Agag: “A miracle” so few cars broke in Extreme E qualifying

Alejandro Agag says “it’s a miracle so few” cars broke during Extreme E qualifying, adding the finals will not switch to a one-car format despite talks having taken place.

Three high-profile technical failures occurred during the Friday shakedown ahead of the Desert X-Prix in the AlUla region of Saudi Arabia.

First on the course, Chip Ganassi Racing driver Sara Price was hit by a terminal 12V battery fault. Jenson Button had problems with the motor and invertor aboard his JBXE-entered Odyssey 21 and Carlos Sainz Sr stopped with a power steering failure.

After the first Saturday qualifying session JBXE replaced the motor and invertor following a near half-minute stoppage for Mikaela Ahlin-Kottulinsky when her car reset into neutral. CGR, meanwhile, suffered two power steering failures in the morning and failed to start the afternoon running with a further power steering issue.

This came on top of widespread complaints from drivers over the lack of suspension travel and damping at the rear of the Spark Racing Technology-built Odyssey.

Read Also:

Asked by Motorsport.com if Spark had a ‘shopping list’ of parts to revise, Extreme E co-founder Agag said: "100% we will fix everything. This is actually incredibly good for me, because if you look at Formula E, we had months to test, we had so many problems.

“Here, we tested one day and a half. So, it's a miracle what we've done. Spark has done an amazing job to be able to put the show on the road. Of course, there will be problems and I'm really sad for some of them.

"I was just with Chip Ganassi. It's very frustrating because he's a winner. We will do the maximum work to help with Spark to fix it. But Spark has done an incredibly amazing job up to here.

“And it's a miracle that so few cars have broken.”

On Wednesday evening, Agag informed teams that the proposed race format would change for Extreme E, with qualifying heats dropped in favour of one-car time trials to decide the grids. The semi-finals and final race have also decreased from a four- and a five-car contest to three lots of three-cars.

This was mainly due to the excessive levels of dust in the desert.

Agag says the championship will be flexible ahead of the next round in Dakar, Senegal across 29-30 May. He also revealed to Motorsport.com that talks had initially been held about modifying the finals to become one-car heats, but that this has not been put into place.

Agag said: “Today, we had the discussion that we were going to go also to one car tomorrow. We're not. We're going to stay with three cars tomorrow.

“Let's see how it goes and then we handle the fourth. If it's good with three, we will leave it at the three. The key here is flexibility. We are creating and tweaking the championship. We see the best ways and then we're doing it. I'm pretty flexible.”

shares
comments

Related video

X44's Loeb: Rosberg's team "faster" in Extreme E qualifying

Previous article

X44's Loeb: Rosberg's team "faster" in Extreme E qualifying

Next article

Software fault caused penalties for Rosberg, Button teams

Software fault caused penalties for Rosberg, Button teams
Load comments

About this article

Series Extreme E
Event Desert X-Prix
Author Matt Kew
How Extreme E exceeded expectations to pass its first major test Prime

How Extreme E exceeded expectations to pass its first major test

The racing may have lacked the explosive conclusion to Formula E's first race in 2014 and was not without its hiccups. But Extreme E's leap into the unknown appears to have paid off, delivering a spectacle quite unlike anything else

Extreme E
Apr 5, 2021
Extreme E: The team-by-team guide Prime

Extreme E: The team-by-team guide

The world’s newest motorsport discipline is set to go racing for the first time this weekend. Extreme E’s innovations and plans have raised some eyebrows, but it also provides an exciting list of competitors and teams for the inaugural campaign

Extreme E
Apr 2, 2021
How Extreme E’s charging solution could transform motorsport Prime

How Extreme E’s charging solution could transform motorsport

The new off-road SUV series aims to go boldly into the unknown on several fronts, but perhaps its most significant measure will involve the energy source powering its fleet of cars

Extreme E
Apr 1, 2021
How XE's star power puts Formula E under pressure Prime

How XE's star power puts Formula E under pressure

With the addition of Jenson Button's own team to join the involvement of fellow Formula 1 champions Lewis Hamilton and Nico Rosberg in Extreme E's ranks, the new electric SUV series is brimming with star power to enable it to deliver on its promise

Extreme E
Jan 29, 2021
Driving the electric beast behind XE’s off-road eco-crusade Prime

Driving the electric beast behind XE’s off-road eco-crusade

In October, Motorsport.com headed to the South of France to sample the Odyssey 21 - the titanic 550bhp machine underpinning Alejandro Agag's latest electric venture. But for such a big beast, it's a nimble machine that should provide spectacular entertainment…

Extreme E
Dec 10, 2020
Why a fearsome ‘electric alliance’ will have lasting significance Prime

Why a fearsome ‘electric alliance’ will have lasting significance

OPINION: Formula E has invested in Extreme E to create a formal allegiance between the two most influential electric motorsport series. Allaying fears of financial uncertainty, together they will shape the future of battery-powered motorsport competition…

Formula E
Nov 4, 2020
Why latest Hamilton-Rosberg battle won’t have the same edge Prime

Why latest Hamilton-Rosberg battle won’t have the same edge

Even four years after it ended, the rivalry between Lewis Hamilton and Nico Rosberg has yet to be topped for drama and intrigue by anything F1 has seen since. But the next iteration commencing in 2021 will played out on much different terms...

Extreme E
Oct 30, 2020
How the new electric series with planet-changing aims will work Prime

How the new electric series with planet-changing aims will work

The new off-road electric race series from the people who brought you Formula E has no less an aim than saving the world’s most at-risk habitats. Here’s who things are set to get underway in 2021

Extreme E
Jan 14, 2020