Formula E

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Formula E
Formula E logo.svg
Category Single-seater
Country International
Inaugural season 2014–15
Drivers 20
Teams 10
Constructors Spark-Dallara
Tyre suppliers Michelin
Drivers' champion Switzerland Sébastien Buemi
(Renault e.dams)
Teams' champion France Renault e.dams
Official website FIAFormulaE.com
Motorsport current event.svg Current season

Formula E, officially the FIA Formula E Championship, is a class of auto racing that uses only electric-powered cars. The series was conceived in 2012, and the inaugural championship started in Beijing on 13 September 2014.[1] The series is sanctioned by the FIA. Alejandro Agag is the current CEO of Formula E.

Specifications[edit]

Spark-Renault SRT_01 E (FIA Formula E), unveiled at Frankfurt Motor Show 2013

Overview[edit]

The Formula E championship is currently contested by ten teams with two drivers each. Racing generally takes place on temporary city-center street circuits which are approximately 2 to 3.4 km (1.2 to 2.1 mi) long. Currently, only the Mexico City ePrix takes place on a road course, a modified version of the Autódromo Hermanos Rodríguez.[2]

Race day format[edit]

All events begin with two practice sessions in the morning, an opening 45-minute session followed by a further 30-minute session. Drivers each have two cars at their disposal with 200 kW available throughout.[3]

The qualifying session normally takes place at noon and lasts one hour. The drivers are divided into four groups of five, with each group having six minutes to set their best lap. Full power of 200 kW is available throughout with drivers only able to use one car. Since the second season, the five fastest drivers then go out again, one-by-one, in the Super Pole shoot-out to determine the top five grid positions.[3]

The race itself lasts for approximately 50 minutes with drivers making one mandatory pit stop to change cars. Tire changes, unless caused by a puncture or damage, are not permitted during this pit stop. In race mode the maximum power is restricted to 170 kW. Points are awarded using the standard FIA system.[3]

Fanboost[edit]

For each race, fans can vote for their favourite driver via various social media channels to give them an extra power boost. Voting starts about two weeks prior to an event and is also open during the opening six minutes of the race. The three winning Fanboost drivers each receive an extra 100 kJ of energy to be used in a power window between 180 kW and 200 kW.[3]

Point scoring[edit]

Points are awarded to the top ten drivers using the standard FIA system. Three points are also awarded to the driver securing the pole position, while the driver setting the fastest lap 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 a driver's best results. A team's total is made up by counting both drivers' scores throughout the season.[3]

Car[edit]

For the first season, all teams were supplied an electric racing car built by Spark Racing Technology, called the Spark-Renault SRT 01E. The chassis was designed by Dallara, with an electric motor developed by McLaren (the same as that used in its P1 supercar), a battery system created by Williams Advanced Engineering and a Hewland five-speed gearbox. Michelin will be the official tyre supplier.[4][5][6] For the first season, 42 electric cars have been ordered by the series, with four cars made available to each of the ten teams and two cars kept for testing purposes.[7]

An average Formula E car has a power of at least 250 hp. The car is able to accelerate from 0–100 km/h (0–62 mph) in 3 seconds, with a maximum speed of 225 km/h (140 mph).[8] The noise levels are approximately 80 dB (SPL), which is more than an average petrol car which produces about 70 dB.[9] The generators used to re-charge the batteries are powered by glycerine, a by-product of bio-diesel production.[10]

Since the second season regulations allow for new powertrain manufacturers. The manufacturers are able to build the electric motor, inverter, gearbox and cooling system. The chassis and battery stay the same. Eight manufacturers were selected to create powertrain technology for the 2015–16 season, with existing teams Andretti, Abt Sportsline, Venturi Automobiles, and Virgin Racing Engineering electing to build their own powertrain. In addition, Motomatica, NEXTEV TCR and Renault Sport will provide for customer teams.[11]

Seasons[edit]

2014–15[edit]

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.

2015–16[edit]

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.

2016–17[edit]

The 2016–17 FIA Formula E season will be the third season of the FIA Formula E championship starting in October 2016 in Hong Kong. Sébastien Buemi is the defending drivers champion and Renault e.dams is the defending teams champion.

Support series[edit]

FE School Series[edit]

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.[12] However, the series was not continued during the second season.[13]

Roborace[edit]

Main article: Roborace

Planned to start in the third season (2016–17), there will be a support series called Roborace for autonomously driving, electrically powered vehicles.[14] This will be the first global championship for driverless cars.[15]

Records[edit]

Records correct up to and including the 2016 London ePrix.

Champions[edit]

Season Championship for Drivers Championship for Teams
Driver Team Car Team Car
2014–15 Brazil Nelson Piquet Jr. China NEXTEV Team China Racing Spark-Renault SRT_01E France e.dams Renault Spark-Renault SRT_01E
2015–16 Switzerland Sébastien Buemi France Renault e.dams Spark-Renault Z.E 15 France Renault e.dams Spark-Renault Z.E 15

Wins by driver[edit]

Key

Driver is a series Champion
Bold Driver has competed in the 2016–17 season
Wins Driver First win Last win
8 Switzerland Sébastien Buemi 2014 Punta del Este ePrix 2016 Marrakesh ePrix
4 Brazil Lucas di Grassi 2014 Beijing ePrix 2016 Paris ePrix
3 United Kingdom Sam Bird 2014 Putrajaya ePrix 2016 Buenos Aires ePrix
3 France Nicolas Prost 2015 Miami ePrix 2016 London ePrix Race Two
2 Belgium Jérôme d'Ambrosio 2015 Berlin ePrix 2016 Mexico City ePrix
2 Brazil Nelson Piquet Jr. 2015 Long Beach ePrix 2015 Moscow ePrix
1 Portugal António Félix da Costa 2015 Buenos Aires ePrix 2015 Buenos Aires ePrix

Wins by team[edit]

Key

Team is a series Champion
Bold Team has competed in the 2016–17 season
Wins Team First win Last win
11 France Renault e.dams 2014 Punta del Este ePrix 2016 Marrakesh ePrix
4 Germany ABT Schaeffler Audi Sport 2014 Beijing ePrix 2016 Paris ePrix
3 United Kingdom DS Virgin Racing 2014 Putrajaya ePrix 2016 Buenos Aires ePrix
2 United States Dragon Racing 2015 Berlin ePrix 2016 Mexico City ePrix
2 China NEXTEV Team China Racing 2015 Long Beach ePrix 2015 Moscow ePrix
1 Japan Team Aguri 2015 Buenos Aires ePrix

Television[edit]

Formula E provides comprehensive live television coverage shown via major broadcasters around the globe (FOX Sports, Channel 5, CCTV-5, Eurosport, Viasat, Canal+ / Sport+, Energy (Spain), TV Asahi[16]).[17][18] Production is carried out by Aurora Media Worldwide.[19]

Four-time IndyCar champion and three-time Indianapolis 500 winner Dario Franchitti joined the host television commentary team for the FIA Formula E Championship.[20] Franchitti acts as co-commentator alongside lead commentator Jack Nicholls.[21] Pitlane reporter is Nicki Shields.[22] Allan McNish, Bob Varsha and Scott Speed have all previously covered for Franchitti and Nicholls during the first two seasons.

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  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. ^ "Guide – Introduction". fiaformualae.com. 
  3. ^ a b c d e "Guide – Rules & Regulations". fiaformulae.com. Retrieved 2015-12-12. 
  4. ^ "Michelin confirmed as official tyre supplier for FIA Formula E Championship". Formula E Operations. FIA Formula E Championship. 28 March 2013. 
  5. ^ "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. 
  6. ^ "Williams partners with Spark Racing Technology to provide battery expertise for the FIA Formula E Championship". WilliamsF1.com. Williams F1. 11 June 2013. 
  7. ^ "Formula E buys 42 electric racers for 2014 circuit". green.autoblog.com. 18 November 2012. 
  8. ^ "Guide to – Car – Specifications". Retrieved 2015-11-24. 
  9. ^ "Guide to – Car – Sound". Retrieved 2015-11-24. 
  10. ^ "Formula E power generation". 
  11. ^ "Eight manufacturers to enter Formula E next season". Formula E Operations. FIA Formula E Championship. 23 February 2015. 
  12. ^ "Formula E's School Series begins in Buenos Aires". fiaformulae.com. 2014-12-19. 
  13. ^ "Exclusive: schools series axed". current-e.com. 2015-10-05. 
  14. ^ "Formula E & Kinetik announce driverless support series". fiaformulae.com. 2015-11-27. 
  15. ^ "Formula E is planning the first racing series for driverless cars". engadget.com. 2015-11-28. 
  16. ^ FIA Formula E. "Television". 
  17. ^ "Formula E goes free-to-air in China". Current E : Your guide to Formula E. 
  18. ^ FIA Formula E. "CANAL to televise Formula E live for three seasons - Official FIA Formula E Championship". 
  19. ^ "FIA Formula E Championship". fia.com. 
  20. ^ FIA Formula E. "Dario Franchitti joins Formula E TV commentary team". 
  21. ^ http://www.jacknicholls.co.uk/
  22. ^ "Nicki Shields - Scientist, TV Presenter & Broadcaster". 

External links[edit]

Awards
Preceded by
Nissan GT Academy
Autosport
Pioneering and Innovation Award

2014
Succeeded by
McLaren Applied Technologies