Formula E - The story so far...
Countdown to Marrakesh
Countdown to Buenos Aires
Just a stone’s throw from the park that the Buenos Aires ePrix calls home is a statue of Juan Manuel Fangio and his title-winning Mercedes-Benz Formula 1 car. It’s an illustration not just of the transition from the past to the future of motorsport an electric racing, but also a symbol of the Argentinian fans’ love of motorsport. And they have been treated to two fabulous races on the 2.4-kilometre circuit. In season one, Antonio Felix da Costa triumphed in the most unpredictable race to date, while in season two Sebastien Buemi almost won from 18th on the grid, but denied by a superb drive by Sam Bird.
Antonio Felix da Costa, Team Aguri
“Last year was my first time in Buenos Aires, and Argentina actually. Of course the country has a racing background which is good for Formula E when we bring the racing out into the streets, I think it makes it really easy for people to go to the track and watch it. I think it was one of the best races with everything combined last year with all the fans and the track. I think we’re in for a really nice time and race, with a lot of people and lucky feathers and there’s really good food around there as well so I’m really looking forward to go back!
“You know these kind of race races; Malaysia and Buenos Aires, anything that hot is what we train for. We do some special training dedicated to that. It’s never a big issue for us drivers and I think it’s a bigger issue for the cars. I don’t think any car at the end of the day stopped with a temperature problem (in Putrajaya) but it definitely slowed everybody down, it altered everyone’s strategies and how much everyone was using the regeneration. It’s certainly very tricky and changes everything for the teams and the drivers, and it’s very easy to make a mistake. But at the end of the day for you guys outside watching it, it’s going to bring more interest and it’s going to bring everyone closer together.
“If you can line someone up there’s a good overtaking spot at turn four. Obviously turn one and then turn seven, and I think before the last chicane is also a good opportunity. Everybody is very sensible in Formula E, and that’s a good thing. Every driver has a lot of respect for each other. We have not seen in season two any stupid crashes from the racing so far and that’s the beauty of Formula E when you bring professional drivers together, it gives for good racing. I think this is where we really have an edge over other categories.”
Sam Bird, DS Virgin Racing “As everybody knows we merged with a great manufacturer, DS, for this season and the hard work at the DS Virgin Racing team has produced a really good car today. This is for the boys and the ladies who have worked tirelessly since Punta del Este to give me a better race car.”
Countdown to Mexico
The Autodromo Hermanos Rodriguez has held numerous races from Formula 1 to the World Endurance Championship during its illustrious history and many different configurations. A brand new, 2.1km layout was created for the arrival of Formula E in 2016. At over 2500m, the track is the highest in Formula E – and one of the highest in the world. It was also the first time that a Formula E race took place on a ‘permanent’ road course. In the race Lucas di Grassi won on the road but was disqualified for being underweight, handing victory to Dragon Racing’s Jerome D’Ambrosio.
Salvador Duran, Team Aguri
“The first complex and approach to turn one looks like a very interesting corner, a very fast chicane. The second part where you exit, you’re already into another corner, you’re already into the oval and the normal part of the circuit. It’s going to be quite interesting to see how the drivers manage to exit with as much speed as they can. Turn four looks like a very slow corner to the right and then you get a lot of change in direction as you go through another left corner which is practically a U-turn. You have to be very careful on the exit as well because after that you have the straight before entering into the stadium.
“I love it because there is one part that is actually a stadium. The configuration of the track means that we go through there on two occasions and I think all the people there are going to be so excited because being in the stadium, the excitement is going to be contagious! I really like that part and the other point is that we have so many grandstands along the start/finish straight and over the pits as well. It looks like it’s going to be very challenging. The best overtaking spot I’ve seen will be the entry into the stadium, that’s going to be the most interesting bit.
“The fans here are really loud! They are really passionate. They are really excited about what we can offer because they really want to see a car running. I would say they don’t quite understand and even the media doesn’t understand Formula E cars. That’s why it’s going to be so good when we get there and show them what we have. It’s not only about the car, it’s also about the show Formula E brings to every single place it goes to.”
Jerome D’Ambrosio, Dragon Racing “Lucas drove a great race so I feel sorry for him, but I’m still buzzing after the excitement of the podium. It was an amazing crowd and an incredible feeling – so a huge thanks to all the fans who cheered us on.”
The Monaco ePrix returns to the Formula E calendar on May 13, 2017. Once again the track uses a modified configuration of the iconic GP street circuit. At just under 2km in length, the Formula E cars will use the same famous start/finish line before turning right and immediately towards the harbour, where they'll tackle a new hairpin before rejoining with the more familiar track configuration, including the well-known Tabac and Swimming Pool corners. Current champ Sebastien Buemi was the season one winner for Renault e.dams.
Jarno Trulli, former Trulli Formula E driver and Monaco Grand Prix winner:
"I think it’s a reasonably good track and obviously the location is fantastic. It takes in half of the Formula 1 circuit, which is enough for the Formula E car and I’m sure it’s going to be good for overtaking. You can see that going down into the first corner there is a hairpin, then we head rearwards down towards the tunnel, where there is another hard braking with a possible overtaking point and then another hairpin. From there you head back towards Tabac and the Swimming Pool corners, which in Formula 1 were very exciting and challenging. In Formula E cars they will be easier, but nevertheless still a challenge, especially the exit of the Swimming Pool, which is going to be pretty slippery. The last two corners are familiar from the usual Monte Carlo circuit so all in all it looks pretty exciting."
Race highlights: Monaco ePrix
Onboard lap of the Monaco ePrix
Countdown to Paris
Paris - The City of Light – is one of the most famous in the world. France is the country where motorsport as we know it today was created and the city itself is part of that history. At just 1.9 kilometres, the track is the shortest used in season two, although the Monaco track used in season one was shorter. The race takes place around the historic Les Invalides complex, where a sold-out crowd will have plenty of local heroes to cheer on.
Loic Duval, Dragon Racing
“I joined the series last year in the middle of the season and I saw the calendar for this year and I was thinking, of course you expect Formula E to go to city-centres, in the best cities around the world, and you really wanted Formula E to be in Paris. I think it’s well deserved for the city, and the championship to be able to race here. To have a sports event in the city-centre is always positive, to bring the race to the people. When the red lights go out, it’s our turn as racing drivers to make the show a little bit special.
“It looks quite quick in some areas with medium and high-speed corners. Some areas look a bit tricky with really tight corners so there’s always going to be a way to manage the set-up between the fast parts and slow corners, that’s going to be something special. It looks like there are two long straights and a lot of opportunities to overtake to fight with the other guys, it looks really promising.
“I think with the experience of the Formula E guys and the organisation, we’ve been to tracks before where it’s been really difficult to drive, I remember Moscow last year and London and they’ve always managed to find a solution and now they have even more experience. In France we even have a famous cycling race which is the Paris-Roubaix, and there are these kinds of roads. In a way also, if it was possible to have these kinds of difficulties, it would make the race more special and the track more special, we’ll see how it ends up.”
Loic Duval, Dragon Racing “I joined the series last year in the middle of the season and I saw the calendar for this year and I was thinking, of course you expect Formula E to go to city-centres, in the best cities around the world, and you really wanted Formula E to be in Paris.”
Countdown to Berlin
The Berlin ePrix has switched venues for season two. With the Tempelhof Airport facility unavailable, a new track has been created in the Mitte district of the German capital. The 2-kilometre track, which has historic Alexanderplatz and the TV tower as a stunning backdrop features 11 turns and winds its way around Strausberger Platz and towards Alexanderplatz with the pitlane on Karl-Marx-Allee. The season one race was won by Lucas di Grassi on the road, but he was disqualified for a technical infringement, handing victory to Jerome D’Ambrosio.
“Thanks to Formula E and the City of Berlin for making this race possible. I had a look at the circuit this morning - it's an amazing place which will create an absolutely unique atmosphere. Racing through the streets of our capital will make a dream come true.”