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Formula E
Formula E

Formula E is a class of motorsport that uses only electric-powered cars. The series was conceived in 2011, and the inaugural championship commenced in Beijing in September 2014.[1] The series is in its fifth season. It is sanctioned by the FIA. Alejandro Agag is the founder and current chairman of Formula E Holdings.[2]

History


The proposal for a city-based, single-seater electric car motor racing championship was conceived by Jean Todt, the president of the world governing body of motorsport, the Fédération Internationale de l'Automobile (FIA), and presented to politicians Alejandro Agag and Antonio Tajani and the Italian actor Teo Teocoli at a dinner at a small Italian restaurant in the French capital Paris on 3 March 2011.[3][4][5] Tajani was concentrated on the electrification of the automobile industry, reducing carbon dioxide emissions and introducing hybrid and electric systems. Agag supported Todt's proposal after the latter discussed the FIA opening up a tender to organise the series. Agag told Todt that he would take on the task because of his prior experience in negotiating contracts with television stations, sponsorship and marketing.[6]

Regulations


The Formula E championship is currently contested by eleven teams with two drivers each.[7] The quickly growing sport features electric-powered race cars similar in style to the hybrid-drive cars of Formula One. Racing takes place on temporary city-centre street circuits which are 1.9 to 3.4 km (1.2 to 2.1 mi) long.[8]

All events begin with two practice sessions in the morning, an opening 45-minute session followed by a further 30-minute session. Drivers originally had two cars at their disposal[9] though this was eventually revised to just one vehicle after the introduction of the Gen2 car for the 2018–19 season, with 250 kW (335bhp) of power available throughout.[10]

The qualifying session takes place later in the day and lasts approximately one hour. The drivers are divided into four groups of five or six, with each group having six minutes to set their best lap. Full power of 250 kW is available throughout. Since the second season, the six fastest drivers then go out again, one by one, in the Super Pole shoot-out to determine the top six grid positions.[9]

The race itself is set to 45 minutes plus one lap. Until season four, drivers made one mandatory pit stop to change cars. The two pit crew helped the driver to change seat belts and, for safety reasons, there was a minimum required time for pit stops which differed from track to track (except for the last 10 races of season four).[11] Tyre changes, unless caused by a puncture or damage, were not permitted during the pit stop. It is normally unnecessary due to the tyres being all-weather tyre sets. In race mode the maximum power is restricted to 200 kW (268bhp).

Points are awarded to the top ten drivers using the standard FIA system (25-18-15-12-10-8-6-4-2-1). Three points are also awarded to the driver securing the pole position, while the driver setting the fastest lap (if they finish in the top ten) receives an additional point (two points during the first two seasons). The championship consists of both a drivers' and teams' championship. A driver's end of season total is made up of a driver's best results. A team's total is made up by counting both drivers' scores throughout the season.[9]

For each race, fans can vote for their favourite driver via various social media channels to give them an extra power boost. Voting starts six days before the event and closes after the opening 15 minutes of the race. The five winning Fanboost drivers each receive an extra power burst that can be used in a 5 second window during the second half of the race.[9]

With the fifth season, a feature called "Attack Mode" was introduced in which drivers receive an additional 25 kW of power by driving through a designated area of the circuit off the racing line. The duration of the boost mode and the number of boosts available are decided only shortly in advance of each race by the FIA to stop teams from anticipating its use and incorporating it into race strategy.[12] All Attack Modes must be activated at the end of the race, but do not need to be used up (i.e. if a final Attack mode is activated in the penultimate lap, the driver is not penalized for having it still activated at the end of the race.)

Car


For the first four seasons, an electric racing car built by Spark Racing Technology, called the Spark-Renault SRT 01E, was used. The chassis was designed by Dallara, a battery system created by Williams Advanced Engineering and a Hewland five-speed gearbox. Michelin was the official tyre supplier.[13][14][15] For the first season, 42 electric cars were ordered by the series, with four cars made available to each of the ten teams and two cars kept for testing purposes.[16]

This first Formula E car had a power of at least 250 horsepower (190 kW). The car was able to accelerate from 0–100 km/h (0–62 mph) in 3 seconds, with a maximum speed of 225 km/h (140 mph).[17] The generators used to re-charge the batteries are powered by glycerine, a by-product of bio-diesel production.[18]

In the first season, all teams used an electric motor developed by McLaren (the same as that used in its P1 supercar). But since the second season, powertrain manufacturers could build their own electric motor, inverter, gearbox and cooling system; the chassis and battery stayed the same. There were nine manufacturers creating powertrains for the 2016–17 season: ABT Schaeffler, Andretti Technologies, DS-Virgin, Jaguar, Mahindra, NextEV TCR, Penske, Renault, and Venturi.[19]

The 2018-19 season features the all-new second generation Formula E car, which boasts significant technological advances over the previous Spark-Renault SRT_01E chassis – its 54 kWh battery and power output rising from 200 kW to 250 kW and top speed rising to around 280 km/h (174 mph). The arrival of the Gen2 car also sees an end to the series’ mid-race car-swaps.[20] The new cars are equipped with Brembo braking systems, chosen by Spark Racing Technology as the sole supplier. [21][22] The new cars are also equipped with the Halo, a T-shaped safety cage designed to protect the driver’s head in crashes, and to protect them by deflecting flying objects.[23] Michelin remains as tyre manufacturer, supplying all-weather treaded tyres.[24]

Seasons


The calendar consisted of 11 races held in 10 different host cities: Beijing, Putrajaya, Punta del Este, Buenos Aires, Long Beach, Miami, Monte Carlo, Berlin, Moscow and finally London, where last two rounds of the championship took place.

The first Formula E race at the Beijing Olympic Green Circuit on 13 September 2014 was won by Lucas Di Grassi, after Nick Heidfeld and Nicolas Prost crashed out on the final corner. In the course of the season, there were 7 different race winners: Sébastien Buemi (three times), Sam Bird (twice), Nelson Piquet Jr. (twice), António Félix da Costa, Nicolas Prost, Jérôme d'Ambrosio and Lucas Di Grassi. The championship was decided with the last race in London, where Nelson Piquet Jr. became the first Formula E champion, only a single point ahead of Sébastien Buemi. Piquet, Buemi and Di Grassi all had a theoretical chance at winning the title in the final round. The team championship was decided on the second to last race, with e.dams Renault (232 points) winning ahead of Dragon Racing (171 points) who surpassed ABT in the final round of the championship.

The second season of Formula E started in October 2015 and ended in early July 2016. The calendar consisted of 10 races in 9 different cities. For this season eight manufacturers were introduced, who were allowed to develop new powertrains. Sébastien Buemi won the championship with only 2 points more than Lucas di Grassi by claiming the fastest lap in the final race in London.

The 2016–17 FIA Formula E season was the third season of the FIA Formula E championship. It started in October 2016 in Hong Kong and ended in July 2017 in Montreal. Lucas di Grassi won the championship in the last race of the season, 24 points ahead of Sébastien Buemi and 54 points ahead of third-placed rookie driver Felix Rosenqvist. The Renault e.Dams team successfully defended their team championship title.

The 2017–18 FIA Formula E season was the fourth season of the FIA Formula E championship. It started in December 2017 in Hong Kong and ended in July 2018. Jean-Éric Vergne clinched the title with a race to spare in New York by finishing fifth while title rival Sam Bird failed to score enough points to keep the fight going into the final race of the season.[25]

After enduring a difficult first half of the season, Audi Sport ABT Schaeffler put together an incredible comeback in the second half of the season and stole the team's title away from Techeetah at the final race by two points.[26]

The Gen2 race car was introduced for season five with significantly improved power and range, thus eliminating the need to change cars and pit stops altogether except for damages. However, cars are still vulnerable to power exhaustions if red flags and safety cars lengthen races. Gen2 also saw the introduction of the halo driver protection system.[27] The car was unveiled in January 2018.[28]

#66 driving for Audi Sport ABT Schaeffler during the 2019 ABB FIA Formula E Championship in NYC]]

BMW, Nissan and DS Automobiles joined Formula E as official manufacturers for the 2018-19 season.[29] The format of the races also changed from a set number of laps to 45 minutes plus one lap.[30]

The Hong Kong ePrix in 2019 was the 50th race of Formula E since its inception in 2014. Formula E raced in 20 cities, across five continents, seen 13 global manufactures commit to the series. It was the first ever qualifying sessions in the wet, but it was not the first fully wet race. The race set the record for the highest number of retired drivers (8).

The Paris ePrix in 2019 was Formula E's first ever wet race.

Four drivers have started every Formula E Race: Lucas di Grassi, Sam Bird, Daniel Abt and Jérôme d'Ambrosio.[31]

In July 2017 it was announced that Mercedes-Benz is to join the series starting from season six (2019–20) alongside Porsche, who announced their involvement in season six only a few days later.[32][33]

Support series


During the first season, the FE School Series for student teams that developed their own electric car took place as support races at selected events.[34] However, the series was not continued during the second season.[35]

Roborace is developing the world's first autonomous and electrically powered racing car.[36] The company is planning to develop the first global championship for driverless cars.[37]

In September 2017, it was announced that Formula E and Jaguar would launch a production based support series with Jaguar's I-Pace battery electric SUV.[38] The series is called the I-Pace eTrophy and began together with Formula E's fifth season in December 2018.

Records


Records correct up to and including the 2019 New York City ePrix Race Two.

Key

Key

Milestone ePrix


Media


Formula E provides comprehensive live television coverage shown via major broadcasters around the globe (FOX Sports, BBC, CCTV-5, Eurosport, Canal+, J Sports, Ziggo Sport Totaal[39]).[40][41] Production is carried out by Aurora Media Worldwide.[42]

2018–19 appearances are to be confirmed as the season goes on, all announced dates are listed

See also


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