first posted 2014-10-06
BMW announces official Formula E factory entry
By Tim Biesbrouck – Jul 12, 2017
After Audi announced its factory status in Formula E, BMW confirmed the same this week. Together with their existing partner Andretti Autosport, the German car manufacturer will develop an electric powertrain for Season 5 (2018/19).
BMW already supplied the safety car, medical car and course cars since the inception of the electric race series and partnered up with Andretti to provide technical support the following year. Earlier this year BMW was confirmed by the FIA as a manufacturer for Season 5, but this recent announcement confirms that BMW will enter a works team.
“Formula E has developed fantastically as a racing series and, as a new, technology-based project, is perfectly suited to the BMW Group and BMW Motorsport,” said BMW Motorsport Director Jens Marquardt.
“Forging new paths and driving innovation – these are values shared by BMW and Formula E. Because it is very important for us to demonstrate our technological expertise, we have shown a firm commitment to this project through the registration of BMW AG as an official manufacturer and are facing up to the growing competition there.”
Marquardt always disliked the idea of swapping cars, a feature that will be eliminated in Season 5. “The changes we required for our involvement will come into effect in Season 5 – these include, for example, the omission of the car changeover,” he said.
“The series represents a completely new challenge for us – a challenge we are happy to take on together with Andretti Formula E. Andretti is the ideal partner for this mission.”
“We are excited to expand our partnership with BMW i and serve as BMW’s official Formula E works team beginning in Season 5,” said Michael Andretti, CEO of Andretti Autosport and its global family of race teams. “The ongoing collaboration between BMW and Andretti Formula E has provided a strong foundation for BMW’s entry as an official manufacturer. We look forward to running BMW’s first all-electric racing drivetrain and competing for the Formula E Championship.”
FARADAY FUTURE UNVEILS SPECS FOR ITS FORMULA E RACE CAR
By Gannon Burgett — November 15, 2016
Faraday Future Dragon Racing Team, as it will be now be called, has broken down the nitty-gritty details of its first Formula E vehicle. The 1,940.1 pound vehicle will be able to hit 0 to 62 mph in 2.95 seconds and have a top speed of 150 mph.
Its maximum power output will be 200kW equating to 270 horsepower and the vehicle will have a max regenerative capacity of 150kW, powered by the brakes as drivers enter corners and chicanes. For comparison, Formula One cars require roughly 750kW, for 1,000 horsepower, and Tesla’s street vehicles only regenerate 60kW.
… Driven by a two-speed paddle shift sequential transmission. The front suspension relies on steel wishbones with pushrod-operated dampers and torsion bars, while the rear suspension adds coil springs to the torsion bars.
Faraday Future Dragon Racing Team expects each vehicle to cost approximately $350,000. Drivers switch out of vehicles midway through each race, meaning at least $700,000 is needed to compete in any given race.
Formula E doesn’t have near the reach of other motorsports, but more manufacturers are becoming interested in the electric-only racing series. Audi, Jaguar, Renault, Mahindra, and others are already participating in the series and legendary automobile manufacturer Ferrari recently hinted at the possibility of making its way to Formula E in the near future.
Andretti family in the race
Andretti Autosport teams with Amlin for 2016
“I couldn’t be more excited about Andretti Formula E’s season two plans,” said team owner Michael Andretti. “Amlin has done a great job building their brand across various platforms, and has shown a passion for motorsport; we look forward to what the new relationship can bring.”
With global headquarters in London, Amlin’s multi-year alignment as the primary sponsor for Andretti Formula E seeks to push the boundaries in motorsport; calling on both companies’ shared common values of integrity and professionalism.
Amlin CEO Charles Philipps said, “Amlin and Andretti were quick to spot the potential of Formula E. Both organizations are data driven and tech-focused, meaning there is much to look forward to over the coming seasons. Amlin’s global strength in data analysis and our long-term view of business means fits well with this series and combined with Andretti’s excellent motorsport pedigree means we are looking forward to a fantastic few years.”
A natural fit, the relationship between Amlin and Andretti goes beyond a sponsorship agreement. Uniquely in the racing series, experts from Amlin’s insurance modelling and analytics team will be working with the Andretti Formula E race engineers to develop an in-depth understanding of what the capabilities of the new Andretti ATEC-01 car and how the team can maximize performance in the first season of allowed opportunity in open technology development amongst the teams and new eMotor manufacturers.
Official pre-season testing goes green August 10 with six official series test days prior to the Championship’s 2015/2016 launch. The second season of the FIA Formula E Championship begins in Beijing on October 17, 2015 and runs through to the season finale double-header in London, for a total of 11 rounds of electrifying competition.
First formula-e race, Bejing, China
First formula-e racing motor: the 200kW 270 horsepower electric motor will launch the car from 0 – 100 km/h (0-62mph) in approximately 3 seconds
London gears up for all-electric Formula E racing series
By Will Nichols; 12 Jun 2015
Motor racing is coming to the heart of London for the first time in 42 years. But you can forget the fumes and deafening noise – this is all-electric Formula E.
On 27 and 28 June, 20 cars will race at speeds of 220kmh around Battersea Park to decide the winner of the inaugural season, which has taken in 10 races at city centre tracks in Beijing, Miami, Monte Carlo, Berlin and Buenos Aires.
It marks quite a rise for an idea that Formula E chief executive Alejandro Agag admits “was a PowerPoint presentation” just three years ago, but has since persuaded motorsports royalty such as Alain Prost, Frank Williams, Jarno Trulli and Michael Andretti to get involved, along with manufacturers Renault, McLaren and BMW, and major corporations including Visa, Virgin, DHL, TAG Heuer and Michelin. Richard Branson, Leonardo DiCaprio and Boris Johnson are all fans, with the London mayor instrumental in bringing the race to Battersea Park.
The idea is to showcase electric technology to a new generation of urban consumers who are expected to represent the biggest market for zero-emissions cars. The Chinese team cited the potential for electric vehicles to combat pollution in its cities as one of their main reasons for participating in the series, while consultancy EY suggests Formula E could help drive the additional sale of 77 million vehicles over the next 25 years.
While all teams used the same car in this first season, in its second year Formula E will operate an open championship that allows manufacturers to pursue their own in-house innovations, starting with the development of bespoke powertrains. Agag is confident developments will find their way down to standard road vehicles, improving technology and lowering prices so that electric cars become a much more widely available option.
In the third season, manufacturers will be given even more sway, working on improving batteries with the ultimate aim of ditching the current system of drivers swapping from a depleted to a fully charged car halfway through the race for a single car that can complete the whole race from the fifth season.
The series has also pioneered complementary technologies, such as wireless charging and battery packs powered by algae. Asked if London has anything new in store, Agag says: “We’re looking at introducing solar energy into the equation here in London. Is it to charge the cars? I cannot say too much. We will be announcing it in a few days.”
Formula E has also worked with logistics partner DHL to ensure that moving 40 cars, 10 teams and stacks of other equipment around the world is done in a way that minimises emissions, making use of ships, route optimisation software and duplicate kit among other strategies. Its outreach programme includes a competition for schoolchildren to build and race electric cars, as well as experiencing the Formula E technology up-close.
A full sustainability report covering the inaugural season is due in July and Agag is confident Formula E will “definitely” have met its testing environmental goals, but also generated a genuine buzz as a sporting event.
The concluding two races in London will bring the curtain down on a thrilling championship that could still see any one of five drivers take the title. The sense of momentum building is further enhanced by the impressive ticket sales ahead of the races – Agag says almost 30,000 have already been sold. “We have never sold that many tickets before any other race and they were all sold out, so it looks like it will be sold out here in London and that makes us very happy.”
Once the crowds have departed, the focus will turn to how they maintain that momentum and spread the clean mobility message even further. Agag expects to add new cities to the roster with rumours suggesting as many as 14 cities could host races. “We have pretty much everything [in place] for next season,” he adds. “We will probably add a couple of locations – it’s looking good in that sense.”
More cities means more people experiencing the cutting edge of clean transport technology and, just possibly, the start of a shift to cleaner cities.
Racing goes electric: At the track with Formula E, the first e-racing series
by Jonathan M. Gitlin – Mar 29, 2015
MIAMI—The pit lane we’re standing in is unusual, and not only because it’s a temporary setup placed in the shadow of American Airlines Arena (home of the NBA’s Miami Heat). Garages are set up on both sides rather than being limited to one. A few things also appear to be missing. To start, a familiar smell from the usual mix of burning hydrocarbons is absent. And it’s remarkably quiet. The occasional impact wrench bursts out in a mechanical staccato, generators drone here and there, but there are no V8s burbling, no V6s screaming.
But the biggest omission? Well, it’s what powers the entire event—or, perhaps more notably, what doesn’t.
Welcome to Formula E, the world’s first fully electric racing series. Miami is playing host to the first of two US rounds—the next being held in Long Beach, CA, on April 4—and it’s the fifth race in this ePrix’s inaugural season. Given we’ve got a bit of a thing about racing at Cars Technica, as well as an obvious interest in electric vehicles, we had to be on the ground in Miami to experience this for ourselves.
… at 8 kW/kg, the motor has three or four times the power density of typical series hybrid motors. … maximum power = 200 kW, which is equivalent to 270 horsepower. … The current Formula E battery has roughly the same energy density as Tesla’s 85 kWh unit, which weighs more than twice as much. And at almost 2,000 lbs, the SRT_01E could ill afford to gain more weight.
see full story at
5th race in Miami, USA, Saturday, March 14 2015
Marco Andretti, Andretti Formula E:
“I used to reside in Miami and really miss the city. I’m looking forward to going back and competing there with Formula E. There is no better city for a race – Miami has the best restaurants and shopping and will be a great atmosphere for Formula E fans! The track layout looks great for passing because of the big brake zones and will lend to some exciting racing. Turns 4, 5, 7 and 8 will be very important as they lead onto straights. I can’t wait to turn my first laps on this circuit.”
3rd race in Punta del Este, Uruguay, December 13th 2014
Sebastien Buemi has became the third winner in as many races in the inaugural FIA Formula E series.
The Punta del Este ePrix saw four Safety Car periods throughout the race, the last of which set up for a two-lap shootout at the end.
Pole-sitter Jean-Eric Vergne – making his Formula E debut – lost the dash down into Turn 1 to China Racing’s Nelson Piquet Jr., who started second on the cleaner side of the circuit.
Jean-Eric Vergne was one of three drivers who got FanBoost for the race (the other two being Nick Heidfeld and Formula E debutant Salvador Duran) but was unable to use it due to technical issues.
Not to worry, as the Frenchman was able to line up Piquet and pass him the old-fashioned way to retake the lead.
Two of the four Safety Car periods took place early on for incidents with Sam Bird and Antonio Felix da Costa, but it was the third of which that shook the field up as Stephane Sarrazin spun during the course of pit stops.
see full story at
2nd race in Putrajay, Malaysia, November 22 2014
Sam Bird seals victory in the Putrajaya ePrix
Virgin Racing driver wins ahead of di Grassi and Buemi
Bird dedicates win to Jules Bianchi
Briton pledges win to former team-mate
Di Grassi: “I had a much better race than in Beijing”
Brazilian reflects on drive from back to front in Putrajaya
Maya Karin salutes Formula E
Malaysian celebrity attends inaugural Formula E race in Putrajaya
Formula E is a new FIA single-seater championship and the world’s first fully-electric racing series.
Commencing in September 2014 through to June 2015, the championship will compete in the heart of 10 of the world’s leading cities – including London, Beijing and Miami. For the inaugural season there will be 10 teams, each with two drivers.
It represents a vision for the future of the motor industry over the coming decades, serving as a framework for R&D around the electric vehicle, accelerating general interest in these cars and promoting sustainability.
From season two, Formula E will operate as an ‘open championship’, allowing teams and manufacturers the opportunity to showcase their own electrical energy innovations. Working to the technical specifications set out by the FIA, teams will focus their efforts on improving and developing battery technology in the hope this will filter into the everyday electric vehicle market.
As early as 2011, the FIA stated its desire to see a fully-electric racing series. In line with the challenges facing the motor industry, the championship is expected to serve as a framework for research, and raising interest among the general public in electric cars.
Combining engineering, technology, and science, … the plans of Alejandro Agag [Formula E CEO] were approved by the FIA on 27th August 2012. The championship promoter then entrusted Spark Racing Technology with the job of designing and building the first forty Formula E single-seater race cars. Among the technical partners involved in this venture, Renault played a central role in becoming the architect of the electric powertrain.
Formula E has attracted some major backers and entrants, such as DHL, Virgin, Mahindra, Qualcomm and Audi. It has even pulled in A-list celebrities; actor Leonardo DiCaprio is a founder of one team, Venturi.
The driver line-up is high profile, too, with former F1 drivers Bruno Senna, Jaime Alguersuari, Nick Heidfeld, Nelson Piquet Jr and Jarno Trulli all on the grid.
13/09/2014 Beijing China 22/11/2014 Putrajaya Malaysia 13/12/2014 Punta del Este Uruguay 10/01/2015 Buenos Aires Argentina 14/02/2014 To be announced 14/03/2015 Miami USA 04/04/2015 Los Angeles USA 09/05/2015 Monaco Principality of Monaco 30/05/2015 Berlin Germany 27/06/2015 London United Kingdom
The First Formula E Car
Formula E will be open to any vehicle that meets FIA technical specifications, an effort to motivate manufacturers to push the bounds of electric-vehicle technology. But for the inaugural season, all 10 teams (each with two drivers) will race just one model: the Spark-Renault SRT_01E. With oversight from Renault, the French company Spark Racing Technology will build 42 of them, incorporating parts from F1 heavyweights Dallara (chassis), Williams (batteries), and McLaren (powertrain and electronics). When the first race starts, in Beijing in September, the SRT_01E will show bystanders just what electric vehicles can do.
F1 racecars typically produce 130 decibels at high speeds, but the SRT_01E generates only 80-slightly more than a conventional road car. The “modern, futuristic” sound will come entirely from the tires, transmission, and wind buffeting. The FIA may require cars to produce an artificial sound to warn pit crews as the vehicles approach.
First formula-e racing motor: the 200kW 270 horsepower electric motor will launch the car from 0 – 100 km/h (0-62mph) in approximately 3 seconds
B) Electric Motor – Powertrain
Two McLaren Motor Generator Units (MGUs) – the same ones used in the McLaren P1 hybrid supercar – link to a six-speed sequential transmission and power the rear wheels. Rather than requiring a rebuild after each race like an internal-combustion engine, the MGUs should last two years.
During the race, the car’s motor will be restricted to a power-saving mode of 180 brake horsepower to conserve battery life, but drivers can strategically boost it to 270 bhp for a few seconds at a time. This push-to-pass system will enable drivers to overtake competitors as they exit a corner or accelerate down straightaways to defend against them.
Formula E will be the first single-seater series to require all-weather tires. The bespoke Michelins are treaded for use in both wet and dry conditions. Their 18-inch diameter provides better fuel efficiency than smaller tires, translating to extra power or additional battery life.
Each driver will be supplied three sets of tires; two new sets and one carried over from the previous test or event. These must last for the entire race event – practice, qualifying and race.
E) Pit Stops
Each team has four vehicles, and each driver must make two pit stops to switch cars during the one-hour race. At speeds of 150 mph, the batteries last about 30 minutes (and can’t be swapped out). Qualcomm will adapt its Halo wireless charging to safety cars this year and to racecars in season two.
20 drivers from 10 teams are able to learn the circuits during a one hour practice session with full power (200 kW / 270 hp). Qualifying will last for maximum four laps, including two timed laps. Cars will take the track in stage in order to avoid congestion. The running order will be chosen by the driver who sets the quickest time in practice. The fastest time will count to determine the starting order for the race. Again, full power will be available.
The winner of the championship is decided by the total scored points.
Pit stops and car changes
During races, each driver must make a mandatory pit stop in order to change cars. Unlike other racing series, this must take place in their box and be observed by an FIA steward to ensure all safety equipment is correctly applied. Tire changes, unless a puncture, are not permitted during this pit stop.
Nine official test days will given to the teams and drivers; five pre-season, two in-season and two post-season. Private testing in any way is not permitted. No other running may take place unless for promotional use. Testing will consist of a three-hour morning session and a three-hour afternoon session (these sessions may be divide into sessions to avoid traffic).
a 1957-pound racer that produces up to 270 horsepower, capable of making the sprint to 60 in just under 3.0 seconds. A big chunk of the weight is, as one might expect, the battery pack, which tips the scales at around 800 pounds.
Current electric vehicles typically lack traditional gearboxes because the high, flat torque curve of an electric motor makes them unnecessary. However, gearing still helps get more out of any motor, especially when, as in Formula E, power output varies. Developing electric motors and gearboxes in tandem could help eek out more performance and range from road-going EVs.
The Spark-Renault SRT_01E has been built by new French company Spark Racing Technology. Made from carbon fibre and aluminium, the chassis is both super lightweight and incredibly strong and fully complies with the latest FIA crash tests – the same used to regulate Formula One.
… the batteries produce 200kw, the equivalent of 270bhp. This will be linked to a five-speed paddle shift sequential gearbox, supplied by Hewland, with fixed ratios to help reduce costs further.
Overseeing all the systems integration will be the Championship’s Technical Partner Renault, a leader of electric vehicles and an expert in motorsport thanks to its Renault Sport Technologies and Renault Sport F1 programmes. Specially designed 18″ treaded tires will be supplied by Official Tire Partner Michelin, capable of providing optimum performance in both wet and dry conditions.
15th SEPT 2014
the first race
Lucas di Grassi wins inaugural
Formula E race after big crash
It’s been a long time coming, but the inaugural FIA Formula E Championship finally took place with the first race in China, officially kicking off a new era of electric racing on the international scene with the 2014 Formula E Beijing ePrix.
With all the seats full, racing scion and former ice racer Nicolas Prost claimed pole position for the Renault-supported e.dams team, followed by former F1 driver Lucas di Grassi and Daniel Abt for the Audi Sport ABT team. The following slots were also taken by ex-grand prix pilots Karun Chandhok (Mahindra), Franck Montagny (Andretti Autosport), Nick Heidfeld (Venturi), Jaime Alguersuari (Virgin), Charles Pic (Andretti), Sebastien Buemi (e.dams) and the controversial Nelson Piquet Jr (China Racing). Oriol Servia (Dragon Racing), Sam Bird (Virgin), Jerome d’Ambrosio (Dragon), Takuma Sato (Amlin Aguri), Ho-Pin Tung (China) rounded out the rest of the starting grid, while Katherine Legge (Amlin Aguri) and Michela Cerruti (Trulli) started at the back of the grid. Surprisingly, experienced racing drivers Jarno Trulli, Bruno Senna (Mahindra) and Stephane Sarrazin (Venturi) failed to meet the qualifying threshold.
Despite starting back in sixth place, Nick Heidfeld quickly made his way up the grid as the race electrified. By the mid-race car swap, Heidfeld – a former grand prix driver, Formula 3 champion, Le Mans class winner and Goodwood lap record holder – was up to second place. That’s when things literally took a turn for the worse.
Having dispensed with Montagny, Chandhok and Abt, Heidfeld closed in on race leader Prost. Coming into the final corner, Heidfeld moved to pass him on the left, Prost [moved over and hit him], the two collided and Heideld launched over the curbs and into the wall in a spectacular crash (see video below). After what had been impressive performances, both were out of the race, virtually within sight of the finish line.
Having won numerous races in F3 and GP2, but failing to distinguish himself with the backmarker Virgin Racing team in F1, Lucas di Grassi sped past the wreckage to claim the checkered flag and go down in the record books together with the ABT team as the winner of the first Formula E race in history. Di Grassi evidently gained valuable experience serving as the series’ official test driver in developing the Spark-Renault SRT_01E which serves as the backbone of the series.
Montagny took second, with Bird joining them on the podium after third-place finisher Daniel Abt was penalized for exceeding the 28-kW power consumption limit and bumped down to tenth, Pic took fourth, followed by Chandhok, d’Ambrosio, Servia, Piquet and Sarrazin. The rest of the order was filled by Alguersuari, Prost, Heidfeld, Cerruti, Legge and Tung. Sato, Buemi, Trulli and Senna were not classified. Alguersuari and Legge also received time penalties for using too much juice.
Having been found at fault for the crash, Prost has been handed a ten-place grid penalty for the next race. Meanwhile Daniel Abt’s time penalty cost his team the lead in the standings, surrendered to the Andretti team whose drivers averaged out better than Abt and di Grassi, despite the win. Di Grassi does, of course, hold the lead in the drivers’ standings as the championship prepares for the next race in Malaysia in November.
01 OCT 14
The winner: Lucas di Grassi
You’ve had a couple of weeks to reflect on the race in Beijing and your performance. With the benefit of hindsight, how did it go?
As a result it was extremely positive, but looking back at how we approached the weekend and how we can improve for the next one there is a lot of margin [for improvement]. After analysing my data, because I didn’t know how much energy I was using, I ended up using very little energy compared to what I could have done in both cars, and we lost a lot of time through our mistake in the strategy in the pitstop. So the weekend was far from perfect. I think we can improve as a team much more. We are working very hard, having a lot of meetings about it. So although the first race was a great success in terms of repercussions, the sponsors are very happy – everyone was very happy with the result – in the end even if it was a controversial finish to the race … I think there is a huge margin to improve and we know for sure that the other teams will keep pushing so we have to consider that and keep pushing too.
What was it like to finally drive the car on a street track after spending all that time testing on conventional race courses?
I personally think the track was too slow. I think there was one too many chicanes. Donington is a track with basically five or six corners – and in Beijing we had 12 or 13 over the same distance and there was a lot of stopping and accelerating and the chicanes were very tight, the kerbs were very different and we had to run more kerbs. It was very different to Donington, but Donington was very extreme in terms of performance, in terms of how much the motor will take, how much the battery will take, and I think for Beijing, it was actually very easy on the car in terms of pure performance energy use. Also at Donington, it was much easier to overtake, in Beijing it was much more difficult.
How did the tires work on a surface that’s not designed for racing?
The tires were very good, very consistent all the way through the weekend and there was very little wear – much less wear than we had in Donington. So that was not a problem.
What do you think of the one-day race format?
It’s incredibly busy to say the least. It’s very difficult because pretty much every decision you make is pretty much a permanent one. There is no way back and there is no time to take it back. So if you decide to change a spring in the car or you decide to change the tire pressure or whatever, what you decide you have to stick to it because there is no time to test or re-evaluate. So if you make a wrong decision then your weekend is pretty much compromised. Or if you make one mistake on track and it caused a crash it can cost a gearbox or more. To drive at the limit with this knowledge that one mistake can be fatal for the whole weekend is very, very difficult.
And how did you approach the shakedown?
The shakedown was behind the safety car, so it was really about making sure the motor was working, the gearbox was working. This car has a lot of small glitches that can happen on the electronics side so to make sure it was running smoothly after we had so many problems on the last day in Donington it was crucial for this first race.
Were you surprised by the competitive order or was it pretty much as you expected?
There were a couple of surprises, for example Nick [Heidfeld], who was the fastest guy in the second stint. That was a surprise because in Donington he was never the quickest. Nick was a good surprise and then we had Franck Montagny who did a good job. My team-mate Daniel Abt did an especially good job in qualifying, so he showed that he has the speed. Some guys had a very positive race compared to the testing.
Will things be the same in Malaysia?
It’s different track, it’s a different atmosphere, with it being the second race everybody knows how it’s going to work. The track is very different as well, the track is much shorter.
30 SEPTEMBER 2014
[Formula E CEO] Alejandro Agag answers your questions
Formula E asked our fans on Facebook and Twitter to put their questions to our CEO Alejandro Agag. Here’s what he said…
What sort of regulations will the teams have in year two? Will they be able to build their own batteries and use their own motors, and motor control software etc? I think allowing this would perhaps encourage manufacturers to get involved
Yes, in year two they can build their own batteries and their own motors . They could build their own whole car if they wanted. But the regulations are quite strict and they don’t allow a lot of development in aerodynamics, but they do allow development in motor and battery. I would hope that we have three or four different makers of motors and batteries in the championship for year two.
“Formula E was never conceived as a one-make series. It’s an open championship and we welcome other manufacturers to join. However, the overarching idea is not to create another chassis or aerodynamics competition, but an electric powertrain race. That’s why you can easily fit different powertrains to the SRT_01E, and in future years we could see Spark-Audi competing against Spark-Mercedes-Benz.”
For aerodynamic studies spark racing Technology relied on the engineers of its partner and cFD/wind tunnel specialist, aoTech.
Guillaume Legoff – Director of AOTech
“We’ve focused on the car’s aerodynamics using both CFD and wind tunnel technologies. Working closely with Spark throughout the design and development process, while continuously conducting experiments, meant we were able to see the on-track results for ourselves. Thanks to our CFD simulations, they were able to accurately design the car, calibrate the power and size of the battery and select its optimal weight. AOTech also assisted Spark in visualizing drag and downforce. The aerodynamic challenges we’ve faced are far different from those we’re used to. For example, keeping the SRT_01E’s level of drag as low as possible was much more important compared to other series. This is demonstrated in side-pod and engine cover length. We ran simulations on famous street circuits such as Pau, Macau and Monaco, excluding the long straights as they made little sense considering the battery life. The latter was always going to be a key aspect for the future of fully electric cars, so we ran further simulations to help Spark reach a sustainable solution.”
Two months later, official development driver lucas di grassi gave the spark-renault srT_01e its track debut, completing 40 laps of the la Ferte gaucher circuit in France. “it is a great feeling to be driving the Formula e car for the first time,” reported the former F1 racer. “all the drivers will have a lot of fun with it. There is quite a lot of grip and the electric motor produces huge torque.”
The maximum weight of the battery cells and/or capacitor of the RESS [a rechargeable energy storage system] must not exceed 200kg
as a minimum requirement, all battery cells must be certified to UN Transportation standards
What made you choose open wheel, single-seater Formula style cars, as opposed to other layout options?
To sell the dream of electric cars, it has to be that, a dream. The dream is single seater. The pinnacle of racing is single seater. It’s Formula 1 that makes people dream of IndyCar. … Single seaters and electric have never been together, so we wanted to break that barrier, and that’s why we chose single seaters.
Kieran Timothy Atter @F1KTA
Are there any future plans to extend the calendar beyond 10 races? And what about expanding the grid past 20 entries?
Definitely yes, there are plans to go to more than 10 cities. Next year we will probably be in 12, and we want to grow slowly to get to a figure of around 18 races per year. We are talking to many cities, after Beijing we probably received requests from over 40 or 50 cities from all over the world to host a race, so that’s been really positive. The number of entries is 20 because we race with two cars per driver, so to move 40 cars around the world is already a lot. But I think when we go down to one car per race, when the batteries can last long, and can last for that amount of time, I think we can add two other teams, so that would be a total of 24 drivers.
Can we have a proper fan poll where we can vote on whether we want the music and/or the FanBoost please?
Yes you can. With FanBoost, even if you vote no we will keep it, but with the music we are ready to accept suggestions.
Stefan Ruitenberg @RaceTechStef
How did you get Williams and McLaren involved with powertrain and batteries?
We had a problem when we launched the championship and that was that we didn’t have a car, and without a car it’s very difficult to do a racing car championship, so we looked around all over the world for the best technology possible to put in these cars. Where did we find this technology? In Formula 1. Formula 1 went on the way of hybrid a few years ago with the KERS etc and the teams in Formula 1 have an amazing skill and expertise now in managing electric powertrains. That’s how we found the motor that McLaren was using on the P1. They were ready to work with and that’s the motor we are using in Formula E now. Williams was ready to do the challenge of the battery, which is a big, big, big challenge, because they had experience of the battery they were going to do for the Jaguar supercar. So we found those two companies and we invited them to participate and they were really keen and they’ve been amazing partners.
Has the fan response been what you expected, better, or worse?
The fan response has been fantastic, I think it’s been better than expected. Our website couldn’t take anymore visits the day of the race. Millions of views on YouTube, millions of viewers on television. Actually all the reactions have been really positive. This is a tough sell. Cars that don’t make that much noise, who go more slowly than other racing cars, why would people watch it? They watch it because it’s the future, it’s new technology, it’s exciting and so on, but people need to get that and I think the response has been fantastic.
Dudan Ignacio @imnotdudan
Wet races. How?
I think the best way to have wet races is to go to a place where it rains, and that’s coming up pretty soon, probably Malaysia, where we may have a wet race. We’ve been doing a lot of testing in the rain and I think it could be a spectacular race. And we have a tire that is the same tire for dry and for wet. Michelin has developed a special tire that is for all conditions. It will be really exciting to see these tires under pressure in the rain, and if it’s in Malaysia sometimes it’s quite a lot of rain, and I think we can see a fantastic race with lots of overtaking. Hopefully a good show.
Alejandro can you tell us how you envisage future seasons dealing with battery capacity/charging of cars and relying on one car to finish the race? You hinted about Qualcomm introducing wireless charging, can you go into details how it will be applied in practice?
We see wireless charging as one of the potential elements of the future in Formula E. Definitely battery development – new chemistry will bring the battery capacity to last longer, probably quite soon, maybe three to five years, the batteries can last the whole race, but we may decide because we like it to keep two cars with twice the amount of power and go much faster, we will see what makes a better show, I think probably a combination of both will happen. The wireless charging can be static or dynamic. Imagine dynamic wireless charging – the whole track has dynamic pads under the surface, the cars just go we could do the 24 electric hours with this system.
Nadia Enevoldsen @NadiaSDE
Why is there a minimum pitstop time? It takes all excitement out of the stops!
I completely agree. I wouldn’t do any minimum pitstop time but for safety reasons we need to do it. I know the drivers are also frustrated by that. But when we have a big crash like the one Nick had if he wouldn’t have been strapped correctly he probably would have been out the cockpit so I think it’s necessary for the drivers to take their time to buckle up correctly.
UPDATE Prost penalised for Heidfeld crash
BEIJING, China – A spectacular crash at the final corner that ended leader Nicolas Prost’s race and sent ex-F1 driver Nick Heidfeld flying into the fencing and gave Brazil’s Lucas di Grassi victory in the first ever Formula E electric race in Beijing, China on September 23.
The Prost, son of four-time Formula 1 champion Alain, led the race until the final moments.
Prost made contact with Heildfeld shortly before the finish outside the Bird’s Nest stadium in Beijing. The collision sent Heidfeld’s car flying through the air.
‘I JUST DIDN’T SEE HIM’
Heidfeld wriggled out of the wreckage of his vehicle and appeared to confront Prost, who looked to be gesturing his innocence.
Prost admitted he was at fault for crash on Twitter: Prost said: “I feel very bad about the incident and after looking at the videos I understand that I am responsible. I just did not see him, feel very bad.
“The most important thing is that my friend @NickHeidfeld is OK, sorry again Nick, you know I would never do something like this…”
Heidfeld responded on Twitter: “Thx Nico. Know you and that you don’t drive anybody of on purpose. S**t happens. Next week we fight together in Austin.”
Prost has been handed a ten-place grid penalty for the next round in Malaysia on November 22.
13 September 2014
Sparks fly as Di Grassi wins first Formula E race in Beijing
A spectacular crash at the last corner that ended leader Nicolas Prost’s race and sent ex-F1 driver Nick Heidfeld flying into the fencing gave Brazil’s Lucas di Grassi victory in the first ever Formula E electric race in Beijing today.
The Frenchman, son of four-time Formula One champion Alain, led the gripping race until the final moments.
But Heidfeld made contact with the left side of Prost’s E.Dams Renault shortly before the finish outside the Bird’s Nest stadium in the Chinese capital and went barrelling into the air.
The German wriggled out of the wreckage of his vehicle and appeared to confront Prost, who looked to be gesturing his innocence.
Prost told AFP after the race: “I would not have expected for him to have attempted a suicide move at the end of the race.
“My victory was stolen. It is really hard.”
Heidfeld, racing for the Venturi team backed by Hollywood star Leonardo DiCaprio, had clawed his way up from 17th on the grid to push Prost in the final few laps.
But the crash left the way open for Brazilian Di Grassi, who was racing for Audi Sport ABT.
“When I realised that they were off, yeah it was like a dream come true,” he said.
“I was alone and have won the race, and I am really, really really happy to be in this position.”
“I was very lucky, to be lucky you also need to be in the right place.”
Frenchman Frank Montagny from the Andretti team finished second, while Briton Sam Bird of Virgin Racing, the team backed by British tycoon Richard Branson, took third.
Bruno Senna – the nephew of Ayrton Senna, a huge rival of Alain Prost’s – suffered a miserable afternoon after the front left side of his axle appeared to give way after he collided with another car in the first lap.
He has earlier failed to record a lap time in qualification after having problems with his battery, and started the race near the back of the grid.
Chinese fans packed the main grandstands around the emblematic stadium that hosted the 2008 Olympics.
Some lined the tracksides, carrying children on their shoulders as the futuristic whine of the cars sounded across the track …
Many fans were upset that Senna went out early.
“It is such a shame to see his car being lifted off the track,” said one female fan, surnamed Zhao.
“Motorsport is not that popular in China yet, but a lot of people have heard of Ayrton Senna,” she added.
The Formula E series will see 10 races on different street circuits around the world involving 20 drivers from 10 different teams.
Nelson Piquet Junior, also the son of a former motor sport great, finished eighth. – AFP, September 13, 2014.