The Formula E season opens this coming Friday and Saturday in Diriyah, Saudi Arabia.
Formula E is the most innovative race series in the world, with a total of 12 teams, 24 drivers and 10 manufacturers will battle over 14 races. The action takes place on street circuits around the world, it has been said that the 14 races are held in 12 of the world’s most progressive cities over 5 continents.
Daniel Abt and Lucas di Grassi from the Audi Sport ABT Schaeffler team are the most successful pairing, in fact this is their 6th season together!
“This consistency and the collaboration within our well-gelled team are one of our great strengths in such a dynamic and lively championship as Formula E,” says Team Principal Allan McNish.
More electric model coming to market?
Formula E is the perfect fit for many of the big brands participating including Mercedes, BMW, Audi and now Porche. Audi have said that by 2025 they plan to launch more than 30 electric models.
The Brits in the game!
The British contingent comprises of the teams Envison Virgin Racing, NIO 333 FE Team and Panasonic Jaguar Racing. Envision Virgin Racing’s manufacturer is Spark-Audi and driving for them this season are Sam Bird (UK) and Robin Frijins (Netherlands). NIO 333 FE Team’s manufacturer is Spark-NIO and their drivers this season are Oliver Turvey (UK) and Ma Qingham (China). The final British team is Panasonic Jaguar Racing. They have James Calado making his debut after winning the 2017 GT World Endurance Championships. Calado is replacing Alex Lynn.
Team changes include…
- Porche will be joining the grid.
- Venturi are switching to Mercedes powertrains.
- NIO team has been sold to Lisheng Racing but will continue under the NIO brand.
Driver changes include…
- Porche have Neel Jani driving for them on his return to Formula E.
- Andre Lotterer will move from DS Techeetah to Porche.
- 2019 Formula 2 Champion, Nyck de Vries, will debut at Formula E with the Mercedes-Benz EQ Formula E Team.
- GEOX Dragon will run 2 rookies. Brendon Hartley, who won the World Endurance Championships in 2015 and 2017. Ma Quinghua is replacing Tom Dillmann at NIO 333.
Regulation changes include…
- The use of twin motors are now banned.
- The Attack Mode power level will be increased by 10kW, from 225kW to 235kW.
- Drivers are no longer permitted to activate the Attack Mode during Full Course Yellow and Safety Car periods.
- For each minute spend under Full Course Yellow or Safety Car conditions, 1kWh will be subtracted from the total available energy measured from the point at which the race was neutralized.
- During a race suspension, the countdown clock would stop, unless otherwise announced by the Race Director, with the aim of completing the full race time.
- The fastest driver in the group qualifying stages will be awarded one championship point.
For the fans..
A crucial part of fan engagement in Formula E is communicating the new racing metrics. For example technology-related metrics including battery life and power usage are of interest to viewers. As well as the usual metrics such as duration and lap time. Similar to Formula 1 it is imperative the media do give the fans the information they want without giving away vital team performance information to their rivals.
Where can I watch?
The races in Diriyah on Friday and Saturday will start at 3 PM local time (1 PM CET) and, as usual, last for 45 minutes, plus one lap. As always, Eurosport will air live coverage. All of the international channels including the broadcast schedule can be found online at https://www.fiaformulae.com/