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Formula E

Dennis reveals drivers discussing lack of overtaking in WhatsApp group

Jake Dennis has admitted that the drivers have been discussing the current lack of overtaking in Formula E in their WhatsApp group.

Dennis and Da Costa - Mexico 2024
Article
To news overview © Dom Romney / Formula E

It's not just the fans who are missing overtaking in Formula E currently, as the drivers are also becoming frustrated with the "train situation" which has occurred at every E-Prix so far this season.

The Gen3 machinery has divided opinions since it was introduced last year, with the current debate amongst spectators being why there is so little overtaking.

In the vast majority of races last season there were quite literally hundreds of overtakes, with the inaugural Portland E-Prix having seen a record-breaking 402 moves. This event was an odd one, as energy management was absolutely critical.

Energy management has been considerably less important in the three completed rounds this year, which took place in Mexico City and Diriyah. At both venues, qualifying was more important than the race, due to overtaking having been too difficult.

Overtaking was virtually impossible in both cities as a result of all the drivers effectively driving close to flat out from start-to-finish, leading to calls from the paddock to the FIA for the races to be increased in distance going forwards.

More laps means more energy management, which in itself will increase the number of overtakes as each driver will have to race more strategically to make it to the end.

Formula E races this season have been similar to a DRS train in F1, with the drivers starting to miss the number of overtaking opportunities they've become used to in recent years.

Reigning World Champion Jake Dennis revealed that the grid has been discussing the lack of overtaking in their WhatsApp group.

Upcoming races 'less focused' on qualifying

The Andretti star is confident that qualifying being more important than the race isn't something which will stick for many rounds coming up, especially as energy management is pivotal on the purpose-built circuits (Misano, Shanghai and Portland).

Formula E also has its first-ever trip to Tokyo next month, with new venues more often than not delivering chaotic races.

"I hope so," Dennis admitted following a question by RacingNews365 during a roundtable to select media, when asked if the upcoming venues will suit overtaking better. "I actually haven't seen the layout of Tokyo yet.

"From my understanding, Portland, Shanghai, Misano and Brazil will all be less focused on qualifying, which is great. Unless you obviously start at the front.

"London will obviously definitely be all about qualifying, no matter what energy profile they give us. And yeah, like I said, I haven't seen a Tokyo layout yet. So I'm hoping that is, again, more towards overtaking, but ultimately, I have no idea.

"I think from my side and all of the drivers we chat about in the WhatsApp group and in the media pen that we're all a little bit missing the overtaking opportunities and stuff like this.

"It's very much just a bit of a train situation right now. So yeah, hopefully it's London next, which is a long way away, and we can have some really exciting races coming up."

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