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Ticktum criticises Berlin track layout: Too small for Formula E

The new Berlin track layout and low energy allowance meant more chaotic racing in Formula E

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Dan Ticktum believes the Berlin Tempelhof Circuit is too small for Formula E after two chaotic races in the German capital at the weekend.

Peloton-style racing returned to the championship due to the low energy targets and wide circuit layout, creating mayhem across the field as nobody wanted to lead. The track changed compared to previous Berlin E-Prix, so every corner was slightly different and a slow section was cut out.

Ticktum hit Lucas di Grassi in the first race amid the chaos and battled hard at the back in the second event on Sunday, finishing in 17th.

“The layout is quite fun to drive on a lap but it’s too small for a Formula E car,” Ticktum exclusively Total-Motorsport.com. “It’s a one minute lap.

“Our car hasn’t got much downforce, it’s good in a straight line but our values [in Formula E] are different to F1. We are focused on efficiency, but if it’s taking us a minute to do a lap… the track needs to be bigger.

“There are some places where it’s wide, where it causes four abreast moments, which is also a problem but that’s more to do with the energy targets being too low.

“We have got so much space in Berlin, I don’t understand why they can’t make a nice big track with flowing and fast corners, even make a corner that goes into the Hanger than out. It’s better than the last iteration but I think they can do a lot better with a blank canvas.”

Antonio Felix da Costa leads the field at the 2024 Berlin E-Prix | Formula E
Antonio Felix da Costa leads the field at the 2024 Berlin E-Prix | Formula E

Rowland enjoyed new Berlin layout

Britain’s Oliver Rowland had back-to-back third places in Berlin which put him up to third in the Formula E driver standings, 22 points behind leader Nick Cassidy.

Rowland has been one of the more positive drivers about Formula E‘s peloton-style racing and the only change he would make to the Berlin layout is the track length.

“It’s a little bit short, I would say,” said Rowland. “Maybe it could be a little bit more technical. The qualifying laps are very close. The tarmac was quite tricky for us here to get our heads around. But for the racing I think it was quite good.

“It opened up some passing opportunities. Even the last corner I quite liked because we could kind of go to three, two abreast and someone could come up the inside there if they had a better front end. I think it was pretty good, maybe we can add a bit.”

Ticktum not a fan of artificial racing

The pack racing in Formula E is set to be a major topic for the rest of the season, with Shanghai and Portland both permanent race tracks, where staying out of trouble whilst not wanting to be at the front will be key.

Ticktum went on to compare if Formula 3 drivers were in Formula E cars, the racing would be even messier than it already is in the championship, which underlines the difficulty of going wheel to wheel.

“For example, F3 drivers are all good drivers, but they are inexperienced, and they are not quite at this level yet,” explained Ticktum. “If you put a group of F3 drivers in it, you have people driving over the top of each other.

“I’m talking about the best drivers in the world here and we are still hitting each other and it’s just impossible. It’s just the balance of racing versus coasting versus carnage is not quite right at the moment.

“I don’t know what the public thinks of it. A lot of them might like it. But it’s not organic racing. If someone goes to overtake, you are back on the throttle again and this is on the straight. The balance is not quite right.”

John Smith
John Smithhttps://total-motorsport.com
Editor at Total-Motorsport.com and all round Motorsport journalist specialising in Formula 1, IndyCar and Formula E.
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