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.
1/9Concept to reality in less than a year. The Formulec prototype laid the groundwork for Gen1 in 2012.
2/9Formula E ushered in a revolution when the all-electric open-wheel Gen1 car - a first of its kind in motorsport - was unveiled. 150kW of power on tap in race trim and a 0-60mph time of just under three seconds.
3/9The Gen1 car harboured battery-electric technology that had never been tried on a race track, and set the precedent for Formula E’s blueprint, pushing the envelope of what is possible with cutting-edge EV tech. Two cars per driver balanced the need for battery capacity and speed, for the best possible racing on-track.
4/9The inaugural calendar brought Formula E to fourteen countries and racing in the heart of major cities around the world including London, Miami, Beijing and Berlin.
5/9Formula E kicked off the electric street racing revolution at the 2014 Beijing E-Prix on September 13 2014 and after 25 laps of racing, it all came down to the final corner of the final lap. Lucas Di Grassi (Audi Sport ABT) stamped his name into the history books by becoming the first race winner in Formula E.
6/9On the final corner of the final lap in Beijing, race leader Nicolas Prost (e.dams Renault) and Nick Heidfeld (Venturi) collided spectacularly. Both drivers were able to walk away completely unscathed.
7/9Formula E also broke new ground with its regulations. Round 1 saw the arrival of FANBOOST, a first in sport that allows fans to play an active role in the race by voting to award their favourite an extra boost of power during the race.
8/9Season 1 saw seven winners representing six different teams. Buemi topped the pile with three wins, with Sam Bird (Virgin Racing) and Nelson Piquet Jr. (NEXTEV) the only other drivers to take more than one victory.
9/9Nelson Piquet Jr. took to the top step twice for China Racing/NEXTEV TCR to claim the first Formula E Drivers’ title. He clinched the crown by just one point from Sebastien Buemi (Renault e.dams), with Di Grassi third, after all three headed to the finale with a chance of coming out on top.
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).
1/5After a spin in qualifying, Sebastien Buemi started the Buenos Aires E-Prix at the back of the grid. Thanks to a series of impressive overtakes, some late braking and absolute determination, the Renault e.dams driver sliced past his rivals to take an incredible second place in one of the all-time great Formula E performances.
2/5Former FIA President, Jean Todt fulfiled his ambition to see international motor racing in Paris’ streets: “I’ve always dreamt of a race in Paris. We have accomplished that with Formula E.” It was a historic moment for the FIA and Formula E, with the city now a longstanding fixture on the calendar.
3/5Buemi and Di Grassi headed to the final race of the season in London level on points. The Swiss qualified on pole whilst Di Grassi managed third, with Buemi's teammate, Nico Prost, in-between. In the turn one melee the championship battle took yet another turn as the standings’ top two collided.
4/5Buemi sealed the Drivers’ Championship by just two points from Di Grassi thanks to setting the fastest lap, having been forced into taking his second car. Renault e.dams retained the Teams’ crown.
5/5Lucas di Grassi drives the Formula E car on an Arctic ice shelf in Greenland to raise awareness of the warmest year on record and the amount of sea ice breaking away from the Arctic reaching historic new levels.
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.
1/10A mid-life refresh for Gen1 introduced a redesigned and stronger front wing to better cope with the rigours of street racing and regen saw a 50 percent improvement in efficiency thanks to a major battery tech upgrade. Official Tyre Supplier Michelin introduced an improved version of its all-weather tyre with less rolling resistance and lower weight.
2/10The first outing in Hong Kong proved a war of attrition with drivers getting to grips with the new circuit, Sebastien Buemi (Renault e.dams) picked his way through the pack and others’ issues to win.
3/10Buemi overcame qualifying demotion, after a leak caused his fire extinguisher to report underweight, with win number two of the season and the first winner of an African E-Prix in the series’ history, at Marrakesh.
4/10Freerunner, gymnast and Hollywood stuntman Damien Walters, with movie credits including Captain America and Skyfall, is no stranger to danger. He proposed his dream stunt to Formula E - the perfect synchronisation of highly-tuned man and machine: The Leap Of Faith.
5/10Buemi became the first driver to win three in a row when he followed up with victory in Buenos Aires.
6/10Lucas di Grassi battled from the back despite damage, as he made the most of the safety car’s appearances to claw his way through the pack and seal the win in Mexico – drawing to within five points of Drivers’ standings leader Buemi.
7/10Buemi fended off di Grassi in a spicy encounter around the iconic streets of Monte Carlo, and after his fifth victory in Paris, his lead of 43 points looked mighty.
8/10Drama at Tempelhof saw Buemi disqualified from Round 8, with di Grassi notching a podium behind Felix Rosenqvist (Mahindra Racing) – a maiden winner. The Swiss followed up with victory in Round 9, and damage limitation as di Grassi closed in.
9/10As Formula E headed to North America and New York, the Brazilian capitalised as Buemi missed the double-header whilst Sam Bird became the first driver to win a motor race in New York City, and he tallied another for good measure in Round 10.
10/10The title fight would again come down to the final rounds with arch-rivals Buemi and di Grassi facing-off in Montreal. Disqualification in the opening race of the double header saw Buemi’s title tilt crumble, with di Grassi there to mop up and win the Drivers’ Championship – his first, whilst Renault e.dams scored a third Teams' title in-a-row.
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.
1/6Formula E car vs Cheetah: What happened when a Formula E car and one of nature's fastest animals went head-to-head? Frenchman Jean-Eric Vergne took on the challenge, in a video that has surpassed well over 30 million views on YouTube.
2/6Sam Bird flew out of the blocks for victory on the return to Hong Kong in the opener, whilst Felix Rosenqvist added a pair of wins to his tally for Mahindra Racing in Round 2 from the city-state, before making the top step in Round 3 from Marrakesh.
3/6Reigning champion di Grassi struggled early on, with retirements in Marrakesh and Santiago, whilst Bird, Buemi and Vergne all stretched their legs. The Frenchman took victory in Uruguay and in Chile - where he and team-mate Lotterer came together, but did manage to secure Formula E’s first one-two finish.
4/6Audi’s first victory came in Mexico City, at the hands of German driver Daniel Abt and he would add another in spectacular style on home soil in Berlin with the grand slam of Julius Baer Pole Position, race win and fastest lap – a first in Formula E.
5/6Vergne secured win number three of the season, around his backyard in Paris. Bird, meanwhile, dragged his severely wounded car over the line on three wheels in spectacular fashion.
6/6A late charge from Lucas di Grassi, with the Brazilian storming to wins in Zurich and New York City wasn’t enough to halt Vergne’s charge – the Frenchman having the final say with victory in Round 12 from the Big Apple, handing him the title, though di Grassi and Abt’s consistency saw Audi take Teams’ honours
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.
1/9Introducing a new era and a new car. The Gen2 racer had double the energy storage capacity of the outgoing Gen1 car, so no more mid-race car swaps. Faster, more action on-track and just one car per driver - one wrong move could now prove ever more costly.
2/9In a challenge set by fans, Felipe Massa and the Gen2 car went up against a peregrine falcon in a straight drag race to outrun the fastest animal on the planet, racing in the desert ahead of Formula E's debut visit to Saudi Arabia's historic city, Diriyah.
3/9The Jaguar I-PACE eTROPHY joined Formula E as an official support series and is the world’s first all-electric production based international race series, with drivers piloting race-spec versions of Jaguar's first all-electric road car, the I-PACE. The series came to an end in 2020, but the British marque took learnings from the eTROPHY to boost the range of the road-going I-PACE.
4/9The final corner at Mexico City delivered one of the most incredible overtakes in the history of Formula E. Mahindra Racing's Pascal Wehrlein led for the majority and looked sure to claim his first win, but he ran out of energy just moments from the flag and glory was unbelievably snatched from his hands at the finish line by Lucas di Grassi
5/9From zero to the fastest growing motorsport series in the world, Formula E celebrated its 50th race in Hong Kong, and the drivers delivered an absolute barnstormer. Sam Bird hounded Andre Lotterer (DS TECHEETAH) for the lead in the closing moments of the race, but a controversial move resulted in a DNF for the German, a penalty for Bird and the promotion of Edoardo Mortara (Venturi) to the top step of the podium.
6/9The streets around the iconic Les Invalides in Paris gave the Formula E drivers a new challenge in 2019. Battling the elements - including heavy rain and even hailstones. Robin Frijns (Envision Virgin Racing) held off the challengers, and mastered his Michelin all-weather tyres in the slippery conditions to win the first-ever wet race in Formula E's history.
7/9‘The Streak’ captivated headlines, with the first eight races seeing eight different winners: Antonio Felix da Costa, Jerome D'Ambrosio, Sam Bird, Lucas di Grassi, Edoardo Mortara, Jean-Eric Vergne, Mitch Evans and Robin Frijns. Vergne finally broke the streak in Monaco.
8/9The hotly-anticipated documentary ‘And We Go Green’ premiered at the Cannes Film Festival. The film delved behind the scenes and uncovered the drivers behind the visors, whilst highlighting Formula E’s race against climate change.
9/9Jean-Eric Vergne has risen to be one of the key protagonists in Formula E. The Frenchman's stats read like that of a growing legend with a wealth of wins, podiums and poles. It was his performance in the 2018/19 season that set him apart from the rest of the pack. A rollercoaster season, the DS TECHEETAH driver bounced back from a rough start with a series of wins to clinch his second title and become the first-ever back-to-back champion.
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.
1/8With German giants Mercedes-Benz EQ and TAG Heuer Porsche joining the field and expanding the grid to 24 drivers, the sixth season of Formula E boasted one of the most competitive line-ups in motorsport history. It also marked the first time in motor racing that legendary German marques Audi, BMW, Mercedes-Benz and Porsche would face-off in single-seaters.
2/8Superstars BTS joined Formula E as global ambassadors, with a shared mission to raise awareness and help promote the benefits of electric vehicles and the crucial part they will play in combating climate change.
3/8In a world-first for an FIA series, the second round in Santiago saw the launch of Driver's Eye - giving fans a new perspective from inside the crash helmet, showing all the skill needed to tackle the challenging street circuits.
4/8A new all-electric racing star came to the fore in Santiago as Maximilian Guenther (BMW i Andretti Motorsport) became the youngest race winner in Formula E following a daring pass around the outside of Antonio Felix da Costa (DS TECHEETAH) on the final lap.
5/8Though motorsport was on hold following the coronavirus pandemic, it didn't mean the end of racing. The Formula E stars went virtual with the ABB Formula E Race at Home Challenge sim racing series, a charitable competition that saw money raised for UNICEF.
6/8After five months away, Formula E returned to action with the most intense season finale in motorsport history. The 2019/20 season concluded in Berlin with an unprecedented six races in nine days across three different circuit layouts.
7/8After a dominant and commandingly consistent run across the season including an untouchable performance in Berlin, Antonio Felix da Costa clinched an emotional first title. Alongside his teammate, Vergne, the pair pushed DS TECHEETAH to retain the Teams' Championship for a second time.
8/8Formula E became the first sport to have a net zero carbon footprint since inception. Highlighting the importance of racing with a reason, Formula E has been investing in internationally certified projects in all race markets to offset emissions from six seasons of electric racing.
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.
1/6Under the spotlights for Formula E's first ever night race, Nyck de Vries continued what his teammate Stoffel Vandoorne started at the previous season's closer in Berlin with another win for Mercedes-EQ on the bounce - an ominous prospect when you look at the German marques dominance in other series.
2/6A staple of the Formula E grid since the start and what seemed like a perennial member of the Envision squad, Sam Bird jumped to Jaguar for Season 7 and the Brit wasted no time, scoring his debut victory with the British manufacturer in just the second round.
3/6A relative unknown when he arrived on the all-electric racing scene with Andretti, Jake Dennis quickly made a name for himself becoming only the second rookie to take a victory in their debut campaign. He confidently cruised in a mature light-to-flag win in Valencia - a second would follow at home in London later in the season.
4/6One of the most famous circuits, that's notoriously difficult to pass on. Formula E didn't get that memo when we took to the full layout in Season 7, with almost 150 changes of positions, passes up Beau Rivage and 28 overtakes between the top six. Da Costa came out on top, plunging into the lead on the last lap and taking a leap into the pool in celebration.
5/6From de Vries to di Grassi, Season 7 saw 11 different winners across the 15 races. The highly competitive season came ended in Berlin with an unbelievable 18 drivers in contention for the first ever World Championship honours, but there could be only one...
6/6Nick de Vries left a mark in the Formula E and motorsport history books, becoming our first World Champion but also the first Dutch World Champion on four wheels. Two wins and two second placed finishes in a highly competitive season brought him the top prize.
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.
1/7De Vries opened up his title defence with a victory under the lights in Diriyah, mirroring his victory from last season. The Dutchman struggled for much of the season, but returned to the top step for an emotional victory at Mercedes' home race in Berlin.
2/7After two seasons in Formula E and Mexico being a sore spot for both TAG Heuer Porsche and Pascal Wehrlein, everything finally clicked into place with a debut victory for the pairing - with Lotterer making the day even better by making it a 1-2 finish.
3/7A title favourite at the start of the season, Evans had a slow start to his campaign but the stars aligned as the Jaguar driver kickstarted his year by conquering the Roman streets with a clean sweep of victories in the double-header.
4/7The covers were pulled off the Gen3 race car this season, the future of all-electric high-performance motorsport was unveiled by Formula E and the FIA in Monaco.
5/7Berlin was where Mortara's title hopes were cruelly taken away from him in 2021 with a scary shunt. In Season 8 he overcame any fears he may have had by blazing to two poles and putting in a smooth drive to claim a win and a second across the two days - putting himself and Venturi right into title contention.
6/7Dennis was powered by the cheers of a capacity crowd in London, as the Brit marched to another victory at home, truly placing himself as one of Formula E's front runners after an impressive rookie campaign the season before.
7/7Vandoorne capped off an imposingly consistent season to his first championship win. One victory on the legendary streets of Monaco added to his record-breaking tally of eight podiums in a season. It was a successful Swanson for Mercedes-EQ, with the German outfit retaining their team honours.
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.