Pit stops in Formula E racing have always been a little complicated. For the electric racing series' first few seasons, divers had to swap cars halfway through the race due to battery limitations. That issue was fixed with a newer, higher capacity car design in 2018, but there's still no excitement from having a functional pit stop. Now, the fast battery charging system designed to bring pit stops back to Formula E racing is being delayed until next season.
"The technology is there," Formula E co-founder Alberto Longo told Motorsport Total. "It's working and at the moment many of the people are suffering with the supply chain, and that's the main issue why we haven't been able to put it in work this season." The updated pit stops were planned to debut halfway through the 2023 season with the new Gen3 Formula E cars, but at this point it would only be ready for the last few races of the season.
It's more than just a logistical problem: the new system could drastically change how drivers approach the race. In addition to reintroducing mandatory pit stops, each time a driver uses one of the quick charging stations, they will earn two "Attack Charges" that would give their vehicle a temporary boost in power for a limited time. The current rules already have an Attack Mode, but this change in how it is earned and used could have a profound effect on performance partway through the season.
"It will have a big impact on the sporting format and to do that only in the three or four races at the end the season, even though if we are capable of doing it, maybe it's not the right decision," Longo said. "We would love to have it this season, but I don't think at the moment it's totally viable to implement it."