|Drivers' champion|| Jean-Éric Vergne|
|Teams' champion||DS Techeetah|
Formula E, known as ABB FIA Formula E for sponsorship reasons, is a single seater motorsport championship that uses only electric cars. The series is promoted and owned by Formula E Holdings. In 2011 it was conceived in Paris by Jean Todt at the FIA, and the inaugural championship commenced in Beijing in September 2014. It is sanctioned by the FIA. Alejandro Agag is the founder and current chairman of Formula E Holdings.
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. 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.
Since 2014, the BMW i8 has been the safety car in FIA's Formula E Championship. The FIA announced in December 2019 that Formula E would be given world championship status from the 2020–21 season, making it the first single-seater racing series outside of Formula One to be given world championship status.
The Formula E championship is currently contested by twelve teams with two drivers each. 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.
Race day format
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 though this was eventually revised to just one vehicle after the introduction of the Gen2 car for the 2018–19 season, with 250 kW (335 bhp) of power available throughout, 25 kW more than the Spark-Renault SRT_01E.
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.
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). 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).
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.
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.
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. 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 6, the additional power has been increased to 35 kW. If there is a full course yellow period or a safety car, attack mode will not be allowed to be activated. Under safety car or FCY, 1kWh of energy will be knocked off, giving drivers and teams more energy management tactics.
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. 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.
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). The generators used to re-charge the batteries are powered by glycerine, a by-product of bio-diesel production.
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.
Spark SRT05e ("Gen2 car")
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. The new cars are equipped with Brembo braking systems, chosen by Spark Racing Technology as the sole supplier. 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. Michelin remains as tyre manufacturer, supplying all-weather treaded tyres.
Gen3 car (2022 - )
The Gen3 Formula E car will race from the start of the ninth Formula E season (2022-2023). Power levels for the car were chosen to be 350kW in qualifying and 300kW in the race, whilst regeneration levels will be allowed on both front (250kW) and rear (350kW) axels for a maximum of 600kW recovery under braking. The battery will also be designed to be able to handle ‘flash-charging’ at rates of up to 800kW, allowing pitstop recharging into the championship for the first time . In July 2020 it was announced that Spark Racing Technology would build the chassis and supply the front axel MGU, Williams Advanced Engineering would supply the battery and Hankook would supply all-weather tires incorporating bio-material and sustainable rubber.
|Season number||Season||Championship for drivers||Championship for teams|
|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|
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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. The car was unveiled in January 2018.
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. The format of the races also changed from a set number of laps to 45 minutes plus one lap.
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.
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. Techeetah won their first constructor's championship.
For the sixth season of Formula E, two more manufacturers joined the series: Mercedes-Benz and Porsche. 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. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic the championship was suspended in March 2020 and all scheduled races where eventually cancelled. The season will be completed in August with six races at the Tempelhof Airport Street Circuit in Berlin.
On 3 December 2019, the FIA announced that the Formula E Championship would be granted World Championship status from the 2020–21 season onwards, due to it having met the criteria of having four manufacturer competitors and races on three continents since the 2015–16 season. 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.
FE School Series
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. However, the series was not continued during the second season.
Roborace is developing the world's first autonomous and electrically powered racing car. The company is planning to develop the first global championship for driverless cars. It held demonstrations at selected races during the 2016–17 Formula E season and 2017–18 Formula E season.
Jaguar I-Pace eTrophy
Formula E and Jaguar run a production-based support series with Jaguar I-Pace battery electric SUVs. The series is called the I-Pace eTrophy and ran together with Formula E's fifth and sixth seasons (December 2018 to summer 2020). In May 2020, Jaguar announced the cancellation of the series.
Race at Home Challenge
In response to the Covid-19 pandemic, which had caused the racing to be put on hold, Formula E organized the “Race at Home Challenge” esports competition. It was run using the rFactor 2 simulator, and featured two separate grids – one composed of drivers from the FIA Formula E Championship, and the other filled by esports gamers and influencers. The winner of the latter series was offered a test in a Formula E car at a future real-world race event.
|1st ePrix||2014–15 Formula E season||2014 Beijing ePrix||Beijing Olympic Green Circuit||Lucas di Grassi||Audi Sport ABT|
|50th ePrix||2018–19 Formula E season||2019 Hong Kong ePrix||Hong Kong Central Harbourfront Circuit||Edoardo Mortara||Venturi|
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). Production is carried out by Aurora Media Worldwide.
2019–20 appearances are to be confirmed as the season goes on, all announced dates are listed.
|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)|
|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|
|Nicki Shields||2014 Beijing ePrix –2019 Paris ePrix, 2019 Diriyah ePrix-||Lead reporter (Left for maternity leave after 2019 Paris ePrix, and returned in season 6).|
|Georgie Barrat||2019 Monaco ePrix– 2019 New York City ePrix||reporter|
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