History - ABB FIA Formula E World Championship

Formula E History - Intro

What started as nothing more than a shared dream between Formula E Founder Alejandro Agag and former FIA President Jean Todt, noted on the back of a napkin back in 2011, has developed into the fastest growing motorsport series on the planet.

The idea for an all-electric street racing series started out as nothing more than a collection of notes on a napkin.

On the evening of March 3, 2011, FIA President Jean Todt and Spanish businessman, Formula E Chairman Alejandro Agag, met in a Paris restaurant and gathered their thoughts in just a few words on what would become the world's first all-electric international single-seater championship.


Formula E’s founding mission was for its race through the streets of the most iconic cities in the world - with a grid full of the best racing drivers and teams around - to show just what sustainable mobility was capable of, driving electric vehicles to the fore in the race for a better, cleaner future.

Since making its debut in the grounds of the Olympic Park in Beijing in 2014, Formula E has grown into a global entertainment brand with motorsport at its heart. Now, with 12 teams and 24 drivers on the grid, the championship has become a destination for the world's best motorsport teams and racing talent.

Formula E History - Season 1

Season 1 - 2014/15

In just three years, Formula E made it from concept to reality - through prototypes, innovative EV technology for the race track and on to Gen1, with the first race taking place six years ago on the series' global debut in the grounds of the Olympic Park in Beijing.


Formula E History - Season 2

Season 2 - 2015/16

The 2015/16 calendar saw ten races in nine different cities and Formula E welcomed seven new manufacturers into the fold. Regulations were opened up to allow teams to design their own motors, inverters, gearboxes and rear suspension, with power also bumped to 170kW (230bhp).


Formula E History - Season 3

Season 3 - 2016/17

Season 3 featured a significant calendar shake-up, with the championship’s inaugural trip to Hong Kong and a first trip to Africa, in Marrakesh, the return of the Monaco E-Prix, Berlin’s move back to the Tempelhof Airport Circuit after a year in Karl-Marx-Allee and finally, a double-header in New York City – the first time a motor race had been held in the Big Apple since 1896.

Jaguar made its return as a manufacturer in motorsport for the first time in 12 years as the legendary British marque took to the Formula E grid alongside the newly-christened TECHEETAH outfit whilst ABT partnered with Audi to create the Audi Sport ‘factory’ team. US racing giants Andretti entered a technical partnership with BMW, laying the groundwork for the German marque’s impending entry in Season 5.


Formula E History - Season 4

Season 4 - 2017/18

Season 4 welcomed ABB as title partner of Formula E, as the global technology company and the championship came together to drive progress at the forefront of electrification and sustainable technology.

The Gen2 Formula E car was unveiled to the public, with the promise of more speed, more efficiency and a leap so significant that races would no longer include car swaps. The Gen1 car would go out at maximum capacity, as power was increased from 170kW to 180kW (240bhp)

A total of nine manufacturers were now on board, including Jaguar, Nissan, BMW, Audi, DS and Mahindra, vindicating Formula E as a competitive platform for global car manufacturers and mobility providers to test and develop road-relevant technologies.

The swansong season for the Spark-Renault SRT 01E, Gen1, Formula E car saw Jean-Eric Vergne take Drivers’ Championship victory, edging out incumbent champ Lucas di Grassi – though Audi Sport ABT Schaeffler did take Teams’ honours ahead of TECHEETAH.


Formula E History - Season 5

Season 5 - 2018/19

Season 5 was the dawn of a bold new era for the all-electric street racing series.

The first significant change was the introduction of the new Gen2 car. With dramatic Batmobile-esque styling, it had more power with a new lightweight battery now pumping out 250kW (335bhp) for a top speed of 280km/h (174mph). An increase in battery capacity also put an end to pitstops, with technological advancements now meaning one car could fulfil the new format of 45 minutes plus one lap at racing speeds.

Bringing a new tactical element to the races, Formula E reinvented racing again with ATTACK MODE. A challenge for the teams and drivers; leave the racing line to fire up ATTACK MODE but be rewarded with a timed power boost and gain an edge for a few laps.

Led by Formula 1 legend Felipe Massa at Venturi Racing, a host of new faces joined the grid, Belgian fan-favourite Stoffel Vandoorne lined up alongside DTM legend Gary Paffett in the new HWA Racelab squad. There was also promising young talent in the form of Pascal Wehrlein at Mahindra Racing and Oliver Rowland joining former champion Sebastien Buemi at Nissan e.dams, as the Japanese manufacturer entered the fray alongside German marque BMW.

Unpredictability reigned supreme for another season of unforgettable racing.

Formula E History - Season 6

Season 6 - 2019/20

Following a stunning year of racing, fans waited with bated breath for Season 6. The calendar boasted exciting new locations around the globe and the first half of the season didn't disappoint with new drivers coming to the fore in the championship standings. With the world plunged into uncertainty and lockdown following the coronavirus pandemic, however, racing was on hiatus.

There was still hope, though, with the Formula E community banding together during this trying period with Esports, charitable activities in support of UNICEF and more, before the thrilling and unprecedented return at the six-race season finale in Berlin.

In 2019/20 the ABB FIA Formula E Championship became #PositivelyCharged, as the series, its partners, teams, drivers and fans work together to grow electric racing and light up the world with its transformative power.


Formula E History - Season 7

Season 7 - 2020/21

After six seasons of racing on the streets of the world's most progressive cities, Formula E gained World Championship status, a move granted by the FIA - motorsport's governing body in December 2019.

Season 7 saw the most competitive line-up in motor racing fight it out inaugural world title. With 12 teams, including 10 manufacturer outfits, and 24 of the best drivers from around the globe.

Diriyah not only provided the spectacular backdrop to the first race of the season, but it also broke new ground as the host to Formula E's inaugural night races. Setting in motion an enthralling run to the title that saw races in Valencia, Spain, to Puebla in Mexico and a return to the streets of London.


Formula E History - Season 8

Season 8 - 2021/22

Season 8 was another momentous year for Formula E, with new innovations introduced, new locations visited and some major milestones achieved.

The first was the introduction of a brand-new, never-before-seen qualifying format to shake up the action on race day. There were the usual group stages, but instead of leading to Super Pole, they now fed into one-on-one duels. A one-shot lap for the drivers to battle for the Julius Baer Pole Position.

There were new locations added with global destinations joining the calendar with visits to Jakarta in Indonesia and Seoul, South Korea hosting the season finale.

Milestones were hit in the season finale, as the thrilling Gen2 era bowed out with Formula E's 100th race.

Season 9

Welcome to Gen3

A new era means a new car, new locations, new drivers and even more action. Check out what you can expect in Season 9.

Gen3 hero top front light