#MoscowePrix UK’s Justin Wilson lands Andretti drive

Andretti Formula E has announced today that Justin Wilson will pilot the No.28 car at next weeks Moscow ePrix. Wilson will take over duties from Scott Speed who has been with the team since Round 5 in Miami.

Most recently driving for Andretti in the Indy 500, Wilson looks to draw upon his diverse racing background as he once again expands his motorsport portfolio:

“I’m looking forward to making my Formula E debut with Andretti. I’ve been following the Championship from the start, and it is a very interesting formula. I appreciate Michael (Andretti) giving me this opportunity. I know there is a lot to learn, but I am excited about this new challenge and looking forward to the Moscow ePrix weekend already!” 

A talented racing driver, 36 year old Wilson has won titles throughout his career as he progressed up the ranks from karting to formula cars. In 2003 he made his debut in Formula 1 racing with Minardi, who specifically designed their car around the 6 ft 4 (1.93m) driver! He spent the last five races of the season with Jaguar where he scored his first championship point at the US GP.

Since joining IndyCar in 2008, the Sheffield driver has impressed at road and street circuits; experience which should put him in good stead for Formula E. He won victories at Detroit in 2008, Watkins Glen in 2009 as well as the Texas Motor Speedway in 2012.

Andretti Formula E currently sit 6th in the Constructors Championship, 10 points shy of Virgin Racing. The will be looking to overhaul that deficit as we head in the final 3 rounds of the season and Justin Wilson could well be the driver to help them do it.

The Moscow ePrix takes place on 6th June. Be sure to join us! #DriveTheFuture

http://www.andrettiautosport.com/news/justin-wilson-to-pilot-for-andretti-formula-e-in-russia

Visa to bring #LondonEPrix to the fans

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Formula E has announced that Visa Europe is to be the title sponsor for the final two rounds of the FIA Championship, the London ePrix double header at Battersea Park on June 27-28th.

Mark Antipof, Chief Officer, Sales and Marketing at Visa Europe said: “At Visa Europe we see this truly collaborative partnership with Formula E as a chance to project our shared passion for innovation. Increasing our current support of this evolutionary sport through the UK finale race is the perfect opportunity to enhance our commitment and engage with fans by putting them at the heart of the action.”

Fans both at the track and watching online will have a range of activity brought to them.

The Visa Fastest Lap will provide UK fans with the chance to take part in a sweepstake to guess the fastest lap time at the event for the chance to win prizes. Fastest lap trophies will also be presented to the drivers who post these times on both the Saturday and Sunday.

Visa Europe will also bring a range of interactive activities to the Battersea Park fan zone, the eVillage.

Alejandro Agag, CEO of Formula E, added: “We’re delighted to be announcing the next stage in our partnership with Visa Europe and for them to become the title sponsor of our climatic London events. Like Formula E, Visa is focused on putting fans at the heart of the race and we’re sure their innovative approach will help us produce a fantastic event and a great spectacle for the British public.”

http://www.fiaformulae.com/en/news/2015/may/visa-becomes-title-sponsor-for-london-eprix.aspx

#FormulaE Canadian ePrix Sept. 2016

During a press conference at City Hall, the mayor of Montreal Denis Coderre made it clear that Montreal would be holding an ePrix in the near future.

‘I met those in charge of the championship and for me, it’s settled. It’s no longer a question of whether, but when. There will be Formula E in Montreal’.

With Montreal celebrating its 375th anniversary next year, Coderre made it clear that the Formula E will be part of a wide range of events and activities:

‘I aim for September 2016 to coincide with a big event for 375th anniversary of Montreal. I spoke with Alain Prost, with Sir Richard Branson, Michael Andretti and they were all very enthusiastic. It won’t be difficult to convince them’, he continued.

He also said that he had spoken to many of the former F1 drivers who now race in Formula E.

‘Eleven of the twenty pilots in the championship have already flown here for Formula 1 and they all like it. They want to go back to Montreal, which is in the top 3 races of the year in Formula 1’.

Acknowledging that there was still no official agreement in place, Coderre concluded by saying that an agreement just needed to be written.

‘I tell you that it’s coming’, he concluded.

#MoscowEPrix Buemi charged up!

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Despite qualifying third and finishing the race third – which was promoted to second following Di Grassi’s exclusion – at the Berlin ePrix, Sebastien Buemi knows he will need to deliver more if he is going to get him hands on the Formula E trophy.

Feared for his qualifying speed – a skill which has seen him claim 3 pole from the last 5 rounds – the e.dams-Renault driver put his relative lack of pace in Berlin down to the unique characteristics of the wide and abrasive Tempelhof airfield circuit. However, speaking after last weekend’s race, Buemi expects to be back on the pace when Formula E arrives in Russia and takes on the city streets of next months Moscow ePrix.

“I need to win in Russia. We were far from the pace here after being under control in Monaco, but I think when we get to Moscow there will be a return to normality. I think the performance here was related to the circuit, maybe because of the concrete surface.”

“I’ve never seen tyre wear as bad as here, and I’m not sure we’ll see it again! This is an atypical circuit and we didn’t nail the setup of the car or the tyre pressures. Hopefully this was a bit of a one-off and we will be back with a better car next time. I’m quite happy with the result in Berlin because I felt it was not our weekend. We were slow all day, so it’s good to get some decent points.”

Sebastien Buemi currently sits second in the drivers championship, just two points behind current championship leader Nelson Piquet. Lucas di Grassi is a further 8 points back, but following his Berlin ePrix disqualification which saw him lose his 15 point WDC lead, the ABT Formula E Team driver is more determined than ever and may take some stopping:

The Moscow ePrix – Round 9 of the FIA Formula E Championship – takes place on 6th June.

http://www.fiaformulae.com/en/news/2015/may/buemi-geared-up-for-russian-fightback.aspx

#BerlinEPrix Di Grassi disqualified! D’Ambrosio claims win

Lucas di Grassi - meets the fans

Lucas di Grassi has been stripped of his Berlin ePrix win, after the ABT team were found to have made modifications to the front wing and front wheel faring of the car. Using ‘non-standardised components’ is the official declaration from the stewards.

The outfit have until 9pm local time to appeal the decision.

Should the decision stand it will have huge ramifications on the Championship battle as Di Grassi looses 25 points and drops down to 3rd place behind Sebastien Buemi, and 10 points behind new championship leader Nelson Piquet.

All this means Dragon Racings’ Jerome D’Ambrosio inherits the race win, landing the teams first Formula E victory.

We’ll bring you more news as we hear it.

http://www.autosport.com/news/report.php/id/119141

 

#BerlinEPrix Mixed Feelings for Piquet

Nelson Piquet Jr produced a stunning comeback drive in Berlin to claim 5th position after starting 13th, however his performance was somewhat overshadowed by his championship rival Lucas di Grassi winning the race and extending his championship lead.

‘I’m pleased but we are fighting for the championship and want to be on the podium every race. We’ve been in the top 5 for the last few race and so we’ve always been up there’.

After a disappointing start to season, Piquet went on a fantastic run of form, scoring four podiums in his last five races. Unfortunately he was let down by a poor qualifying performance, which left him in just 13th place.

‘Qualifying didn’t help us…I don’t really know what happened but we just missed something. I told our team that we would have to smart. We knew that there would be a lot of traffic where I am’.

Piquet ended up running a long first stint, made possible by his fantastic battery conservation. By lap 15 he had 8% more battery remaining than the leaders, allowing him to run a more aggressive second stint.  He admitted that he had to teach himself how to save battery power whilst maintaining pace:

‘It’s something that I’ve learnt to develop and understand without losing track time. Not only that but you can’t lose track position…it’s a psychological game’.

‘I tried to attack at the right stages and save energy at the right stages which seemed to work’, he continued. ‘I managed to save a lap of energy and with the second car I was able to have a quicker second lap of the race, which allowed me to recover a lot of track position’.

Despite his performance, he was clearly frustrated that his rival Lucas di Grassi had extended his championship lead. ‘We did the most we could with the situation that we had but obviously we can’t let situations like this repeat. We need to be at the top of our game at every stage of the weekend’.

With just three races remaining, he’ll be hoping to take maximum points in Russia to put pressure on Lucas di Grassi.

#BerlinEPrix #FormulaE #DriveTheFuture

#BerlinEPrix Heidfeld and Venturi’s best race yet!

Nick Heidfeld

It was a much more encouraging weekend for Nick Heidfeld and the Venturi Formula E Team who currently sit 9th in the Constructors Championship.

The team have endured a more difficult start to the season then they would have hoped for, having performed well in pre-season testing, but only managing to pick up a scrappy 16 points from 8 races.

Despite starting his home ePrix from 4th position on the grid after a surprisingly strong performance in morning Qualifying, 6th place in the race was a very welcome result:

‘In the beginning I was quite quick but in the end I used too much power, especially in the second stint. I had to lift quite a lot and lost a lot of positions’.

‘Sixth isn’t bad. This is the best weekend we’ve had all year with sixth and seventh but of course you hope for more’.

On his battle with Loic Duval

‘That’s the difficult thing with Formula E because you have to save power and when you’re fighting you don’t want to lift! It’s tricky’

‘We’ve learnt a lot about the car and this is the best car we’ve had all season in terms of qualifying and the race. I don’t know if when can take this to the next circuit because here it was a unique layout’

As Heidfeld points out, the Berlin ePrix circuit was unlike any we have seen in Formula E so far, with the airfield offering up a very abrasive surface and a wide open race track. However, Venturi will be encouraged by their performance today and hope they can carry this momentum forward to end the season as they might have hoped to start it.

#BerlinEPrix #FormulaE #DriveTheFuture

#BerlinEPrix Race Report: Di Grassi in a class of his own!

Lucas di Grassi dominated in Berlin to win his second ePrix of the season, extending his lead at the top of the championship to 17 points. He was joined on the podium by Jerome D’Ambrosio and Sébastian Buemi, with championship contender Nelson Piquet Jr producing a fantastic recovery drive to finish 5th.

Di Grassi took the lead on the opening lap from Jarno Trulli, who ran wide on lap 2 and never looked back, opening up a 10s lead in as many laps. The race behind him however proved fascinating, with Nelson Piquet running a different strategy to those around him to take a stunning 5th position after starting 13th. He also took home the fastest lap of the race.

Di Grassi, whose car failed just two corners after the finish line, was clearly ecstatic after his dominant display. ‘I noticed Jarno made a mistake so I took advantage and overtook and after that I just opened a gap. The car had an error after I crossed the line…someone up there was wishing well for me’.

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It was an action packed race that featured a number of overtakes, including a stunning move by D’Ambrosio on Heidfeld in the closing stages. ‘We’ve always had the pace for a podium,especially in Monaco, Miami and Long Beach so it’s great to finally get the podium’, said D’Ambrosio after the race. ‘The track was fantastic’, he concluded.

It wasn’t great news for pole sitter for Jarno Trulli, who after dominating qualifying fell through the order. He eventually retired with two laps to go. Sebastian Buemi also had a disappointing day, despite taking p3. ‘We just weren’t quick today, it’s disappointing. It might be down to set-up.we seem to be strong everywhere but here’. He now trails Lucas di Grassi by 20 points in the standings.

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#BerlinePrix Qualifying Report: Trulli Flies to Pole

Jarno Trulli took a sensational pole position for Team Trulli, bouncing back after a run of disappointing races to deliver a stunning lap time of 1:21.547. Championship leader Lucas di Grassi will join him on the front row.

The challenging nature of the 17-corner Berlin ePrix circuit produced a topsy-turvy grid, with Nick Heidfeld, Jerome D’Ambrosio and Stephane Sarrazin also producing great laps. Interestingly, Trulli’s lap was set in the first qualifying session, when the track was at its greenest.

A number of drivers came close to overhauling Jarno Trulli, with both Lucas di Grassi and Nick Heidfeld setting a number of purple sectors before ultimately failing to beat the pole position time. The final sector of the circuit, which feature a number of technical corners, set Trulli’s lap apart from his rivals; he was regularly 2 or 3 tenths faster than those around him.

‘I’m really pleased. I have to thank my team and sponsors. We’ve struggled a lot. We expected to be more competitive in Monaco but I’m glad our progress has showed here’. 

Championship leader Lucas di Grassi, who is yet to take a pole position in Formula E, will be delighted to have qualified ahead of his championship rivals as he looks to maximise his points title. With Nelson Piquet Jr, his nearest championship rival, starting outside of the top 10, Lucas di Grassi has a great opportunity to extend his championship lead.

‘Championships aren’t won by pole positions; they are won by being at the top in the races. I’m very happy with the work that everyone has done, especially at the team’s home race in Germany. In Monaco it was very difficult to overtake but we won’t have that problem here’.

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British driver Sam Bird, who desperately needs a big points total to stay in the championship hunt, looks to be in for a long afternoon after a spin during qualifying meant that he could only manage 15th.

So as we head into the Berlin ePrix, your grid line-up looks as follows:

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Be sure to join us later for the race live over on our twitter page @FormulaEDiary

#BerlinEPrix #FormulaE #DriveTheFuture

 

#FormulaE to be Firm On Cost Cutting

Ahead of this Saturday’s Berlin ePrix, Formula E CEO Alejandro Agag has stated that the sport may well postpone introducing Battery Competition into the series until the 5th season in 2018/19. This would coincide with FE’s plans to have cars complete a full race distance without the need to change cars.

The original plan was to have teams producing their own batteries for the third season in 2016/17, however in order to keep costs down Agag says that he would teams continue to work collectively on batteries for a longer period of time:

“The costs of developing one battery each are very high, so we are suggesting to the teams that the best thing is for them to pool together and develop a [common] battery. That means there are more resources to develop it and they can make a significant jump.”

“Everyone is talking about cost-control and we need to make that happen and need to take these things step by step because teams need to be profitable.

“To do that, you need to plan ahead. We are seeing in our conversations with OEMs [manufacturers] that this is important to them. Season three is tomorrow, what they are really interested in is how the cars are going to be in season five so they can really plan ahead.”

The current first-generation of batteries are provided to Formula E by Williams. Agag reaffirms the need for this battery technology to continuing improving in order to allow for increased power and energy management:

“We want to make an evolution on the battery for season three and sticking with the current battery would not allow for that big a jump,” said Agag.

“So we want to develop a new one; it might be Williams or it might be someone else who builds it but we think it should be one [common battery].”

This proposed change to Formula E’s evolutionary timeline will need approval from the teams if it is to go ahead, but in this Agag is optimistic:

“We are a promoter and we don’t interfere, and it’s also not a question of whether the FIA wants to regulate – it would need to be an agreement between all of the teams,”

“All of the teams are sensitive to the argument of cost control and all want this championship to work, and they cannot go and spend tens of millions developing a battery yet. It will come, eventually, but later.”

Trying to manage the ever increasing costs within global motorsport is a topic that never goes away. It’s therefore highly encouraging for the future of Formula E that the sport is looking to set out firm decisions right from the word go [go go]!

#BerlinePrix #FormulaE #DriveTheFuture

Story courtesy of autosport of: http://www.autosport.com/news/report.php/id/119107