With less than a month to go until the second season of Formula E gets underway, here’s a round up of news, rumours, and everything you need to know before the Beijing ePrix
Season Two Changes
A new ‘Super Pole’ format is being introduced to Formula E.
Previously, qualifying divided the drivers into four groups of five, who then participated in four ten-minute sessions to try and set the fastest lap. This tended to favour those in the fourth and final group as conditions improved and the track got quicker.
Season two, however, is introducing a brand new final session: Super Pole.
Drivers will still be placed into four groups of five via a lottery, however the sessions now last six rather than ten minutes. This gives drivers enough time for their out-lap, a warm up lap, and then a qualifying lap using the full 200kW available. This will determine positions 6-20.
The five fastest drivers will then compete in a final, 15 minute session fight for pole position, and three championship points. The fifth fastest driver takes to the track first. At the end of their out-lap and as they start their flying lap, the fourth fastest driver is permitted to start their out-lap, and so on. These final times will determine positions 1-5.
In-race Fan Boost
Fan Boost, an interactive feature that allowed fans to vote for their favourite driver to win one of three available power boosts, briefly increasing their power from 150kW to 180kW. The top three were announced prior to the start of the race and the boost could be used once per car.
This year, voting remains open for the first six minutes of the race, and the boost is only available to the driver after they have made their pit stop and changed over to their second car.
Previously it was only possible to vote via the Formula E website; now fans can vote on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram.
The power boost is now an extra 100kJ ‘to be used in a power window of 180kW to 200kW‘.
FanBoost will open 12 days prior to the event as before; for the opening Beijing ePrix, this will be Monday 12th October.
The full race calendar can be found here.
No more revolving doors: restrictions on driver changes introduced
A grand total of 35 drivers competed in season one of Formula E. This year, in an attempt to limit comings and goings, the FIA have imposed a limit of two driver changes per car.
There will also be no changes permitted in the final three rounds of the season so as to create stability for the title fight.
This means a team can have a maximum of six different drivers over the course of the season.
Andretti to use season one powertrain
Donington Park was the first opportunity for teams to test out their new powertrains. Season two of Formula E is an open championship, and teams have been allowed to develop the e-motor, inverter and transmission.
Some teams found it harder than others to run and find performance from these new powertrains. Andretti in particular struggled to get Simona de Silvestro out of the pits. As a result, Andretti have reverted to the McLaren powertrain of season one and delayed their development programme to season three.
The remaining nine teams will be supplied by eight manufacturers:
ABT Schaeffler Audi Sport ABT Sportsline
Amlin Andretti Formula E Team Andretti
Dragon Racing Venturi Automobiles
DS Virgin Racing Virgin Racing Engineering
Renault eDams Renault Sport
Mahindra Racing Mahindra
NEXTEV TCR NEXTEV TCR
Team Aguri Season One’s Spark Renault
Trulli Formula E Motomatica
Venturi Venturi Automobiles
ITV coverage to continue
ITV’s coverage, hosted by Jennie Gow and featuring Nikki Shields, Dario Franchitti and Jack Nicholls, is to continue for season 2.
Eleven rounds will be broadcast live on ITV4 and ITV4 HD, with the final London ePrix once again being shown on ITV.
ITV will also air a highlights package of every round.
Driver Line Up
ABT Schaeffler Audi Sport (3rd)
- Lucas di Grassi (3rd)
- Daniel Abt (11th)
Amlin Andretti Formula E Team (6th)
- Simona de Silvestro (28th*)
- Robin Frijns
Dragon Racing (2nd)
- Jerome D’Ambrosio (4th)
- Loic Duval (9th*)
DS Virgin Racing (5th)
- Sam Bird (5th)
- Jean-Eric Vergne (7th*)
Renault eDams (1st)
- Nico Prost (6th)
- Sebastien Buemi (2nd)
Mahindra Racing (8th)
- Bruno Senna (10th)
- Nick Heidfeld (12th)
NEXTEV TCR (4th)
- Nelson Piquet Jnr (1st)
- Oliver Turvey (22nd*)
Team Aguri (7th)
- Antonio Felix de Costa (8th)
Trulli Formula E (10th)
- Viatantonio Luizzi (23rd*)
- Salvador Duran (21st*)
- Stephane Sarrazin (14th)
- Jacques Villeneuve
*indicates driver did not complete full season
() indicate season one Driver/Team standings