What is Formula E?
Formula E is an electric motorsports series now entering its third season. It features ten teams and twenty drivers battling it out on street circuits around the world.
The series will race in 10 different cities in 2016-17 with 12 rounds. The final two cities, New York and Montreal, will feature two races in one weekend.
Formula E has travelled to Beijing, Putrajaya, Long Beach and London in the past, and this year will feature five brand new locations. The Monaco ePrix also makes a welcome return after a sabbatical year in 2016.
Nelson Piquet Jr was the first ever Formula E Champion, though it is now Sebastien Buemi who defends his title. Renault e.Dams have won both Constructors’ Championships.
What’s the format?
All the action takes place over one day to ensure minimal disruption for the host city- after all, these are roads that are being closed off!
There are two non-qualifying practices in the morning to allow the teams to learn the circuit and make any tweaks to the set up of their cars.
A qualifying lottery takes place in the eVillage with all twenty drivers to randomly sorted into four groups.
There are four qualifying sessions according to these groups, where five drivers take to the track to set their flying lap. These sessions determine positions six to twenty.
The top five fastest drivers then proceed to a final, Super Pole shoot out. They each have one attempt to set the fastest time, with the fifth fastest driver taking to the track first.
In theory, the last to take to the track has the advantage, yet changing weather or track conditions can throw up surprises!
The race takes place later in the afternoon and lasts around 50 minutes. There is a mandatory pitstop for all drivers to change their car.
A podium ceremony takes place in the heart of the eVillage were fans can get up-close and personal with their favourite drivers.
What are the rules?
In the first season of Formula E, all the teams used identical cars.
Season two allowed developments to the powertrain though the car remained the same. Seven manufacturers took on the challenge of developing their own motor, invertor and gearbox solutions.
Season three will feature a new steering wheel and front wing.
Formula E has increased the amount of regeneration permitted by 50%, thanks to a new version of the battery produced by Williams Advanced Engineering. Maximum power remains 200kW, however the extra regeneration could see differing race strategies come in to play. For example, a driver could choose to run longer and harvest energy in their first stint, potentially allowing them to run faster than their competitors once they have switched to their second car.
Points are awarded according to the standard FIA system, with an additional point awarded to the drivers who set pole and the fastest lap. This may sound trivial, however it ultimately decided the 2015/16 Drivers’ Championship, with Buemi snatching both the fastest lap and the title from Lucas di Grassi.
Another innovation unique to Formula E is FanBoost.
Three drivers are awarded an extra power boost of 100kJ to use in the second half of the race. This is decided by a social media vote open to the fans on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram, as well as the FanBoost site. The vote closes six minutes in to the race.
Who is racing?
Formula E has attracted a high calibre of drivers from a range of different series, including Formula 1, World Touring Cars, DTM and GP2.
Where are the races?
The season kicks off in Hong Kong before moving to Africa, South America, Europe, and North America.
|Round One||Hong Kong||9th October 2016|
|Round Two||Marrakesh||12th November 2016|
|Round Three||Buenos Aires||18th February 2017|
|Round Four||Mexico City||1st April 2017|
|Round Five||Monte Carlo||13th May 2017|
|Round Six||Paris ePrix||20th May 2017|
|Round Seven||Berlin ePrix||10th June 2017|
|Round Eight||Brussels ePrix||1st July 2017|
|Round Nine||New York||15th July 2017|
|Round Ten||New York||16th July 2017|
|Round Eleven||Montreal||29 July 2017|
|Round Twelve||Montreal||30th July 2017|
Where can I watch it?
Channel 5 has picked up the rights to the 2016/17 Championship. Qualifying will be shown live on Spike, with practice sessions also available on the Channel 5 social media channels.
It all kicks off this weekend, with coverage of the inaugural Hong Kong ePrix starting at 8:30am on Sunday 9th October.