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Formula E, known as ABB FIA Formula E for sponsorship reasons, is a single seater motorsport championship that uses only electric cars. The series was conceived in 2011, and the inaugural championship commenced in Beijing in September 2014.[1] It is sanctioned by the FIA. Alejandro Agag is the founder and current chairman of Formula E Holdings.[2]

Formula E
Formula E Logo.png
CategorySingle-seater
CountryInternational
Inaugural season2014–15
Drivers24 (2019–20)
Teams12 (2019–20)
ConstructorsSpark-Dallara
Tyre suppliersMichelin
Drivers' championFrance Jean-Éric Vergne
(Techeetah)
Teams' championChina DS Techeetah
Official websiteFIAFormulaE.com
Motorsport current event.svg Current season

HistoryEdit

The proposal for a city-based, single-seater electric car motor racing championship was conceived by Jean Todt, the president of the world governing body of motorsport, the Fédération Internationale de l'Automobile (FIA), and presented to politicians Alejandro Agag and Antonio Tajani and the Italian actor Teo Teocoli at a dinner at a small Italian restaurant in the French capital Paris on 3 March 2011.[3][4][5] Tajani was concentrated on the electrification of the automobile industry, reducing carbon dioxide emissions and introducing hybrid and electric systems. Agag supported Todt's proposal after the latter discussed the FIA opening up a tender to organise the series. Agag told Todt that he would take on the task because of his prior experience in negotiating contracts with television stations, sponsorship and marketing.[6]

The FIA announced in December 2019 that Formula E would be given world championship status from the 2020–21 season.[7]

RegulationsEdit

 
Spark-Renault SRT_01 E unveiled at Frankfurt Motor Show 2013 – used in FIA Formula E from 2014–2018.

OverviewEdit

The Formula E championship is currently contested by eleven teams with two drivers each.[8] The quickly growing sport features electric-powered race cars similar in style to the hybrid-drive cars of Formula One. Racing takes place on temporary city-centre street circuits which are 1.9 to 3.4 km (1.2 to 2.1 mi) long.[9]

Race day formatEdit

All events begin with two practice sessions in the morning, an opening 45-minute session followed by a further 30-minute session. Drivers originally had two cars at their disposal[10] though this was eventually revised to just one vehicle after the introduction of the Gen2 car for the 2018–19 season, with 250 kW (335bhp) of power available throughout, 25 kW more than the Spark-Renault SRT_01E.[11]

The qualifying session takes place later in the day and lasts approximately one hour. The drivers are divided into four groups of five or six, with each group having six minutes to set their best lap. Full power of 250 kW is available throughout. Since the second season, the six fastest drivers then go out again, one by one, in the Super Pole shoot-out to determine the top six grid positions.[10]

The race itself is set to 45 minutes plus one lap. Until season four, drivers made one mandatory pit stop to change cars. The two pit crew helped the driver to change seat belts and, for safety reasons, there was a minimum required time for pit stops which differed from track to track (except for the last 10 races of season four).[12] Tyre changes, unless caused by a puncture or damage, were not permitted during the pit stop. It is normally unnecessary due to the tyres being all-weather tyre sets. In race mode the maximum power is restricted to 200 kW (268 bhp).

Point scoringEdit

Points are awarded to the top ten drivers using the standard FIA system (25-18-15-12-10-8-6-4-2-1). Three points are also awarded to the driver securing the pole position, while the driver setting the fastest lap (if they finish in the top ten) receives an additional point (two points during the first two seasons). The championship consists of both a drivers' and teams' championship. A driver's end of season total is made up of a driver's best results. A team's total is made up by counting both drivers' scores throughout the season.[10]

FanboostEdit

For each race, fans can vote for their favourite driver via various social media channels to give them an extra power boost. Voting starts six days before the event and closes after the opening 15 minutes of the race. The five winning Fanboost drivers each receive an extra power burst that can be used in a 5 second window during the second half of the race.[10]

Attack ModeEdit

With the fifth season, a feature called "Attack Mode" was introduced in which drivers receive an additional 25 kW of power by driving through a designated area of the circuit off the racing line. The duration of the boost mode and the number of boosts available are decided only shortly in advance of each race by the FIA to stop teams from anticipating its use and incorporating it into race strategy.[13] All Attack Modes must be activated at the end of the race, but do not need to be used up (i.e. if a final Attack mode is activated in the penultimate lap, the driver is not penalized for having it still activated at the end of the race.) Starting Season Six, if there is a full course yellow period or a safety car, Attack Mode will not be allowed to be activated.

CarEdit

Spark-Renault SRT_01EEdit

 
Felix Rosenqvist at the 2017 Berlin ePrix, showing the updated season 3 spec front wing.

For the first four seasons, an electric racing car built by Spark Racing Technology, called the Spark-Renault SRT 01E, was used. The chassis was designed by Dallara, a battery system created by Williams Advanced Engineering and a Hewland five-speed gearbox. Michelin was the official tyre supplier.[14][15][16] For the first season, 42 electric cars were ordered by the series, with four cars made available to each of the ten teams and two cars kept for testing purposes.[17]

This first Formula E car had a power of at least 250 horsepower (190 kW). The car was able to accelerate from 0–100 km/h (0–62 mph) in 3 seconds, with a maximum speed of 225 km/h (140 mph).[18] The generators used to re-charge the batteries are powered by glycerine, a by-product of bio-diesel production.[19]

In the first season, all teams used an electric motor developed by McLaren (the same as that used in its P1 supercar). But since the second season, powertrain manufacturers could build their own electric motor, inverter, gearbox and cooling system; the chassis and battery stayed the same. There were nine manufacturers creating powertrains for the 2016–17 season: ABT Schaeffler, Andretti Technologies, DS-Virgin, Jaguar, Mahindra, NextEV TCR, Penske, Renault, and Venturi.[20]

Spark SRT05e ("Gen2 car")Edit

 
Stoffel Vandoorne driving a Gen2 Formula E car at the 2019 Hong Kong ePrix.

The 2018-19 season features the all-new second generation Formula E car, which boasts significant technological advances over the previous Spark-Renault SRT 01E chassis – its 54 kWh battery and power output rising from 200 kW to 250 kW and top speed rising to around 280 km/h (174 mph). The arrival of the Gen2 car also sees an end to the series’ mid-race car-swaps.[21] The new cars are equipped with Brembo braking systems, chosen by Spark Racing Technology as the sole supplier.[22][23] The new cars are also equipped with the Halo, a T-shaped safety cage designed to protect the driver’s head in crashes, and to protect them by deflecting flying objects.[24] Michelin remains as tyre manufacturer, supplying all-weather treaded tyres.[25]

SeasonsEdit

OverviewEdit

Season No Season Championship for Drivers Championship for Teams
Driver Team Car No. Chassis-Powertrain Team Chassis-Powertrain
1 2014–15   Nelson Piquet Jr.   NEXTEV Team China Racing 99 Spark-Renault SRT 01E   Renault e.dams Spark-Renault SRT 01E
2 2015–16   Sébastien Buemi   Renault e.dams 9 Spark-Renault Z.E 15   Renault e.dams Spark-Renault Z.E 15
3 2016–17   Lucas di Grassi   ABT Schaeffler Audi Sport 11 Spark-ABT Schaeffler FE02   Renault e.dams Spark-Renault Z.E 16
4 2017–18   Jean-Éric Vergne   Techeetah 25 Spark-Renault Z.E 17   Audi Sport Abt Schaeffler Spark-Audi e-tron FE04
5 2018–19   Jean-Éric Vergne   DS Techeetah 25 Spark-DS E-Tense FE 19   DS Techeetah Spark-DS E-Tense FE 19
6 2019–20

2014–15Edit

 
Abt during the Formula E race in Berlin Tempelhof, 2015.

The calendar consisted of 11 races held in 10 different host cities: Beijing, Putrajaya, Punta del Este, Buenos Aires, Long Beach, Miami, Monte Carlo, Berlin, Moscow and finally London, where last two rounds of the championship took place.

The first Formula E race at the Beijing Olympic Green Circuit on 13 September 2014 was won by Lucas Di Grassi, after Nick Heidfeld and Nicolas Prost crashed out on the final corner. In the course of the season, there were 7 different race winners: Sébastien Buemi (three times), Sam Bird (twice), Nelson Piquet Jr. (twice), António Félix da Costa, Nicolas Prost, Jérôme d'Ambrosio and Lucas Di Grassi. The championship was decided with the last race in London, where Nelson Piquet Jr. became the first Formula E champion, only a single point ahead of Sébastien Buemi. Piquet, Buemi and Di Grassi all had a theoretical chance at winning the title in the final round. The team championship was decided on the second to last race, with e.dams Renault (232 points) winning ahead of Dragon Racing (171 points) who surpassed ABT in the final round of the championship.

2015–16Edit

First lap of the 2015 Punta del Este ePrix

The second season of Formula E started in October 2015 and ended in early July 2016. The calendar consisted of 10 races in 9 different cities. For this season eight manufacturers were introduced, who were allowed to develop new powertrains. Sébastien Buemi won the championship with only 2 points more than Lucas di Grassi by claiming the fastest lap in the final race in London.

2016–17Edit

The 2016–17 FIA Formula E season was the third season of the FIA Formula E championship. It started in October 2016 in Hong Kong and ended in July 2017 in Montreal. Lucas di Grassi won the championship in the last race of the season, 24 points ahead of Sébastien Buemi and 54 points ahead of third-placed rookie driver Felix Rosenqvist. The Renault e.Dams team successfully defended their team championship title.

2017–18Edit

The 2017–18 FIA Formula E season was the fourth season of the FIA Formula E championship. It started in December 2017 in Hong Kong and ended in July 2018. Jean-Éric Vergne clinched the title with a race to spare in New York by finishing fifth while title rival Sam Bird failed to score enough points to keep the fight going into the final race of the season.[26]

After enduring a difficult first half of the season, Audi Sport ABT Schaeffler put together an incredible comeback in the second half of the season and stole the team's title away from Techeetah at the final race by two points.[27]

2018–19Edit

 
A SRT05e at the Geneva motor show 2018 (in Nissan concept livery) that will be used from Formula E's 5th season) onward.

The Gen2 race car was introduced for season five with significantly improved power and range, thus eliminating the need to change cars and pit stops altogether except for damages. However, cars are still vulnerable to power exhaustions if red flags and safety cars lengthen races. Gen2 also saw the introduction of the halo driver protection system.[28] The car was unveiled in January 2018.[29]

 
Daniel Abt driving for Audi Sport ABT Schaeffler at the 2019 New York City E-Prix

BMW, Nissan and DS Automobiles would join Formula E as official manufacturers for the 2018-19 season, with Nissan replacing Renault, which had exited the championship to focus its resources on its Formula 1 team.[30] The format of the races also changed from a set number of laps to 45 minutes plus one lap.[31]

The 2019 Hong Kong ePrix was the 50th race of Formula E since its inception in 2014. Formula E raced in 20 cities, across five continents, seen 13 global manufactures commit to the series. Four drivers have started all 50 Formula E races: Lucas di Grassi, Sam Bird, Daniel Abt and Jérôme d'Ambrosio.[32]

After the first race in New York City, Jean-Eric Vergne won his second Formula E championship, becoming the first driver to win more than 1 championship title, and a back-to-back championship title.[33] Techeetah won their first constructor's championship.[34]

2019–20Edit

In July 2017 it was announced that Mercedes-Benz is to join the series starting from season six alongside Porsche, who would announce their involvement in season six only a few days later.[35][36] A number of rule changes were introduced to the championship, most notably the deduction of usable energy under safety car and Full Course Yellow conditions, with drivers having energy subtracted at 1kWh per minute.[37]

2020-21Edit

On 3 December 2019, it was announced that the FIA Formula E Championship would be granted World Championship status from the 2020-21 season onwards, with the championship having met the criteria of having four manufacturer competitors and races on three continents since the 2015–16 season of the championship.[38] For this season, the Gen2 Spark SRT05e car will also receive a mid-life facelift that its predecessor received in its third season of competition.[39]

Support seriesEdit

FE School SeriesEdit

During the first season, the FE School Series for student teams that developed their own electric car took place as support races at selected events.[40] However, the series was not continued during the second season.[41]

RoboraceEdit

Roborace is developing the world's first autonomous and electrically powered racing car.[42] The company is planning to develop the first global championship for driverless cars.[43] It held demonstrations at selected races during the 2016–17 Formula E season and 2017–18 Formula E season.

Jaguar I-Pace eTrophyEdit

In September 2017, it was announced that Formula E and Jaguar would launch a production based support series with Jaguar's I-Pace battery electric SUV.[44] The series is called the I-Pace eTrophy and began together with Formula E's fifth season in December 2018 and is continued throughout the sixth season.

Milestone ePrixEdit

Milestone Year ePrix Circuit Winner
Driver Constructor
50th ePrix 2018–19 Formula E season   2019 Hong Kong ePrix Hong Kong Central Harbourfront Circuit     Edoardo Mortara Venturi

MediaEdit

Formula E provides comprehensive live television coverage shown via major broadcasters around the globe (FOX Sports, BBC, CCTV-5, Eurosport, Canal+, J Sports, Ziggo Sport Totaal[45]).[46][47] Production is carried out by Aurora Media Worldwide.[48]

Presenting teamEdit

2018–19 appearances are to be confirmed as the season goes on, all announced dates are listed

Commentators Appearances Role
Jack Nicholls 2014– Lead commentator (practice, qualifying & race)
Dario Franchitti 2014– Co-commentator (practice, qualifying & race)
Bob Varsha 2016–2018 Main presenter (shakedown & buildup and analysis of sessions)
Guest commentators Appearances Role
Mike Conway 2015 Monaco ePrix-2015 Berlin ePrix, 2017 Monaco ePrix Co-commentator (covering for Franchitti)
Scott Speed 2016 Mexico City ePrix
Bob Varsha 2016 Long Beach ePrix, 2017 Mexico City ePrix Main commentator (covering for Nicholls)
Martin Haven 2016 Hong Kong ePrix-Marrakesh ePrix, 2017 Monaco ePrix, 2017 Berlin ePrix-New York ePrix
Mark Blundell 2017 Paris ePrix Co commentator (covering for Franchitti)
David Coulthard 2018 Berlin ePrix
Tom Blomqvist 2019 Berlin ePrix
Nick Heidfeld 2019 Berlin ePrix
Reporters Appearances Role
Nicki Shields 2014–2019 Paris ePrix, 2019 Diriyah ePrix- Lead reporter (Left for maternity leave after 2019 Paris ePrix , has said she will return for season 6).
Vernon Kay 2018– reporter
Georgie Barrat 2019 Monaco ePrix2019 New York City ePrix reporter

See alsoEdit

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ Telegraph Sport (13 September 2014). "Formula E opens with spectacular crash involving Nick Heidfeld and Nicolas Prost as Lucas di Grassi claims win". Daily Telegraph. Retrieved 13 September 2014.
  2. ^ "Championship Overview". fiaformula.com. Retrieved 1 June 2018.
  3. ^ Carp, Sam (2 February 2018). "Electrified: Alejandro Agag on Formula E's path to the podium". SportsPro. Retrieved 9 March 2018.
  4. ^ Sam, Mallinson (13 April 2017). "From Dream to Reality: Formula E was born in Paris". FIA Formula E Championship. Retrieved 9 March 2018.
  5. ^ Chowdhury, Saj (10 September 2014). "Formula E: Does it have a future in a world dominated by F1?". BBC Sport. Retrieved 9 March 2018.
  6. ^ Kingham, Ben (13 May 2016). "On the subject of Power". Current E. pp. 40–59. Retrieved 9 March 2018.
  7. ^ https://www.bbc.co.uk/sport/motorsport/50644975
  8. ^ "Teams and Drivers". Formula E. Retrieved 23 December 2018.
  9. ^ "FIA Formula E Championship circuit maps". Formula-e.org. Retrieved 23 December 2018.
  10. ^ a b c d "Guide – Rules & Regulations". fiaformulae.com. Archived from the original on 7 June 2015. Retrieved 12 December 2015.
  11. ^ "Formula E presents Gen2 car for 2018/19 season". www.motorsport.com. Motorsport.com. 6 March 2018.
  12. ^ Rdmack2 (18 June 2015), Comparing Pitstops Across Motorsports, retrieved 10 June 2017
  13. ^ Herrero, Daniel (8 June 2018). "Formula E confirms details of unique boost mode". Speedcafe.com. Retrieved 12 August 2018.
  14. ^ "Michelin confirmed as official tyre supplier for FIA Formula E Championship". Formula E Operations. FIA Formula E Championship. 28 March 2013. Archived from the original on 5 April 2013.
  15. ^ "Renault signs with Spark Racing Technology and Formula E Holdings as Technical Partner in the FIA Formula E Championship" (PDF). Formula E Operations. FIA Formula E Championship. 15 May 2013. Archived from the original (PDF) on 12 June 2013.
  16. ^ "Williams partners with Spark Racing Technology to provide battery expertise for the FIA Formula E Championship". WilliamsF1.com. Williams F1. 11 June 2013. Archived from the original on 16 October 2014.
  17. ^ "Formula E buys 42 electric racers for 2014 circuit". green.Autoblog.com. 18 November 2012.
  18. ^ "Guide to – Car – Specifications". Archived from the original on 30 November 2015. Retrieved 24 November 2015.
  19. ^ "Formula E power generation". Archived from the original on 12 February 2015.
  20. ^ "FE–Ten teams entered for the third Formula E season". 1 July 2016.
  21. ^ "Formula E presents Gen2 car for 2018/19 season". www.motorsport.com. Motorsport.com. 6 March 2018.
  22. ^ "The New Tech Headache Formula E Teams Must Solve". InsideEvs. 21 October 2018.
  23. ^ "Next generation Formula E Car breaks cover in Geneva". FiaFormulaE. 6 March 2018.
  24. ^ Stewart, Jack (24 February 2018). "Formula 1's New 'Halos' Could Save Drivers' Heads—And Give Engineers Headaches". Retrieved 21 March 2019 – via www.wired.com.
  25. ^ Alex Kalinauckas. "Formula E unveils its Gen2 car for 2018/19 season". Autosport. Retrieved 9 May 2019.
  26. ^ Grzelak, Antonia (14 July 2018). "Vergne crowned champion at Audi festival in New York". www.e-racing.net. Retrieved 14 July 2018.
  27. ^ Grzelak, Antonia (15 July 2018). "Audi grabs the last title as Formula E's first chapter ends". www.e-racing.net. Retrieved 15 July 2018.
  28. ^ Laurence Edmondson. "Formula E reveals next generation car with Halo". ESPN. Retrieved 7 February 2019.
  29. ^ "Formula E unveils new 'Gen 2' car for Season 5". Crash. 30 January 2018. Retrieved 6 February 2018.
  30. ^ "FIA confirms 11-team Formula E entry list for Season 5". crash.net. 28 August 2018.
  31. ^ Alex Kalinauckas. "Formula E's 'Mario Kart' plan formalised for 2018/19 season by FIA". Autosport. Retrieved 7 February 2019.
  32. ^ "Stat Attack: 10 things you didn't know about the race in Hong Kong". Formula E. 7 March 2019. Retrieved 9 March 2019.
  33. ^ Jerry Perez. "Jean-Eric Vergne Clinches Formula E World Championship in New York City". The Drive. Retrieved 18 October 2019.
  34. ^ "Da Costa joins championship-winning team DS Techeetah". Formula E. Retrieved 18 October 2019.
  35. ^ "Mercedes-Benz to enter Formula E in Season 6 – Formula E". fiaformulae.com. Retrieved 24 July 2017.
  36. ^ "Porsche set to compete in Formula E from Season 6 – Formula E". fiaformulae.com. Retrieved 28 July 2017.
  37. ^ Soulsby, Chris. "Formula E: Formula E confirms 2019/20 season rule and regulation changes". Motorsport Week. Retrieved 3 December 2019.
  38. ^ "Formula E receives FIA world championship status for 2020/21". www.motorsport.com. Retrieved 3 December 2019.
  39. ^ Smith, Sam. "Formula E Gets Official World Championship Status – e-racing365". e-racing365.com. Retrieved 3 December 2019.
  40. ^ "Formula E's School Series begins in Buenos Aires". fiaformulae.com. 19 December 2014.
  41. ^ "Exclusive: schools series axed". current-e.com. 5 October 2015.
  42. ^ "Formula E & Kinetik announce driverless support series". fiaformulae.com. 27 November 2015.
  43. ^ "Formula E is planning the first racing series for driverless cars". engadget.com. 28 November 2015.
  44. ^ "FFormula E and Jaguar to launch support series". fiaformulae.com. 12 September 2017.
  45. ^ FIA Formula E. "Television".
  46. ^ "Formula E goes free-to-air in China". Current E : Your guide to Formula E.
  47. ^ FIA Formula E. "CANAL to televise Formula E live for three seasons – Official FIA Formula E Championship".
  48. ^ "FIA Formula E Championship". fia.com.

External linksEdit

Awards
Preceded by
Nissan GT Academy
Autosport
Pioneering and Innovation Award

2014
Succeeded by
McLaren Applied Technologies