A disappointing Formula E - Weekend

A disappointing Formula E

Jerome NeriAtty. Jerome G. Neri
The Scrutineer

AFTER all the hype about Formula E, the first all electric single-seater race that is sanctioned by the FIA, I was left truly disappointed.

Instead of showing that electric powered cars would be good high performance cars, Formula E showed the exact opposite.

It all began in the formation lap – in an effort to conserve their batteries, this was the most time consuming formation lap that I have ever seen. The drivers were driving their cars as slow as possible. It would have been better if they eliminated the formation lap all together and started the race immediately.

When the race started, I was unsure if it really started as the cars looked really slow, then I realized that their top speed was 100 mph or 160 kph, which, just a few years ago was the mandatory pit lane speed limit of Formula 1. A KZ-1 Go Kart has a higher top speed. As early as the first lap, drivers were already conserving their batteries by setting their power to 90%. This was a 25-lap race on a track that was a little over three kilometers in length, so saving the batteries for later seemed logical.

FORMULA E WINNER. Audi Sport ABT’s Lucas di Grassi of Brazil races ahead at the start of the inaugural Formula E all-electric auto race in Beijing. Di Grassi crossed the finish line first to win the Sept. 13 event. (AP FOTO)
FORMULA E WINNER. Audi Sport ABT’s Lucas di Grassi of Brazil races ahead at the start of the inaugural Formula E all-electric auto race in Beijing. Di Grassi crossed the finish line first to win the Sept. 13 event. (AP FOTO)

Just before half distance, the drivers started to turn the power up again, the commentators were talking about it being the pit window and the lead drivers would want to build a gap before pitting, especially that in Formula E, there is a mandatory minimum time for a pit stop. I also noticed that their batteries were low and it got me wondering whether there is a quick way to recharge the batteries or the batteries will be replaced during the pit stop. Well, both of my hunches were wrong. The pit stop was for the driver to change cars!

The only exciting part of the race was the last corner of the last lap where the two leaders Nicolas Prost and Nick Hiedfeld spectacularly crashed into each other, handing the race win to Lucas di Grassi. After the race, the drivers were interviewed and they all looked so fresh like they have not yet raced. It must have been physically easy for them, since they were racing in speeds as if they were following a safety car.

Instead of showing breakthroughs in electric car technology, Formula E demonstrated that it is very slow compared to other Formula cars (F1, F3, GP2, GP3 and etc) and very inefficient, as a driver needs two cars to finish a race that has a very short distance.

HELMET BAN. I mentioned some time ago that the City of Dagupan banned the use of helmets in an effort to curb crimes committed by motorcycle riding felons. Now, some smartass congressman wants to make this a national law! It is argued that a lot of criminals use motorcycles in committing crimes, and by disallowing helmets, it would be easier to identify the criminals. The congressman is willing to endanger the lives of thousands of motorcyclists just to be able to identify some criminals. Is it really worth the risk?

I hate 99 percent of the motorcycle riders as they are very notorious for driving recklessly. They counter-flow, overtake on the right, and even do not use the lights at night, but I do not want to see any of them dead because our government disallowed the use of the most important safety and lifesaving device for a motorcyclist, the helmet.

Moreover, we have a lot of identified criminals and they all are in the House of Representatives, the Senate and Malacañang and yet none of them have been properly prosecuted and convicted. The country should start dealing with these thieves seriously as they are the biggest criminals in the country and these felons ride cars, not motorcycles.

FLOODING. Again, we experienced flooding last week, and the water on A.S. Fortuna St. this time was chest deep. Obviously the ongoing drainage project will not work. It is a useless project that is causing inconvenience in both Cebu and Mandaue Cities. The government officials and the contractor behind this should be jailed.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *