#FormulaE Returns With A Bang At Putrajaya!

After a quiet debut in China, the Malaysian ePrix showed everyone that Formula E is a series capable of providing some fantastic racing. The race was dominated by Sam Bird, who was in a league of his own throughout the race. 

The on track action saw 2 safety cars deployed with the first half of the ePrix, the first of which lead to Sam Bird taking the lead at the restart with a fantastic move on pole sitter Oriol Servia. Unfortunately there was more bad news for Nick Heidfeld, who was taken out after an ambitious move from Frank Montagny left him in the wall. Despite clearly having the pace in the last 2 races, Heidfeld leaves Malaysia without having scored a point. 

Many of the front runners began to switch cars around lap 18, but whilst pitting early helped some drivers, it backfired hugely from Karun Chandok, who fell down to 10th place despite challenging for the podium positions early on. Daniel Abt was the big winner during the stops; his early stop meant he was able to jump several front runners. He gambled on making the battery last to end but unfortunately fell back to 10th place in the closing laps. 

Later on, Trulli and Piquet collided at turn 1 whilst fighting for a potential podium. This then left Lucas di Grassi and Sebastien Buemi to fight it out 2nd place, with Sam Bird comfortably ahead. There was also some late drama as Bruno Senna pushed too hard and went straight into the wall at turn 9. The Brazilian had an action packed race, using his fanboost to fight back after an early incident with Matthew Brabham’s Andretti.

Whilst Sam Bird dominated, the real winner here was Formula E. After a slow start in Beijing, the street circuit in Putrajaya hosted a great race with plenty of overtaking and excitement. The drivers clearly felt more comfortable managing the battery throughout the stints, although it could be argued that this this was somewhat helped by the two safety car periods early on. The potential is clearly there though, and for a new series to deliver such a great race in just its second outing is very impressive.

If Malaysia is anything to go by, we could be in for a fantastic season.

As always, please tweet us your thoughts on the race over at @FormulaEDiary.

Anil Palmer


What to expect when #FormulaE returns.

After nearly a 2 month hiatus, Formula E finally returns to our TV screens, as the electric circus is welcomed to Putrajaya, Malaysia. What should we expect from this street circuit?

The Circuit

The racetrack in China had to be squeezed around a former Olympic Village and as a result the track layout was rather uninspired, with multiple straights separated by tight chicanes. The street circuit in Putrajaya is rather different, as Mahindra Racing’s Karun Chandok demonstrates:

The track clearly has much more flow than traditional street circuits, mainly due to the variety of corners it has. Whilst turns 5 and the hairpin will require good mechanical grip and low speed traction, turns 8 and 9 are clearly much quicker than anything China threw at the drivers. This is a track where the confident drivers will really be able to throw the cars into the corners whilst others will simply be trying to avoid the walls. Overtaking should also be possible, particularly into T1 and hairpin.


If you’re a fan of Formula 1, you’ll be well aware that Malaysian weather is fairly predictable; it will be hot, humid and wet, quite possible all at the same time. Weather forecasts suggest that rain is likely at one point, if not throughout the whole day, so for the first time we’ll get a true indication of what these cars can do in the rain. It’s worth remembering that the tyres used by these cars can work in both wet and dry conditions, so don’t expect multiple tyre changes!

Form Guide

The e.dams Renault team were simply unstoppable throughout testing but Nicolas Prost’s last minute move on Nick Heidfeld Venturi denied the pair of them a podium in Beijing. It would be foolish to look past either team heading into Malaysia as both teams seemed on top of the battery technology and Nick Heidfeld’s power management in Beijing was very impressive, allowing him to pull a last minute move on Prost from seemingly out of nowhere The Mahindra team will also be looking to threaten the podium, with Chandok impressing in China whilst Bruno Senna will be looking to bounce back from an incredibly disappointing opening race. Fanboost could also make a difference, although we have a feeling that Nicolas Prost won’t be receiving many votes this time round…

Have you missed Formula E? What do you want to see this weekend?

You can leave a comment below, or tweet us @formulaediary.

Anil Palmer

Fans reflect on the Beijing EPrix #FanShare

Fanshare3 com

We asked you guys to let us know what you made of the first ever Formula E race in 140 characters and here are some of your reactions:

@eracing_net Impressive start into the future of racing. Some minor problems but at least the series knows what to improve now.

@alexf1man good race, shame the camera angles made the cars look even slower! And what a sad way to end for Nick Heidfeld. 

@F1_fan_1 it was awesome to watch this new discipline , i enjoyed it alot and except the aweful accident everything was cool

@kkapilaggarwal the race is very interesting but it should be more than 1 hour like 3 cars per driver :)

@LiviaCastrioto  qualifying sooooö boooring!

@IzzyKennedy A bit slow on formation lap and safety car. Pit stops need to drop minimum time. Great racing and sounds surprisingly good!

@hedgeryhoops a race fought closer than we could have thought, great battling throughout for a fresh and exciting new series!

@MattHunter09 Great to see sideways action from these new cars. The noise is certainly unique.

@mynameisdomii The last lap was horrible… how easly you can lost great position!!! However I’ll definately go to FE in Berlin!

@dibird21 pit stops too long. Could be used for strategy/tactics if minimum time was lowered

@myformula_e Plenty to think about. Great drama. Need to work on swap overs. Not convinced by fan boost. Amazing overtaking action!

@richard_mackin just watched the highlights show, proper racing with proper drivers!

@richard_mackin they sound pretty cool, it’s like watching Tron

@ploddingpiggy been a fab start and should definitely dispel any doubters!

@Drogyn1701 I loved it. Only patience I have to exercise is for the long wait between races. Hoping for a more crowded calendar in 2015.

@_Ryan_LH44 A brilliant race! Some close racing and good overtakes! The future is bright!

@One80Darts Awesome event. This will develop into an awesome series

@ClshahCs it sounds like a pack of huge rc cars. I like it

@liamthenry Outstanding opener. Montagny magnificent. Di Grassi gifted. Pitstops prolonged. Heidfeld harpooned. Prost punished.

A largely positive reaction we’d say! Formula E is off to a great start.

Keep your opinions coming in to us @FormulaEDiary

Fans must be patient with #FormulaE

As far as debuts go, round 1 of the FIA Formula E World Championship couldn’t have gone much better. There was action up and down the field throughout, the grandstands were full and the heart stopping last corner, last lap incident between Prost and Heidfeld certainly got everybody talking. Fans at home seemed to be engaged as well, with over 40million people watching the event live around the world and 1billion twitter interactions taking place. For the most part it was a huge success, laying down a great foundations for the sport to now build on. I do however feel that there are some issues that need to be addressed if the fans are going to come back race after race.

Across social media and a number of online forums, it seems many felt that the cars were far too slow in race trim and I can see why this could put people off. Whilst the cars looked fantastic in qualifying with the full 200kw / 270bhp battery power available to them, come the race at times they appeared a sluggish. Why? Well the race was not an all out sprint; it was about managing the battery and getting to the end as quickly as possible. Unfortunately it did seem that the race distance was just that bit too much of a stretch for the battery unit;, however I’m not sure that this will continue to be so problematic.

As much as I hate to compare Formula E to Formula 1, it’s worth remembering that the first few races of the 2014 F1 season were pretty poor, both in terms of racing and as a spectacle. The sound was gone, the cars were heavy and slow and there were very few battles over the course of the race. Shortly before the Bahrain GP, the former Ferrari President joined a number of leading F1 figures in openly criticised the new Formula. Since then we have had a number of absolutely fantastic races, with some all times classics at venues like Canada, Bahrain and Hungary, with some incredible duels between drivers at tracks like Germany and Silverstone.

So what’s changed?

The early F1 races lacked excitement because teams were simply trying to understand the new power units and get the cars to end of the race. It was all about gathering data and maximising points in the early flyaway races; now that the teams are further along the learning curve we’re seeing much more excitement. I really do believe that Formula E is similar. The technology and cars are so different to anything we’ve seen, the street circuit so different from Donington Park race track, that it’s no surprise the opening race consisted of drivers simply trying to reach the end of the race. Once the drivers and teams get more confortable with the cars and, more importantly, gain further understanding of how to maximise the potential of the battery, I’m sure we’ll see much faster and exciting racing.

So give Formula E the chance it deserves. Yes there are some rough edges, but that was to be expected for such a unique series and the first race at that. For now, let’s just sit back and appreciate something new, different and - unlike other categories of motorsport - a series that can really make a difference to the motor industry.

Anil Parmar

A Step Into The Unknown: What to expect from the #BeijingEPrix.

This weekend will go down in the chapters of motorsport history. For the first time ever an electric ePrix will take place, hoping to change the future of the motor industry forever. So what can the teams expect from Beijing?

The Circuit

The 3.44km track will be based around Beijing’s famous Olympic ‘Birds Nest’ Stadium and will feature 20 turns, most of which are either quick chicanes or 90 degree corners. The 25 lap race will see each driver use 2 Spark-Renault electric cars, built by Spark Racing Technology and in collaboration with a variety of manufactures, including McLaren, Williams, Dallara and Michelin.

As with all street tracks, the circuit will be lined with walls and the track itself will be very bumpy, particularly under braking. Expect drivers to be punished for missing their apexes and to get flirtatious with the walls, particularly during qualifying.

The circuit is virtually the opposite of Donington Park where pre-season testing took place, so the teams will be going into the first round of season with little relevant data. Whereas Donington was fast and flowing, Beijing is much more technical with many braking points, allowing for the battery in each car to cool before the driver puts the throttle down again. As a result, we’ll see less overheating problems compared to Donington, where drivers often followed 2 or 3 quick laps with a slow one to cool the battery.


Air temperature is expected to be in the mid 20’s throughout the day and the chance of rain is minimal. Cloud cover could cause some issues with track temperature and therefore tyre warming; as the entire event takes place over one day, we may well see variances in track temperature throughout the event, giving engineers and drivers something to think about. The chance of rain is very low.

Race Day

There will be two practice sessions at the beginning of the day, giving fans a great opportunity to watch the drivers explore the limit on this new track. Qualifying will follow, with the format involving four groups of five cars. Each group will be given 10 minutes to set a time. The drivers will only be able to use one car during this session but they will have access to full power (200kw / 270bhp) throughout the session. During the ePrix, drivers will be restricted to 150kw of power, however a driver with FanBoost will temporarily be given an increased power output of 180kw for 5 seconds. Fans at the event will also be treated to a range of entertainment, attractions and live music.

In the UK, Formula E coverage will be live on ITV4 from 8am (Highlights 6pm).

Are you excited for the first ever Formula E ePrix? Give us your thoughts in the comments section below.

Anil Parmar

Competition: Signed Bruno #Senna T-Shirt!

Update: This competition is now closed. We’ll be bringing you more competitions throughout the Formula E season, so stayed tuned!

For your chance to win a t-shirt signed by Bruno Senna - Mahindra Racing driver - simply head on over to our twitter.

Senna comp

One lucky winner will be chosen at random on Saturday 6th September 2014. Best of luck!

The first ever Formula E race takes place on the 13th September 2014 in Beijing!

Formula E presents its Safety Car

Formula E took the opportunity to unveil its proposed Safety Car during the 5th and final day of pre-season testing at Donington Park.

The thousands of fans who had turned up to attend were treated to their first look at the chosen BMW i8 – officially entitled the Qualcomm Safety Car.

Safety Car

Formula E’s technical team used the test to help evaluate two BMW i8′s and two BMW i3′s - aimed at being the official Safety, Medical and Extraction cars for the series.

These course cars will be fitted with Qualcomm Halo™ wireless charging technology – an inductive charging system allowing the car battery to be charged without the use of cables. The technology uses resonant magnetic induction to transfer energy between a ground-based pad and a charging pad fitted to the underside of the vehicle. The cars simply park over the base pad and charging automatically starts.

The Safety Car will be driven by experienced Portuguese driver Bruno Correia – official FIA-WTCC safety car driver since 2009. The medical and extraction cars will be overseen by FIA Medical Delegate Dr Phil Rayner and his team. Cars will be positioned at the end of the pitlane, charging wirelessly, ready to be rapidly deployed during practice, qualifying and the race.

Photography tips for Donington #FETest

Taking your camera with you to Formula E Testing at Donington to snap some pics of the cars in action? We’ve put together this guide for you.

The circuit can be notoriously tricky to photograph at – unless you are lucky enough to have a media pass to get you in the prime spots – with wire fences obscuring your view in many locations.

Here’s our Top 5 places to head to for the shots you want:

Donington Map1

1. Panning


Take the tunnel to the inside of the circuit and head left to turn one and two. It’s the perfect pair of corners to track the cars through, as you can watch them arrive from down the main straight and follow them from left to right as they gradually accelerate through. The Pit Straight grandstand is another good, nearby alternative.

2. Running wide


Sandwiched between two main straights, the tricky little left-right of the Fogarty Esses has caused many drivers to take a trip over the gravel during testing so far. You might even see a car end up in the tyres on the outside of the track.

3. Lock-Ups


The entry to the Melbourne hairpin is a great choice is you want to catch a car locking a wheel. The cars break as late as they can for this hairpin having reached top speed down the back straight.

4. Close-Ups


You’ll need to put your camera up against the fencing but looking back towards the exit of the Melbourne hairpin is possibly the best location to get some real close ups of the cars at slow speed.

5. Rear view


If you want to get some shots of the Formula E cars from behind, head around the outside of the circuit to McLeans where you can watch the cars exiting the corner & making the short climb up to Coppice. If you are going to this corner, be aware that you can usually only access it by walking clockwise around the track & then back the way you came.

Formula E Diary #Fanshare

We would love to put a gallery of Fans pictures together from testing.


Whether you’re an amateur photographer, a dab hand, or just a fan of the selfie, we would love you to share your photo’s from Formula E Testing with us!

Tweet your pictures to @formulaediary with the hashtag #FanShare

Or email them to us: contact@formulaediary.com

So please get in touch!