Formula E makes last-minute Diriyah track layout changes

Formula E and the FIA have made several changes to the track layout of the Riyadh Street Circuit two weeks before the season opener in Saudi Arabia.

Formula E makes last-minute Diriyah track layout changes

Riyadh is hosting Formula E’s first-ever night races on February 26-27, having installed low-consumption LED lights across the 2.495km circuit located within the UNESCO World Heritage site in Diriyah.

While the switch to night-time racing was expected to be the biggest change for the third edition of the Diriyah E-Prix, some corners have also received minor tweaks in the build-up to the race.

This includes the pit exit that feeds into Turn 2, the Turn 9/10 right-left sequence, and the Turn 18/19 complex which follows the main straight that stages the race start.

Motorsport.com understands that the amendments have been made to adapt to the changes the local authorities are making to the road network that forms part of the track.

It is understood that all Formula E teams were informed about potential track changes last Thursday, with the final configuration of the track only shown on Monday.

These last-minute changes could affect the simulator programmes of Formula E teams and would mean race drivers face a tight schedule to try the new layout on the sim before flying to Riyadh.

Speaking about the track changes, Nissan driver Sebastien Buemi Motorsport.com: “Little changes have been made to the Riyadh track, so we weren't going to have the final track until 2pm [on Monday].

“The FIA has sent a small update. They have somewhat improved the pit exit: before, when someone left the pits, he couldn't see the cars that were on the track. Now, they've slightly moved the walls.

“Then there's a downhill chicane which already was very fast – they've made it even faster. They've opened the walls as much as they could. And after the long straight following the start, there was a section where we'd cut the track a little bit – they put up walls so that we don't cut it anymore. 

“These are small changes, but it's important to prepare on the simulator with the real track – as representative as possible.

“We didn't know if we were going to have it [on Sunday night] or [on Monday], because the [FIA] document was sent on Friday. 

“As a consequence, those who make the track have spent the whole weekend working for it to be ready as soon as possible. 

“We get the document 14 days before the first race. They try to reduce costs by showing the layout just 14 days before, but in the end, I don't feel like it reduces anything: everyone just works like crazy afterwards.”

Formula E teams are expected to face similar headaches in the inaugural Valencia E-Prix in April, with the series planning on sharing the exact layout only two weeks prior to the race.

Additional reporting by Matt Kew

shares
comments

Related video

BMW can win title on Formula E swansong, say drivers
Previous article

BMW can win title on Formula E swansong, say drivers

Next article

Vergne: Gains from new DS FE powertrain "barely seeable"

Vergne: Gains from new DS FE powertrain "barely seeable"
Load comments
Why de Vries' FP1 outing could add a new path to his current crossroads Prime

Why de Vries' FP1 outing could add a new path to his current crossroads

A Formula 2 and Formula E champion, Nyck de Vries is currently considering where his future in motorsport lies. Continuing in WEC and Formula E is possible and he's also courted glances Stateside after impressing in an IndyCar test. But ahead of his Formula 1 FP1 debut with Williams, he could have another option if he impresses...

Formula 1
May 18, 2022
How Jake Dennis’ struggles turned him into a Formula E frontrunner Prime

How Jake Dennis’ struggles turned him into a Formula E frontrunner

Having emerged as one of Formula E’s strongest drivers in his one-and-a-half seasons in the championship, Jake Dennis cemented his place in the series with a breakout maiden season. But it's not always been smooth sailing for the Briton

Formula E
May 10, 2022
How Vandoorne recaptured Mercedes' winning feeling in Monaco Prime

How Vandoorne recaptured Mercedes' winning feeling in Monaco

The Mercedes Formula 1 team is struggling, but its Formula E arm is in fine form at the moment and once again leads the drivers' standings courtesy of Stoffel Vandoorne. Here's how the Belgian took a well-judged Monaco victory to emerge at the head of the brewing four-way championship tussle

Formula E
May 2, 2022
Will lighter, greener, faster Gen3 deliver on Formula E's many promises? Prime

Will lighter, greener, faster Gen3 deliver on Formula E's many promises?

With a fighter-jet inspired design, revamped technical specifications and a new tyre supplier, Formula E's Gen3 car is set to shake up the series. But can it deliver on all of the promises that Formula E has set out to ensure that manufacturers consider the outlay on going racing in an all-electric arena worthwhile?

Formula E
Apr 29, 2022
Why Nissan's e.dams buyout signifies its Formula E victory intent Prime

Why Nissan's e.dams buyout signifies its Formula E victory intent

The e.dams Formula E squad is one of the most storied in the championship's short history as its original benchmark, but its successes in the Gen2 era have been fleeting by comparison. Nissan's decision to take full control ahead of Gen3 marks a statement of intent that it intends to get back to winning ways

Formula E
Apr 12, 2022
How Evans came, saw and conquered Formula E in Rome Prime

How Evans came, saw and conquered Formula E in Rome

Mitch Evans and Jaguar dominated the Rome E-Prix weekend, winning both races to bring alive a season in which he'd scored just one point from the previous three weekends. Supreme overtaking and strategy proved key in bringing the Kiwi back into title contention on a weekend that he was, his rivals conceded, “in a different league”

Formula E
Apr 11, 2022
How NIO 333's new home is helping it prepare for Formula E's Gen3 era Prime

How NIO 333's new home is helping it prepare for Formula E's Gen3 era

Under a former guise, the NIO 333 Formula E squad took victory in the championship's inaugural season, but a difficult recent history has resigned the team to the back of the field. Now with a new base and the much-vaunted Gen3 regulations incoming, the Chinese team is looking reinvigorated.

Formula E
Mar 30, 2022
Why Porsche's Formula E breakthrough points to a flawed narrative Prime

Why Porsche's Formula E breakthrough points to a flawed narrative

A crushing 1-2 in Mexico meant Porsche broke its Formula E duck in fine style to underline its status as a credible title contender. But while its success has taken longer to arrive relative to Mercedes, there are several reasons why their situations aren't directly comparable and, crucially, it appears to be an equal now the series has moved away from its loathed qualifying format

Formula E
Mar 2, 2022