Formula E, officially the ABB FIA Formula E Championship, is a class of auto racing that uses only electric-powered cars. The series was conceived in 2011, and the inaugural championship started in Beijing on 13 September 2014. The series is sanctioned by the FIA. Alejandro Agag is the current CEO of Formula E.
The proposal for a city-based single-seater electric car motor racing championship was conceived by Jean Todt, the president of world governing body of motorsport, the Fédération Internationale de l'Automobile (FIA), to politicians Alejandro Agag and Antonio Tajani at a dinner at a small Italian restaurant in French capital of Paris on 3 March 2011. 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.
The Formula E championship is currently contested by ten teams with two drivers each. Racing takes place on temporary city-center street circuits which are approximately 2 to 3.4 km (1.2 to 2.1 mi) long.
All events begin with two practice sessions in the morning, an opening 45-minute session followed by a further 30-minute session. Drivers each have two cars at their disposal with 200 kW available throughout.
The qualifying session normally takes place at noon[clarification needed] and lasts one hour. The drivers are divided into four groups of five, with each group having six minutes to set their best lap. Full power of 200 kW is available throughout with drivers only able to use one car. Since the second season, the five fastest drivers then go out again, one-by-one, in the Super Pole shoot-out to determine the top five grid positions.
The race itself lasts for approximately 50 minutes with drivers making one mandatory pit stop to change cars with the two pit crew helping the driver change seat belts, and for safety reasons, there is a minimum required time for pit stops (which differs from track to track). Tire changes, unless caused by a puncture or damage, are not permitted during this pit stop. In race mode the maximum power is restricted to 180 kW. Points are awarded using the standard FIA system.
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 six minutes of the race. The three winning Fanboost drivers each receive an extra 100 kJ of energy to be used in a power window between 180 kW and 200 kW.
Points are awarded to the top ten drivers using the standard FIA system. Three points are also awarded to the driver securing the pole position, while the driver setting the fastest lap 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 a driver's best results. A team's total is made up by counting both drivers' scores throughout the season.
For the first season, all teams were supplied an electric racing car built by Spark Racing Technology, called the Spark-Renault SRT 01E. The chassis was designed by Dallara, with an electric motor developed by McLaren (the same as that used in its P1 supercar), a battery system created by Williams Advanced Engineering and a Hewland five-speed gearbox. Michelin was the official tyre supplier. 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.
An average Formula E car has a power of at least 250 horsepower (190 kW). The car is able to accelerate from 0–100 km/h (0–62 mph) in 3 seconds, with a maximum speed of 225 km/h (140 mph). The generators used to re-charge the batteries are powered by glycerine, a by-product of bio-diesel production.
Since the second season regulations allow for new powertrain manufacturers, the manufacturers are able to build the electric motor, inverter, gearbox and cooling system. The chassis and battery stay 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.
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 ABB FIA Formula E season is the fourth season of the FIA Formula E championship. It started in December 2017 in Hong Kong and is expected to end in New York City in July 2018.
On 11 July 2017, it was confirmed that BMW will join Formula E as an official manufacturer for Season 5 (2018–19), building a powertrain to be used by the Andretti Formula E Team. This news was followed on 24 July 2017 by the announcement that Mercedes-Benz will join the series starting from Season 6 (2019–20) alongside Porsche, who announced their involvement in Season 6 on 28 July 2017. On 25 October 2017, at the Tokyo Motor Show, Nissan Nismo announced that they will be joining Formula E as a manufacturer from Season 5. Season 5 (2018–19) will see the introduction of a radical new futuristic looking race car with much improved power and range. The car was unveiled in January, 2018
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. However, the series was not continued during the second season.
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. The series will be named the I-Pace eTrophy and will begin during Formula E's 5th season in late 2018, with an expected grid size of 20 cars.
Records correct up to and including the 2017 Hong Kong ePrix Race 1.
|Season||Championship for Drivers||Championship for Teams|
|2014–15||Nelson Piquet Jr.||NEXTEV Team China Racing||Spark-Renault SRT_01E||e.dams Renault||Spark-Renault SRT_01E|
|2015–16||Sébastien Buemi||Renault e.dams||Spark-Renault Z.E 15||Renault e.dams||Spark-Renault Z.E 15|
|2016–17||Lucas di Grassi||ABT Schaeffler Audi Sport||Spark-ABT Schaeffler FE02||Renault e.Dams||Spark-Renault Z.E 16|
|Driver is a series Champion|
|Bold||Driver competed in the 2017–18 season|
|Wins||Driver||First win||Last win|
|12||Sébastien Buemi||2014 Punta del Este ePrix||2017 Berlin ePrix Race Two|
|6||Lucas di Grassi||2014 Beijing ePrix||2017 Montreal ePrix Race One|
|6||Sam Bird||2014 Putrajaya ePrix||2017 Hong Kong ePrix Race One|
|3||Nicolas Prost||2015 Miami ePrix||2016 London ePrix Race Two|
|3||Felix Rosenqvist||2017 Berlin ePrix Race One||2018 Marrakesh ePrix|
|3||Jean-Éric Vergne||2017 Montreal ePrix Race Two||2018 Punta del Este ePrix|
|2||Jérôme d'Ambrosio||2015 Berlin ePrix||2016 Mexico City ePrix|
|2||Nelson Piquet Jr.||2015 Long Beach ePrix||2015 Moscow ePrix|
|1||António Félix da Costa||2015 Buenos Aires ePrix||2015 Buenos Aires ePrix|
|1||Daniel Abt||2018 Mexico City ePrix||2018 Mexico City ePrix|
|Team is a series Champion|
|Bold||Team competed in the 2017–18 season|
|Wins||Team||First win||Last win|
|15||Renault e.dams||2014 Punta del Este ePrix||2017 Berlin ePrix Race Two|
|7||Audi Sport ABT Schaeffler||2014 Beijing ePrix||2018 Mexico City ePrix|
|6||DS Virgin Racing||2014 Putrajaya ePrix||2017 Hong Kong ePrix Race One|
|3||Mahindra Racing||2017 Berlin ePrix Race One||2018 Marrakesh ePrix|
|3||Techeetah||2017 Montreal ePrix Race Two||2018 Punta del Este ePrix|
|2||Dragon Racing||2015 Berlin ePrix||2016 Mexico City ePrix|
|2||NIO Formula E Team||2015 Long Beach ePrix||2015 Moscow ePrix|
|1||Team Aguri||2015 Buenos Aires ePrix||2015 Buenos Aires ePrix|
Formula E provides comprehensive live television coverage shown via major broadcasters around the globe (FOX Sports, Channel 5, CCTV-5, Eurosport, Viasat, Canal+ / Sport+, Energy (Spain), TV Asahi, Tring , Ziggo Sport Totaal). Production is carried out by Aurora Media Worldwide.
Four-time IndyCar champion and three-time Indianapolis 500 winner Dario Franchitti joined the host television commentary team for the FIA Formula E Championship. Franchitti acts as co-commentator alongside lead commentator Jack Nicholls. Pitlane reporter is Nicki Shields. Allan McNish, Bob Varsha and Scott Speed have all previously covered for Franchitti and Nicholls during the first two seasons.
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