This December the ABB FIA Formula E championship will enter it’s fifth season and is set up to be it’s best yet. We are going to take a look at what the championship has going for it and how it’s come to be the championship that it is today.
4 seasons, 4 champions:
We have had 4 seasons and every year we have had a different champion, this goes to show how competitive Formula E is at the top. All 4 champions also happen to be former Formula One drivers so it’s no surprise that these 4 are champions. Nelson Piquet won a close title fight in season 1 with Sebastien Buemi and Lucas Di Grassi, he was an unexpected champion given his early season form but a very consistent second half of the season saw him clinch the title at the finale in London. The favourite for the season one championship Sebastien Buemi won the second season again at the last round of the championship with the Fastest Lap deciding the championship after the title protagonists crashed into turn 1. Di Grassi then took his turn in season 3 overhauling a massive points deficit to Buemi in the second half of the season after a disastrous weekend in Canada for Buemi. Jean-Eric Vergne completes Formula E’s champion lineup with a consistent season seeing him score points in every round taking him to the Formula E crown. It’s difficult to predict who will be champion in Formula E and we have yet to see someone truly dominate the series due to the competitive nature of the sport and we may see a fifth different champion this season.
A very competitive grid:
Formula E’s grid is getting more and more competitive as the series becomes more and more desirable for drivers, many love the unique challenge that the Formula E car provides, some love the opportunity of working with OEM’s, some love the idea of street racing and others simply want to compete against some of the best in the world. Formula E can claim having top-line Formula One, Formula 2/GP2, DTM and WEC drivers in it’s series with some opting to make the switch from their respective championships. With established Formula One drivers such as Sebastian Buemi, Nick Heidfeld and 1997 world champion Jacques Villeneuve having competed in the series and Felipe Massa set to join the series this year it is safe to say that Formula E is attractive to high-profile names. Young drivers are now even looking to Formula E as the next phase of their career with Nissan e.dams confirming Formula 2 protagonist Alexander Albon will join the team and fellow competitor Maximilian Gunther tipped to join the Dragon squad. The Formula E grid is perhaps one of the strongest in motorsport now and will only get even more competitive.
Increasing Manufacturer Support:
Formula E features some of the worlds biggest car manufactures such as Audi, Nissan, BMW and Jaguar to name a few, the championships push for clean energy fits well with the business models with many manufactures and with EV’s becoming more common and more desirable it is important for OEM’s to invest in the championship as they will be able to transfer knowledge from the circuit to their road car programmes. The sport can claim to have more manufactures than most other series and will be bolstered by Porsche and Mercedes from season 6. Having manufacturer support helps raise the sports profile, ensures that the sport gets the investment to help it grow and also attracts some of the worlds best drivers and engineers to the championship.
Jaguar I-Pace eTrophy support series:
From Season 5 the series will be supported by the Jaguar I-Pace eTrophy, it will compete across 10 cities with 20 cars which will add more to the Formula E event. The race is set to be 25 minutes long with the cars able to reach 121mph, we still await driver and team announcements so look out for these in the coming months.
The Gen2 car:
From Season 5 Formula E will feature a new car; the Spark Gen2, it features the FIA’s latest safety device the “Halo” and is much more aggressive in design compared to it’s predecessor. It’s a design that has won over many motorsport fans and leads the way in race car design. Perhaps the biggest change is that there will be no need for a car swap mid race thanks to advances in the car’s battery, the Gen2 will also be able to reach speeds of around 174mph and a maximum power output of 250kW (335 bhp). This season will also feature 2 power modes to use in the race of which both must be used at some point in the race, we will see how this may affect the outcome of the races but any kind of variable can only improve the on-track action.
As Formula E heads into it’s fifth season it will do so with an established fan base which is growing and growing, it will see BMW join the sport, Felipe Massa, Alexander Sims and Alexander Albon compete and feature perhaps the most exciting looking car in motorsport today. Formula E is in a good place and will continue it’s momentum spreading the message about clean energy in it’s fifth season.
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