For its 5th season, the electric-powered racing series Formula E introduced a new faster, more aggressive car, new manufacturers, and new drivers. It was set to be the most exciting yet. But with improvements in battery technology allowing 1 charge to last the whole race – the mid race car change pit swap was lost. And with it the excitement and unpredictability it brought. So we were tasked with adding extra jeopardy and excitement to the race to enhance the viewer experience.
Our solution was Attack Mode – a Super Mario Kart inspired power up system. The driver simply arms Attack Mode with the press of a button and then drives over the three timing sensors to unlock an extra 25kw of power. If they miss the sensor, they miss out. Get it right and Attack Mode is active for a limited period of time during the race.
To maximise the unpredictability, the number, duration and minimum amount of times drivers can arm Attack Mode is announced by the FIA just one hour before the race.
Attack Mode’ has played a major part in making this season Formula E’s most unpredictable yet. So far 6 races have taken place, with 6 winners from 6 different teams. But it’s not just the racing that’s been enhanced; with ‘Attack Mode’ the viewing experience is broadcasted augmented reality, streamed live along the race with live telemetry.
Forbes magazine state that “Attack Mode in motorsport is what the three-point line is to Basketball”, BBC Sport has called the season “Unpredictable. Astonishing.”, whilst The Sun has heralded it as a revolution.
Fans have embraced the Attack Mode and in social have stated how it’s far superior to DRS in terms of the spectacle it creates.