains open with no country designated as yet. Monaco returns and is expected to use a longer circuit than in the past, if not the full Formula One grand prix layout.

There was no listing for the English city of Birmingham or Bosnian capital Sarajevo, which had both expressed interest.

The fifth season will be the first with new-look cars that can complete a whole race thanks to improved battery technology, rather than drivers having to pit mid-race and change, as at present.

Formula E said that, in an effort to promote “a mixture of strategic options, as well as further enhancing and retaining the intense and unpredictable nature of Formula E races”, drivers will have to use two different power modes in a race.

The higher mode will provide 225kW of power, compared with the standard 200kW, once drivers have passed through an activation zone.

The zone will be marked on the circuit for trackside fans and television viewers, with the two power modes on each car indicated by different colours on the LED display on the halo head protection device.

The duration and frequency of use of the higher power mode will vary at each event and be decided by the FIA, with teams and drivers able to incorporate it into their strategy.

Formula E said races will last 45 minutes plus one lap rather than being measured solely in laps.

Points will also be awarded to the most energy efficient driver finishing in the top five rather than for the fastest lap. (Reporting by Alan Baldwin Editing by David Goodman)

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