They say all good ideas start on the back of a napkin. The first laptop, the original Mini and, as of the evening of March 3, 2011, the idea for an all-electric street racing series all started out as nothing more than scribbles on a napkin.
Written in just a few words in a restaurant in Paris were the beginnings of what would become the world’s first all-electric international single-seater championship. The beginnings of Formula E. Authored by FIA President Jean Todt and Spanish businessman Alejandro Agag, together the two developed the series as a means to demonstrate the potential of sustainable mobility to help create a better, cleaner world.
Since making its global debut in the grounds of the Olympic Park in Beijing in 2014, Formula E has grown into a global entertainment brand with motorsport at its heart. Now, with 11 teams and 22 drivers on the grid, the Championship has become a destination for the world’s best motorsport teams and talent. With a total of nine manufacturers on board – the likes of Jaguar, Nissan, BMW, Audi, DS and Mahindra – Formula E serves as a competitive platform for global car manufacturers and mobility providers to test and develop road-relevant technologies. By racing on the streets, the series acts as a catalyst, helping to refine the design of electric vehicles and improve the driving experience for everyday road car users all over the world. Now, building on five seasons of all-electric city street racing, the Championship boasts one of the best sporting calendars in the world, with 13 races in 12 of the world’s most progressive cities covering five continents.
Marking a new era of Formula E, the 2018/19 season sees the radical Gen2 car make its debut on the city streets for the very first time. With double the energy storage capacity of the Gen1 car, the Gen2 racers can go the whole race distance, making mid-race car swaps a thing of the past but also demonstrating the progress made in all-electric mobility With 250kW of power, the Gen2 will accelerate from 0-100km/h in 2.8-seconds and go on to a top speed of 280km/h. Greater speeds and increased power means more action on track and, with just one car per driver, there’s everything to lose.
Welcome to a brand-new era of the closest, most intense racing series on the planet, where the future of mobility and close combat wheel-to-wheel racing takes place on your city streets.
Formula E makes its way into Rome ahead of the inaugural Rome E-Prix in 2018.
The so-called e-Prix race lasts for around 50 minutes. Each driver must make one mandatory pit stop to change cars – they jump into a secondary, full-charged car at a certain point in the race. Formula E cars aren’t allowed to make tyre changes, unless they get a puncture.
Racing is close, because all of the cars run with the same power during the race, but three of the twenty drivers, get a boost in power – voted for by fans via an app. ‘Fanboost’ is extra power (100kJ extra of energy) which they can be deployed in one single hit. In effect, that means most drivers use their fanboost to attempt an overtake. But it can also be used to fend off someone attacking from behind.
Race venues have changed in each season. The venues for season five’s races have just been announced, and they’ll include Marrakesh, Hong Kong, New York, Paris, Rome, Berlin and Zurich.
And plenty you might know – big name car brands like Jaguar, Audi, DS Automobiles and Renault. Over the coming years, Formula E will gain other big-name brands – Porsche, BMW, Mercedes-Benz and Nissan are all scheduled to join.