#FormulaE Season 2 Teams announced…

Formula E’s governing body the FIA has revealed a list of 10 teams that have been validated for entry into Season 2 of the series.

The 10 teams announced are the same as those that took part in the inaugural season of the all electric championship; however various name changes have come about as new partnerships have been formed with technology manufacturers.

The 2015/16 Formula E teams are:

  • ABT Schaeffler Audi Sport
  • Andretti Formula E Team
  • Dragon Racing
  • DS Virgin Racing
  • e.dams-Renault
  • Mahindra Racing
  • NEXTEV TCR
  • Team Aguri
  • Trulli Formula E
  • Venturi Formula E

The teams will now need to submit their registration by July 24th to be verified.

CEO of Formula E, Alejandro Agag, had this to say:

“After our successful inaugural season, it’s very positive for the championship to have 10 teams registering for season two, several of which have backing from leading manufacturers. This clearly shows the strength of the series and we’re already looking forward to getting preparations for next season underway.”

Whether or not the grid is expanded upon with the addition of new teams remains to be seen.

#FormulaE #DriveTheFuture

#Competition London ePrix Giveaway!

We’d like to celebrate a fantastic London ePrix and say a massive thank you to all of our fantastic followers and supporters over the first Formula E season with a competition giveaway:

So for your chance to win a prize bundle of 19 Driver Autographs and a Sebastien Buemi signed Race Programme, as seen below…

Simply head on over to our twitter @FormulaEDiary Follow us and RT the following tweet: https://twitter.com/FormulaEDiary/status/615853765166559232

One lucky winner will be announced on Friday 3rd July. Best of luck! :)

#FEFamily #FormulaE #DriveTheFuture

#LondonEPrix Photography.

The London ePrix grandstands proved to be a tricky place from which to photograph, with metal fences and advertising boards obscuring much of the view. With only one small window through which to photograph the cars, a little creativity was needed…

 

#LondonEPrix Drama as Piquet Claims Title

Sam Bird won the second London ePrix in an action packed race that saw Nelson Piquet win the Formula E drivers’ title by just a single point from Sebastian Buemi. Jerome D’Ambrosio and Loic Duval joined Sam Bird on the podium – it was a result that was result that was enough to give Dragon Racing 2nd place in the Team Standings.

After rain disrupted qualifying and put championship leader Nelson Piquet towards the back of the grid, it looked as though Buemi had done enough to take the championship. There was then drama on lap 16 as Buemi, who emerged from the pits on cold tyres, spun and lost a place to Senna, which swung the points advantage to Piquet who was making his way back through the field.

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The moment Piquet  overtook Salvador Duran for 8th place, putting him in championship winning position.

Despite his best efforts, Buemi was unable to force his way past Senna in the closing laps. The two drivers made contact numerous times but in the end Buemi was left to rue a rare driver error that handed the title to Piquet, who impressively finished 8th after starting 16th.

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The moment we all thought Buemi had made it.

The closing laps also featured a tense battle for the lead between Sarrazin and Sam Bird, however a post-race penalty for Sarrazin handed the win to Bird, who was clearly delighted at taking his second win of the season.

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‘It’s been a mixed season for us at Virgin but what a way to finish. It was a great race; we started fourth, we made the moves stick and the strategy was good. A win at the final race gives the boys back at base some confidence to go into next year. We’ve done some testing and it’s looking promising.’

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Nelson Piquet Jnr. wins the first ever Formula E World Championship.

It’s an emotional weekend for Piquet, who saw his lead to Buemi cut to just 5 points after Saturday’s race before rain ruined his qualifying session. Speaking after the race, he said:

‘One of the things at our pre-race meeting was: ‘’Nelson, don’t ask any questions. Just drive and we’ll do the rest’’. The team didn’t tell me that I had won the championship, I only knew when the commentator came to me on the radio.’

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Written by: Anil Parmar

 

#LondonEPrix Race 1 Round-Up

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Sebastian Buemi took another lights-to-flag victory as he dominated the London ePrix at Battersea Park. Jerome D’Ambrosio took 2nd whilst the Andretti of Jean Eric Vergne completed the podium. Buemi’s title rivals Lucas di Grassi and Nelson Piquet could only manage 4th and 5th respectively. Buemi’s win also sealed the Teams Championship for e.Dams-Renault

Much of the on track action was dominated by the battle of the Brazilians, with Piquet and Di Grassi fighting throughout. Piquet used his fanboost on lap 3 to try and make a move on Lucas di Grassi into the chicane, but a strong defensive move from Di Grassi saw Piquet forced off line and he lost a position to Vergne. Vergne then overtook Di Grassi, before taking another podium for the Andretti team.

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The Brazilian rivals had an epic scrap on lap 3.

Buemi’s dominant win puts him just 5 points behind Piquet in the championship, and he was clearly delighted with the result. ‘It’s been a very good day’, he said after the race. ‘Hopefully we can repeat this tomorrow. For now we just need to look at the data and achieve the same tomorrow. I’ve got nothing to lose’.

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Buemi celebrates a dominant win

A safety car in the second stint, caused by Daniel Abt’s stricken Audi Sport ABT, meant that the teams were less power restricted than initially predicted. This allowed Lucas di Grassi to set a fastest lap on lap 26 – his time of 1:28.2 was enough to give him two championship points.

Despite missing out on a podium, Di Grassi remained in high spirits after the race, although he expressed frustration with a fault in his car, which resulted in a lack of horsepower:

‘My first car had a huge battery problem. That’s why I had to come in early. Tomorrow I will push even harder, I need to win’.

Further down the field was Sam Bird, who made a number of overtakes in the closing laps to finish 6th, whilst newcomer Oliver Turvey finished 9th. Simona de Silverstro also finished an impressive 11th on her Formula E debut.

Buemi’s win puts him just 5 points behind Nelson Piquet going into tomorrow’s race, with Di Grassi a further 8 points behind.

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Written by: Anil Parmar

 

#FEFansForum Review – The Winning Formula!

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One hundred fans descended upon London’s Planet Hollywood last night to take part in the first ever Formula E Fan Forum; where they had the opportunity to meet and put their questions to a number of the drivers from the all-electric series. They were joined by members of the ITV coverage team, race team representatives and a range of media. Everyone present had a passion for this new form of sustainable motorsport in one way or another and you could feel that from the excitement generated in the room. Certainly from the responses we were given during the night and on social media, the event was a resounding success.

Our small team arrived relatively early, but it was great to see a crowd of fans had already assembled in the lounge area and were deep in conversation – in the way that is often so easy amongst motorsport fans – many recognising one another from social media #FEfamily. Of course the buzz ramped up a gear when the drivers and other familiar faces from our TV screens started to arrive; having made their way over from various press events and the necessary track walk within Battersea Park itself.

First to arrive and immediately make himself at home amongst the fans was Virgin Racing driver and London’s very own, Sam Bird. Hugely popular – because of his openness – there’s no doubting that he – with his new Union Jack sporting livery – is going to have the crowd behind him this weekend.

Nelson Piquet Jnr. was the next to arrive, but you’d have been mistaken for thinking Clark Kent had been booked for a guest appearance at the movie themed venue.

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The drivers championship leader as we head into the season finale was almost unrecognisable. Sporting no sign of sponsorship, smart glasses and hair straight out of a shampoo commercial; he was a man looking – dare we say – almost a little too relaxed and at ease ahead of such a decisive weekend. An ominous sight.

Andretti’s Jean Eric Vergne, e.dams-Renault’s Sébastien Buemi and Mahindra Racing’s Karun Chandhok completed the line up on the night. As has been apparent throughout this inaugural Formula E season, it was great to see the drivers having such a relaxed time with one another, sharing jokes and talking openly about one another’s chances for the race.

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As the crowd assembled below, ITV’s Formula E presenter Jennie Gow took over the mic’ – from commentator Jack Nicholls – to start the night. It began by auctioning some signed photographs of the drivers for charity – with Sam Bird’s raising a whopping £105! – before moving on to audience questions. Fans who were unable to attend the event could also send in their questions via twitter and there were some great ones!…

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What was apparent throughout the night was just how much everyone in attendance was enjoying it…

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The night ended with another opportunity for those attending to meet the drivers, collect autographs and have their pictures taken with them. This type of access is something that means so much to the fans and has been so successful in drawing people to the sport throughout Formula E’s inaugural year; stretching back as far as summer testing when no one could have predicted the series popularity. We hope that as the racing category continues to develop and grow over the seasons it manages to hold on to the foundations that have helped define it; as an open, fan friendly formula.

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The triumph of the first #FEFansForum with its capacity crowd, inviting atmosphere and strong  representation from all areas of the sport is testament to those that have helped to grow it; none less so than the fans. We hope it’s the first of many!

#LondonEPrix #FormulaE #DriveTheFuture

by Tom Clancy

#LondonEPrix Double Header – The Definitive Preview

It’s incredible how quickly a year goes by. Just under 12 months ago we were eagerly awaiting Formula E testing at Donington Park; now we are waiting to crown Formula E’s first ever world champion. Lucas di Grassi, Sebastian Buemi and Nelson Piquet Jr will be fighting it out for the title – Who will come out on top?

The Circuit

The London ePrix takes place in Battersea Park and for the first time all year, fans will be treated to a double header. Over 60,000 fans are expected to attend the two races and they should be in for a treat –The Battersea Park circuit looks to be incredibly challenging.

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Mahindra Racing’s Karun Chandok previewed the track for the official race programme and believes that the circuit will be one of the most challenging circuits on the calendar:

‘I think it’s going to be one of the trickiest tracks to driver because haven’t been able to resurface the track for the most part. If you go to Battersea Park at any time you will notice there’s quite a big crown on the road and the road really drops away towards the edges. 

‘In terms of overtaking there’s probably three or four places where we will be able to get up some decent speed on the straight and therefore some decent overtaking at the end of it. It’s a long lap, much like Beijing, and you’ll need to manage the energy. It will be an energy limited race’.

For the first time this year, we may see a wet race. Whilst Saturday is expected to be hot, rain is predicted for Sunday and it will be fascinating to see how the drivers adapt to such conditions. We haven’t had a wet race yet in Formula E…Could this weekend change that?

The Contenders

Nelson Piquet leads the championship by 17 points from fellow Brazilian Lucas di Grassi, with Sébastian Buemi just 6 points further behind. Piquet arrives in London knowing he could win the championship on Saturday – a lead of 30 points (accounting for the points awarded from pole positions and fastest laps), will give him the title on Saturday afternoon.

Speaking ahead of the race, Piquet acknowledges that it’s important not to feel pressured to win. ‘Depending on what’s happening in the race the team may alter the strategy in case the outlook changes to react to another driver or team we need to focus on own result. We are going to have to remain cautious not make mistakes not feel pressured to win’, he said.

For Buemi, who picked up just 4 points in Russia following a penalty for an unsafe release, a victory on Saturday is a must. Overtaking will be tricky on such a tight circuit and Buemi’s ace all season has been his one lap pace – he is the only championship contender to have taken a pole position this year, and its an asset that could allow him to overhaul Nelson Piquet this weekend.

It’s worth mentioning that Nicolas Prost, Jerome D’Ambrosio and Sam Bird could mathematically also win the championship, however all drivers will need a significantly amount of luck to fall their way. For Prost, helping the e.dams-Renault team to wrap up the inaugural teams’ championship is a much more realistic aim. They currently lead the team’ standings by 44 points from Audi Sport ABT.

How To Watch

If you’re a UK resident, the London ePrix will be shown on both ITV4 and ITV. Qualifiying coverage will start from 11:30am whilst coverage of the race begins at 3pm (4pm start).

A comprehensive list of Formula E broadcasters can be found here: http://www.fiaformulae.com/en/guide/television.aspx

Fanboost

As always, you can vote for your favourite driver to win a temporary speed boost in the race. More information can be found here: http://fanboost.fiaformulae.com/

#LondonEPrix #FormulaE #DriveTheFuture

#LondonEPrix The Battle of Battersea Park…

Three drivers… Two races… One venue…

On the 27 and 28th of June, Formula E arrives in London for the double season finale and the crowning of the first ever Formula E World Champion. Let’s take a closer look at your title contenders.

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Nelson Piquet

Since the controversial race-fixing incident that all but ended his Formula 1 ambitions, Nelson Piquet has been rebuilding his career in America. It was only fitting that his first Formula E win was at the Long Beach ePrix, a circuit that his father raced (and won) at – It was a race that he dominated from start to finish.  He heads in the London ePrix double header knowing that he could claim the championship on Saturday – The psychological challenge this puts on Piquet will be fascinating to watch.

Piquet’s run of 5 podiums in 7 races, including two race wins, has elevated him to the top of standings, but he hasn’t had it all his own way. The opening rounds were full of disappointment – he picked up just 4 points in China and failed to finish in Malaysia after he collided with Jarno Trulli. When asked about a regret he has from the season, he singles out the incident:

‘If only I didn’t try to overtake Trulli in Putrajaya where he put in the wall! I should have known better and we would have been on the podium. The lead in the championship would have been even bigger’.

Piquet’s rise in Formula E is down to his exceptional use of the battery power available to him – he is often the fastest man on the circuit whilst using less power than those around him.  After winning in Long Beach, he admitted that this was something he wasn’t experienced with and had to learn:

‘To be honest, it wasn’t something that I had experience in. I just had to learn it. I think it’s the same for most drivers’. 

Whilst he hasn’t taken a pole position yet, it’s hard to imagine Piquet not scoring big points at both events and winning the first ever Formula E championship.

Lucas di Grassi

On paper, Lucas di Grassi has been the strongest and most consistent driver in Formula E’s first season.  Despite not having taken a pole position or fastest lap this season, his 6 podiums, including a win at the season opener of Beijing, have made him a fan favourite and a strong contender for the race win at many circuits.

Di Grassi’s championship challenge fell apart after he was excluded from the Berlin ePrix for running a modified front wing. The win would have been his first since he inherited the race win in China, and his subsequent disqualification could prove to have huge repercussions going into the final weekend.

Speaking ahead of the race, he acknowledges that he’ll have to be aggressive going into the weekend. ‘I will have to take more risks and I will have to fight for the victory in every race, which is what we did in Moscow. In the end we will go for the win and see how the championship goes’.

Whilst Di Grassi has challenged for wins at most racetracks, he has incredibly not secured a pole position or a fastest lap yet. Nelson Piquet has taken 4 points from fastest laps so far this season, whilst Buemi has 8 points from 2 pole positions and a fastest lap. If Di Grassi wants to win this title, he’ll need to take as many additional points as possible come Saturday.

Sébastian Buemi

The former Toro Rosso driver has had a mixed season so far; he’s been blindingly fast on a number of occasions but also inconsistent, mirroring his performance in Formula 1. The same could be said for the e.Dams Renault team too – they emerged a clear favourites in pre-season testing but a number of driver mistakes from both Buemi and Prost have hurt their chances of taking the championship, despite the team sitting comfortably at the top of the Team Standings.

Buemi needs to win the first Battersea event on Saturday, or at worst better the result of Nelson Piquet. A deficit of 30 points come Sunday will eliminate him from the title fight and he’s already dangerously close to that, sitting 23 points behind the championship leader.

Qualifying may prove to be Buemi’s life line – he is the only championship challenger to have taken pole position (two, in fact), and track position will be vital around the tight streets of Battersea Park. e.Dams Renault have taken 4 pole positions in 9 attempts so far this year, and Saturday’s race at Battersea Park would be the perfect event for Buemi to stamp his authority over his title rivals.

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Written by: Anil Parmar

#LondonEPrix Simona de Silvestro suits up for Andretti

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The Andretti Formula E team have announced that the highly-rated Swiss racer, Simona de Silvestro, will drive the No. 28 car for them – alongside Jean Eric Vergne – at the London ePrix season finale on June 27th and 28th.

Simona will become the third female driver to take part in the Formula E championship, following Britain’s Katherine Legge and Italian Michaela Cerruti.

The Indycar podium finisher recently got the chance to get behind the wheel of a Formula E car at a demonstration run in Geneva which will have helped familiarise her with the very unique characteristics of the categories all electric vehicles.


simonaSimona de Silvestro joined the single-seater ranks in 2005 competing in Formula Renault Italy. She then made the switch to Formula BMW in the US picking up a solitary victory and ending the year fourth in the standings.

She turned heads in the Champ Car Atlantic series and later in her debut season in IndyCar, matching the likes of Nigel Mansell, Jacques Villeneuve and Juan Pablo Montoya when she was named Indianapolis 500 Rookie of the Year in 2010. Further success followed as Silvestro became the first woman to claim a road course podium in 2013, when she crossed the line second in Houston.

But Silvestro’s focus was soon on making it in Formula 1 and in 2014 she linked up with Sauber, testing a two-year old car at Fiorano in April of that year. She has since returned to compete in IndyCar for the 2015 season.

http://www.fiaformulae.com/en/drivers-club/simona-de-silvestro.aspx


As currently the only female driver announced to be taking part in the London ePrix, Simona de Silvestro could prove a very popular choice with the series #FanBoost mechanic. Be sure to follow the link over to the official FormulaE website and cast your vote!

#LondonEPrix #FormulaE #DriveTheFuture

#LondonEPrix Are the criticisms fair?

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We’ve been fortunate to witness a truly exceptional debut season for Formula E., with close racing throughout the field and great variety in the circuits used throughout the season.  As the season approaches a double header at Battersea park with the championship battle as close as ever, it’s disappointing to see some negativity has been directed towards the series and the Battersea ePrix itself.

Why The Criticism?

Whereas most ePrix have taken place in the heart of the city, the London ePrix is unique in that it will take place within Battersea Park, one of the most interesting parks within London. Battersea Park is hugely popular with local residents – its lush gardens and open space are well loved by locals and tourists looking to get away from the busy city.

Wandsworth council’s deputy leader is clearly excited about the potential of the circuit. He said:

‘Our great city now has another world-class event to add it its calendar. Formula E is an incredible racing spectacle and a showcase for zero emission electric motoring. This sport is changing attitudes to electric and I’m delighted Battersea Park will be the backdrop for the season finale’.

Criticism does however continue to become more pronounced as the event moves closer, with numerous articles appearing in both local and national media. A small campaign has also been set up by local residents, who have since been offered free tickets to the event, in a bid to see the contract break after the first race to be exercised.

Are they valid?

The main criticism revolves around some of the permanent damage that has been done to the park to accommodate Formula E, as well work that is currently taking place which to many goes against what the park was intended for. Many have also used this as an opportunity to criticise Formula E as a whole, arguing that its ‘green credentials’ are limited when the carbon footprint of shipping the cars and equipment across the world is incredibly high.

The latter point is, of course, not even worth arguing against – If one can’t see the long-term benefit of Formula E in developing transferable battery technology then I’m not going to bother wasting words in an attempt to educate them.

Criticisms of the damage done to the park however are much more understandable, but we can only hope that this does not overshadow the event and the media coverage it receives. The event itself will only take up significant space for five days and the benefit to the local economy will be huge, with over 40,000 attendees expected for each race day.

Formula E CEO Alejandro Agag has also spoken to reassure those against the series that the track won’t harm the fabric of the park:

‘This is the first time in the season that we’re going to race inside a park, and we think that’s a great message’, he said. ‘Clean cars and clean mobility, it feels very comfortable in a park, in a green space like this. We’re making every effort to make the park better than when we came and we think that will be the result. We want the race to be a positive thing for the park’, he continued.

Inevitably one of either two things will happen – either the event will be a huge success and the criticisms will die down, or the disruptions caused by the event will cause the non-vocal locals to have their voices heard. Let’s hope it’s the former….

Written by: Anil Parmar