Formula E is the Fédération Internationale de l’Automobile (FIA) championship that uses single-seater electrically powered cars. As technology improves electronic cars’ performance and environmental issues become more concerning, many people electric motorsports are the best way forward.
The FIA seems to agree, having given the contest world championship status from the 2020/2021 season. Learn more about the thrills and spills of electronic motor racing below.
A Very New Event
Formula E has only been operational since 2014, and was first discussed by FIA President Jean Todt and eco-conscious politician Antonio Tajani in 2011. The aim was to hold a contest with fewer carbon emissions than regular Formula 1 races, but with as much excitement and entertainment value, and they have certainly succeeded in doing that.
The races are thrilling to watch, and are contested by 12 teams of 2 drivers. The tracks are set up temporarily in city centres, with the exception of the Mexico City ePrix, which is held at the Autódromo Hermanos Rodríguez.
Race Day Format and Car
Originally, the Spark-Renault SRT_01E (built by Spark Racing Technologies) was used but the more powerful Spark SRT05e replaced this in the 2018/2019 season. The “Gen 2 Car”, as it is also known, is more powerful and advanced that the SRT_01E and has brought an end to mandatory mid-race car swaps.
Manufacturers, including Jaguar, Mahindra, Audi, BMW and Renault, have been allowed to build their own electric motors, gearboxes, inverters and cooling systems since 2015. The vehicles have 250 kW of power available throughout each race, which are all set to last 45 minutes plus 1 extra lap. Before the official event, 2 practices and 1 qualifying session (to determine grid position) are held.
The cars and drivers that finish in the top 10 positions are awarded points according to FIA’s standard system, and the final champions are the individual drivers and the teams with the best scores. The drivers’ scores are made by totalling their top points, while a team’s final result is determined by adding up all points earned by both drivers.
Other Formula E Features
There are 2 features that make Formula E even more exciting for fans. The first is Attack Mode, where an extra 25 kW of power is given randomly. The time and duration of the power increase is not known beforehand, so it can’t be factored into strategy.
The second feature is the Fan Boost, which awards another power burst to the most popular driver, as voted for online by the public. Allowing fans to influence a motorsport like this is unique to Formula E, and helps spectators to feel involved in the action.
When involved in online betting or offline, you can bet on who will come first in each individual event, as well as the overall winners. Check previous driver performances, and news on any manufacturing developments. Keep an eye on who seems to be the most popular too, since the Fan Boost can make a big difference. Most importantly, enjoy watching the beautiful electric vehicles on the track.