The three track layouts for next month’s ABB FIA Formula E Championship finale races in Berlin’s Tempelhof Airport have been revealed.
With just over two weeks until the first of the season ending six races in nine days, the teams now know what exactly they will be dealing with in Berlin. The six races will be split into three double-header events, on Wednesday/Thursday August 5th & 6th, Saturday/Sunday August 8th & 9th, and Wednesday/Thursday August 12th & 13th, with a different track layout in place for each of the back-to-back races.
The first and second layouts will use the same track design that we are used to seeing at Berlin Tempelhof however the first pair of races will run the circuit in reverse. Formula E says that “Adaptations will be made on the ground in the 24-hour period between the first and second pair of races with run-off, kerbs, barriers and broadcast placements all to be changed on the fly.”
For the third and final double-header Formula E has two days to transform the back of the circuit into a new twisty challenge for the drivers giving them ten new corners to learn and bring the total turns up to sixteen as opposed to ten on the first two layouts.
Formula E’s Sporting Director, Frederic Espinos, said that the Berlin races will something new for motorsport and believes that it will make things tricky for the teams but add spectacle for the fans.
“It is a huge undertaking in terms of production to set up three different configurations for this event, with fewer people on-site to be able to carry out those changes,” said Espinos. “We’re doing something that has never been seen before in world-class motorsport and it’s an example of how reactive and innovative Formula E is – it’s in our DNA.
“Racing in both directions has a lot of implications. It is not just turning all braking markers and the grid boxes around. Other international series wanted to make this happen but their proposals were rejected by the governing body.
“We had to make sure all the broadcast technology, overlays, branding, safety measures, barriers, kerbs and run-off worked and plan accordingly for this – whilst also making the changes viable in just 24 hours, with reduced resources.The third track will be more technical, so totally different again in terms of energy management and what the teams might be used to or expecting.
“All along, we aimed to make their lives as tricky as possible in Berlin, limiting the effectiveness of their simulation work and throwing strategies up in the air. Car setups will all need to change, energy management and regen will be completely different and teams will have to think on their feet.
“There will be a lot for drivers and engineers to get on top of before we go green and I feel the Formula E spectacle fans are familiar with will be pushed a step further still with this additional bundle of unknowns.”
Formula E also revealed that a reverse Berlin race had been in the planning prior to the covid-19 pandemic. The idea, known as the ‘NILREB’ project (Berlin backwards, in case you didn’t quite catch that) was working towards a quick track change allowing the team to change the circuit direction between the two races of a double-header weekend.
“NILREB was in progress before the current situation,” said Espinos. “Our idea was to do one day clockwise, one day anticlockwise. We started to work on it at the turn of the year and set up a working group end of February.
“We were juggling some super good and cost-effective ideas. We were working on this idea prior to the current circumstances as we are always trying our hardest to surprise people and do something new and groundbreaking.”
Click on the images below to see the layouts.