| 2014-09-12 | 0 Comments

On Saturday, 13 September, motorsport will enter a new era with the first ever FIA Formula-e race, staged in China on the streets of Beijing.

Formula_E_1In all areas, the FIA Formula-e championship breaks new ground. Race cars, teams, circuits and sporting format: everything is new in this competition, which is based on three core values: Energy, Environment and Entertainment. Contested in electric single-seater race cars, this championship is set to provide an important framework for research and development into “zero- emissions” vehicles.

Formula_E_6The vast majority of electric vehicles are currently driven in cities. The same will apply to Formula-e races, which will be held at ten city-centre circuits, on the streets of some of the planet’s greatest cities. Starting in September and concluding in June of the following year, the race calendar includes:


13/09/2014   Beijing           China
22/11/2014   Putrajaya       Malaysia
13/12/2014   Punta del Este         Uruguay
10/01/2015   Buenos Aires           Argentina
14/02/2014   To be announced
14/03/2015   Miami USA
04/04/2015   Los Angeles USA
09/05/2015   Monaco          Principality of Monaco
30/05/2015   Berlin Germany
27/06/2015   London          United Kingdom

Formula_E_2All rounds will be one-day event, ensuring disruption is limited for the host city and local residents, whilst also keeping running costs down for the teams. There will be no shortage of action for fans, and the low noise levels of the cars means that it will even be possible to organise concerts during the races!

In the morning, two practice sessions will give the drivers and teams time to familiarise themselves with the layout of the circuit and to fine-tune their set-ups. Just after midday, qualifying will be split into four ten-minute sessions, with five cars challenging for pole position in each group.

Formula_E_8The race – or ePrix – will last around an hour, with a mandatory pit stop to change cars for each driver. Unlike practice and qualifying, where full power will be available (200 kW – 270 hp), power will be restricted in the races to 150 kW (202 hp). The three most popular drivers with online fans will be rewarded with a FanBoost (180 kW for five seconds).

Points will be awarded to the top ten finishers using the standard FIA scale (25, 18, 15, 12, 10, 8 , 6, 4, 2 and 1 points). The driver that takes pole position will be given three bonus points and the driver that sets the fastest race lap will earn two points. The title of Drivers’ World Champion will be awarded to whoever has the most points at the end of the season, with drivers able to discard their poorest result. The Constructors’ World Championship will be decided by counting all results for both cars.

Formula_E_7The FIA Formula-e championship is open to ten teams, each with two cars. A very high quality field is set to contest the inaugural season, since ten of the confirmed drivers have already competed in Formula 1 at some stage of their career.

Formula-E_12As early as 2011, the FIA (Fédération Internationale de l’Automobile) stated its desire to see a fully-electric racing series. In line with the challenges facing the motor industry, the championship is expected to serve as a framework for research, whilst also driving interest among the general public in electric cars and promoting sustainability.

Formula_E_10Combining engineering, technology, sport, science, music and entertainment, the plans of Alejandro Agag – the Spanish businessman already involved in motorsport – were approved by the FIA on 27 August 2012. The championship promoter then entrusted Spark Racing Technology with the job of designing and building the forty racecars.

Formula-E_13As the development of a totally new kind of single-seater represented a major technological challenge, Formula-E Holdings and Spark Racing Technologies joined forces with some of the greatest names in motorsport for the project:
– Renault Sport – Architect of the electric powertrain, the manufacturer also managed systems integration, powertrain electrical safety and performance optimisation for the car.
– Dallara – The Italian firm provided the monocoque carbon-fibre and honeycomb chassis compliant with the FIA’s F1 2014 safety standards.
– McLaren Electronic Systems – Coupled with a Hewland five-speed paddle shift sequential gearbox, the electric motor and inverter are derived from the supercar P1.
– Williams Advanced Engineering – The engineering subsidiary of Williams Group designed and built the batteries, as well as their electronic management system.
– Michelin – The tyre manufacturer developed bespoke 18’’ treaded tyres for use on both wet and dry tracks.

Formula_E_9The first batch of electric racing cars have been delivered to the registered teams at Donington Park, England, on May 15, at the same time as the doors to their new state-of-the-art facilities were officially opened.

Formula-E_TestOne month prior the first race in Beijing on September 13, Formula E has completed two full event simulations at Donington Park, where a temporary pitlane and pitboxes were assembled to mimic those that will be in place at the street circuits the series will visit. Accreditation procedures, operational and IT infrastructures and even television broadcasts were also meticulously tested. So, now all systems go ahead of the first round to start tomorrow.

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