The build-up seems to have taken forever but the first all-electric single seat racing championship is finally upon us. here’s a brief primer for the start of Formula E
It’s hard to think of a better place than Beijing for the starting point of the first round of the inaugural all-electric FIA Formula E Championship. The pollution levels in the Chinese capital have been a headline generator ever since the 2008 Summer Olympics were held there.
The idea of a high profile racing championship where cars do not rely on fossil fuels at all, kicking off on a street circuit around the Olympic Stadium and Aquatic Park definitely grabs one’s attention.
Almost as effectively as an all-electric single seater doing donuts on London’s Westminister Bridge. Formula E definitely has not held back when it comes to grabbing people’s attention. Now it remains to be seen if it can hold it.
There has been enough coverage about the teams involved in the championship so the purpose of this piece is to give something of a primer into a novel way to go racing.
All events will open with a one-hour practice session giving drivers their first experience of the circuit. They will have up to two cars available to them giving them the option to change cars should they wish. Full power (200kw / 270bhp) will be available throughout.
The qualifying session is a straight fight for the fastest laptime and determines the order for the day’s race. The session will last 90 minutes and see drivers divided into four groups of five cars.
Full power (200kw / 270bhp) will be available throughout with drivers only able to use one car. The fastest time will be worth three points.
Races will begin by standing start and last for approximately one hour with drivers making a mandatory pit stop in order to change cars. Engines will be restricted to power saving mode (133kw / 180bhp) but can be temporarily increased to maximum power (200kw / 270bhp) by using the Boost Button. Points will be awarded using the standard FIA system (see Rules & Regulations) with the driver setting the fastest lap also receiving two additional points.
The FIA Formula E Championship will consist of both a drivers and a teams’ championship. A driver’s end of season total is made up of his/her best results from all races. A team’s total is made up in the same way.
PIT STOPS/CAR CHANGES
During races, drivers must make one mandatory pit stop in order to change cars. This must take place in their box and be observed by an FIA steward to ensure all safety equipment is correctly applied. Tyre changes, unless a puncture, are not permitted during this pit stop.
PUSH TO PASS
Fans can give their favourite driver an extra speed boost by voting for them prior to the race. The three drivers with the most votes will each receive a 5-second ‘power boost’ per car per driver, temporarily increasing their car’s power from 170kw to 200kw With all cars being pretty much equal in the first year of the championship, the difference will come down to pre-event simulation and battery charging.