Ticktum: Extreme Portland could see high-speed Formula E accident

Portland is expected to see more peloton style racing in Formula E as the championship approaches its climax in 2024

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Nio driver Dan Ticktum believes there could be a high-speed accident at the 2024 Portland E-Prix due to Formula E‘s peloton style racing which sees multiple cars going side by side.

Formula E visited Portland for the first time in 2023 and the race saw drivers going at least three abreast into several corners, including the fast chicane at the end of the lap.

Nico Muller had a big accident during the race on the back straight as he ran over his own front wing after suffering damage when making contact with another car, a common theme in this type of racing.

Formula E have shortened the two races for this weekend to 27 and 26 laps respectively, compared to 32 laps for last year’s Portland E-Prix.

“Portland was extreme because of the high speed. With the way the wings are going under the car, I think to an extent…they just have to be strict on the rules but sometimes a driver can make a mistake,” Ticktum exclusively told Total-Motorsport.com prior to confirmation the Portland races will be shorter this weekend.

“In Portland, there could maybe be a bad accident waiting to happen, so that’s why I’m a bit concerned about this peloton racing.”

This year’s races in Misano have had the most extreme peloton style racing in 2024, where many drivers were angry about what they experienced.

Sergio Sette Camara of Nio had his best result of the season in the second Misano race, with sixth place, but also recalled the fear of racing in Portland 12 months ago.

“I think Portland was way more Misano,” said Camara. “Misano was dangerous as well but I think Portland was the pinnacle.

“Every driver was in a rush to get out of the car and the drivers were terrified, so this was not too bad but still pretty dangerous.”

Evans: Not the racing I want to be doing

The high drag Gen3 car and relatively low energy usage are two major causes of the peloton style racing, plus the permanent race tracks Formula E have raced at in 2024.

Mitch Evans, who is 35 points behind Jaguar teammate and championship leader Nick Cassidy, is concerned about the lack of purity in the racing.

Mitch Evans leads the Shanghai E-Prix | Formula E
Mitch Evans leads the 2024 Shanghai E-Prix | Formula E

“It’s not the racing I want to be doing,” said Evans. “It’s just a massive gamble out there – right place, right time or you can get your front wing knocked off. It’s not based off pure performance.

“Personally, we need to try and find a better balance because it’s too extreme. You’ve got cars overtaking and you’re going four wide and you’re looking behind and in front at the same time. It’s really hard to manage.

“How there’s not been a bigger crash I have no idea. If it looks bad on TV, in the car it looks even worse. For me, it’s too extreme.”

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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