Formula E is the new kid on the block when it comes to single seater racing. You might be thinking “ho-hum, another series”, but Formula E has one key difference.
I don’t mean fast paced and exciting, I mean Electric. Runs on batteries. These aren’t the Duracells at the bottom of your kitchen drawer, these are 200 kilogram Lithium Ion monsters. They pack a massive 200 kilowatts of grunt (that’s the same as 270 brake horse power) and have been created by Williams Advanced Engineering (Formula One fans might recognise that name). They hook into a Dallara chassis and 18-inch Michelin road tires. The whole shebang is brought together by Spark racing technology and French car maker Renault.
They look like this:
No I don’t mean resident poster boy Jaime Alguersuari, I mean the car.
As you may expect, an all electric formula is not without its limitations. Even though the races are short –one hour sprints –drivers still need to take a pit stop to swap cars.
Yep. It’s as absurd as it sounds.
That was Nelson Piquet Jr. taking his car swap during testing.
The Spark Renault has some chunky aero, optimised for overtaking and with a higher ride height to cope with the demands of the 10 street circuits it will visit in this inaugural season. Formula E aims to bring racing to the streets of the world’s hottest cities: from Malaysia to Monaco, Miami to Moscow, and finally taking to the streets of London in an amazing double header event.
Senna, Prost, Piquet.
Some famous names are taking the wheel of these electric dreams. The second generation are able ambassadors’ for the formula. They are joined by fellow Formula One legends in Alguersuari, Heidfeld , Trulli, and 2014 World Endurance Champion Sebastien Buemi.
Two female racers also take the grid with experienced Delta Wing American Le Mans driver Katherine Legge lining up for Amlin Aguri, and up and coming Italian Michela Cerruti being mentored by the experienced Jarno Trulli at Trulli Racing.
I’ll be back with full team profiles as the season progresses, so stay tuned.
Have I sparked a little interest? Great! You can catch up on highlights from the first four races at the FIA Formula E Youtube Channel https://www.youtube.com/user/FIAFormulaE and I’ll be back next week with the first of my Team Profiles.