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Formula E backtracks on Marrakesh minimum pit stop time

Mercedes-Formula E
© XPB 

Formula E race officials have decided against changing rules on minimum pit stop times for this weekend's ePrix in Marrakesh.

The championship announced plans earlier this week to scrap the mandated time that a driver has to spend in the pits when changing cars mid-race. The rule was originally introduced for safety reasons, to make sure teams didn't rush the changeover.

The FIA has now concluded that increased efficiency from teams during the pit stop means the rule is no longer necessary. It had announced that it would be scrapped with immediate effect.

However, criticism from teams and drivers has led to the implementation being postponed.

A letter from teams to race stewards asked for more time to prepare for the change. They requested the change should be delayed until February's race in Santiago, and this has now been agreed.

This weekend's race in Marrakesh will go ahead with the originally planned 45-second minimum pit stop time after all.

As well as fears that safety belts might not be properly secured in a rushed pit stop, teams are also worried about software issues.

Variations in the software used by the powertrain manufacturers means slightly different car start-up times. This could unfairly disadvantage some teams, unless the issue is addressed before the rule change.

NIO driver Oliver Turvey said that he wasn't opposed to the rule change in principle, but that "it's got to be safe."

"As long as it's safe and fair for everyone it adds another element to the race," Turvey told Motorsport.com.

"The minimum time was always quite tight," he added. "It's not easy to be under that time. But at least you didn't have to be rushing everything

"It adds a bit of a safety element. It's more for the mechanics and the people in the pitlane than for us."

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