The Ultimate Guide to Formula E: All You Need to Know

The FIA Formula E World Championship will make its Hyderabad debut after a ten-year absence from India’s motor racing calendar. Unlike the naturally aspirated V8 engines used in the Indian Grand Prix, the races feature a more environmentally friendly, fully electric powertrain. Here is a comprehensive guide on everything you need to know about the FIA Formula E World Championship.

Origin Story and Series Arc

The FIA established Formula E in 2014-15, the first all-electric, single-seater championship designed to promote sustainable mobility and EVs. The series was elevated to world-championship status by the FIA ahead of the 2020-21 season. Instead of internal combustion engine technology, the open-wheel, open-cockpit racing series is powered by an electric motor.

As seasons passed, the vehicles improved, with the current season featuring the third generation of cars unveiled ahead of the 2021-22 season, which began in Mexico City in January. The races are held on various city streets, bringing motorsports closer to people and away from purpose-built circuits on the outskirts of major population centres.

The Formula E car is the most efficient formula racing car ever, with more than 40% of the energy consumed during a race being produced by regenerative braking

A New Generation: The Gen3 Car

For the 2022-23 season, Formula E unveiled its most technically advanced car, featuring a power output of 350 kW (470 bhp) compared to the 250kW available in Gen2 cars. This year’s cars have two electric motors, one attached to the front axle and the other to the rear, and no rear mechanical brakes, making it lighter and increasing its regenerative potential to a total of 600kW. The cars can reach a top speed of 322 kmph (200 mph), but this is rarely seen during race weekends since the series races mostly on street circuits. Formula E claims the car is the most efficient formula racing car ever, using sustainable materials to construct its chassis, batteries, and even tyres.

The Competitors

Automobile manufacturers worldwide are preparing to phase out internal combustion engine vehicles, leading to a rise in electric vehicles’ development. Thus, Formula E’s status as a testing ground for driving EV technology has been embraced by numerous major car companies, with many investing heavily in the series. Porsche, Jaguar, Nissan, Maserati, and Mahindra are among the notable manufacturers participating in the competition.

The Race Weekend Format

Formula E introduced a new qualifying method last year: the duels format. Drivers are divided into two groups based on their rankings, with odd-numbered drivers in one group and even-numbered drivers in the other. The eight fastest drivers progress to the final stage of qualifying, with the fastest driver claiming three points. Qualifying and the main race are held on the same day.

Previously, Formula E featured a feature called Fan Boost, enabling drivers to collect additional power off-track and receive a power boost during the race. This feature has now been discontinued.

The Story This Season

Hyderabad is hosting the fourth race, and it marks the third venue of the championship, with Riyadh hosting a doubleheader. Germany’s Pascal Wehrlein, driving for Porsche, is currently leading the drivers’ standings with 68 points after two wins in Riyadh, six points ahead of Jake Dennis. Mahindra Racing’s former Formula E champion Lucas De Grassi took pole in the first race in Mexico City and placed third. The team, however, failed to win any points in Riyadh and will expect a better outcome in its home race.

What the Future Holds

When the Formula E began, it was viewed as a second choice for F1 drivers without a seat from which to extend their driving careers. However, big money has arrived, and the series has become a hotbed of youthful talent. Although F1 is the ultimate goal for many single-seater drivers, Formula E has become a popular alternative. Nyck de Vries, the 2020-21 Formula E champion, had a one-off outing for the Williams F1 team in the Italian GP and was rewarded with a full-time F1 seat with AlphaTauri for 2023.

As technology advances, Formula E will need to reconsider its “only street circuit” approach and release these machines on a few iconic race tracks. The series has the potential to expand its reach and cultivate a new audience following successful outings in areas such as India.

Schedule for Formula E Hyderabad E-Prix 2023

Free Practice 1 – February 10 – 4.25 p.m. to 5.15 p.m.

Free Practice 2 – February 11 – 8.05 a.m. to 8.55 a.m.

Qualifying – February 11 – 10.40 a.m. to 11.55 a.m.

Main Race – February 11 – 3.00 p.m. to 4.30 p.m.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *