If one were to take stock of the inaugural all-electric FIA Formula E Championship season with a critical eye then one or two things would definitely stand out. The cars were not particularly fast and the sight of a driver having to leap out of his car in the pits and into a second one in order to finish the race was not very flattering to the cause of showcasing the merits of battery powered cars. Speed and range are two factors that are likely to be worked upon by the teams, as well as charging. Quick and wireless charging – much in the same way as some mobile phones are charged these days – is in the works.
The racing, however, regardless of the speed, was not an issue with Formula E, even though it got downright chaotic and dangerous at times. The opening round in Beijing and even some creative interpretations of track limits by Jarno Trulli in Moscow are two examples that spring to mind pretty quickly.
The final two rounds – on account of the Battersea Park hosting a double header – of the year in London pretty much lived up to what was the norm in Formula E with the racing tight on a circuit that itself was so tight that the races had to be started behind a safety car.
Nelson Piquet Jr. of China Racing, which became NEXTEV TCR, took a fifth and seventh place finish to clinch the inaugural drivers’ title by just one point from Sebastien Buemi of e.dams Renault, whose bid for the crowned was spoiled by a compatriot of Piquet Jr.
Having lost out on podiums and not being a factor for the title all year, Mahindra Racing’s Bruno Senna took fourth place in the final race of the year, keeping Buemi behind him, thereby denying him those two points that would have given him the title.
Senna’s teammate Karun Chandhok was out of the points in 13th but hoping that teams being responsible for their own electric motor, gearboxes, inverters and cooling systems will allow Mahindra to make significant headway. Catching teams’ champions e.dams will be no easy task but the effort to do so should be worth following nonetheless.