FIA Formula E to cut down in-season driver changes

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One of the, if not hallmarks, certainly quirks of the inaugural FIA Formula E Championship season was a continual, thorough checking of the entry lists to see what changed from race-to-race.

The changing won’t be as frequent in 2015-2016, the series announced today.

Formula E announced Monday that the 10 teams will be limited to just two driver changes per car during season two. Driver changes need to be announced two weeks prior to the event.

No changes will be allowed for the final three races of the year, to prevent outside “ringers” from posing a threat or conflict in championship battles.

A driver can be replaced last-minute if he or she is unavailable for an unforeseen reason, with Stewards having discretion for force majeure.

This comes in the wake of some 35 drivers competing in the inaugural season of Formula E, when grids were just 20 cars.

Andretti Formula E led the way with eight different drivers. It began the year with Charles Pic and the later-suspended Franck Montagny, then cycled through Jean-Eric Vergne, Matthew Brabham, Marco Andretti, Scott Speed, Simona de Silvestro and the late Justin Wilson in one of their two cars. The No. 28 car alone featured all of the above with the exception of Montagny and Vergne, who ran the No. 27 car.

De Silvestro and Robin Frijns have been announced as drivers for the renamed Amlin Andretti FE for season two.

There were also five driver changes going into the last double race weekend of the year at Battersea Park in London, although only one of the five, Oliver Turvey, scored points during the weekend.

The changes were:

  • Turvey in for Antonio Garcia at NEXTEV TCR
  • De Silvestro in for Wilson at Andretti
  • Fabio Leimer in for Jaime Alguersuari at Virgin
  • Alex Fontana in for Vitantonio Liuzzi at Trulli
  • Sakon Yamamoto in for Antonio Felix da Costa at Amlin Aguri