After a quiet debut in China, the Malaysian ePrix showed everyone that Formula E is a series capable of providing some fantastic racing. The race was dominated by Sam Bird, who was in a league of his own throughout the race.
The on track action saw 2 safety cars deployed with the first half of the ePrix, the first of which lead to Sam Bird taking the lead at the restart with a fantastic move on pole sitter Oriol Servia. Unfortunately there was more bad news for Nick Heidfeld, who was taken out after an ambitious move from Frank Montagny left him in the wall. Despite clearly having the pace in the last 2 races, Heidfeld leaves Malaysia without having scored a point.
Many of the front runners began to switch cars around lap 18, but whilst pitting early helped some drivers, it backfired hugely from Karun Chandok, who fell down to 10th place despite challenging for the podium positions early on. Daniel Abt was the big winner during the stops; his early stop meant he was able to jump several front runners. He gambled on making the battery last to end but unfortunately fell back to 10th place in the closing laps.
Later on, Trulli and Piquet collided at turn 1 whilst fighting for a potential podium. This then left Lucas di Grassi and Sebastien Buemi to fight it out 2nd place, with Sam Bird comfortably ahead. There was also some late drama as Bruno Senna pushed too hard and went straight into the wall at turn 9. The Brazilian had an action packed race, using his fanboost to fight back after an early incident with Matthew Brabham’s Andretti.
Whilst Sam Bird dominated, the real winner here was Formula E. After a slow start in Beijing, the street circuit in Putrajaya hosted a great race with plenty of overtaking and excitement. The drivers clearly felt more comfortable managing the battery throughout the stints, although it could be argued that this this was somewhat helped by the two safety car periods early on. The potential is clearly there though, and for a new series to deliver such a great race in just its second outing is very impressive.
If Malaysia is anything to go by, we could be in for a fantastic season.
As always, please tweet us your thoughts on the race over at @FormulaEDiary.
Written by: Anil Parmar
After nearly a 2 month hiatus, Formula E finally returns to our TV screens, as the electric circus is welcomed to Putrajaya, Malaysia. What should we expect from this street circuit?
The racetrack in China had to be squeezed around a former Olympic Village and as a result the track layout was rather uninspired, with multiple straights separated by tight chicanes. The street circuit in Putrajaya is rather different, as Mahindra Racing’s Karun Chandok demonstrates:
The track clearly has much more flow than traditional street circuits, mainly due to the variety of corners it has. Whilst turns 5 and the hairpin will require good mechanical grip and low speed traction, turns 8 and 9 are clearly much quicker than anything China threw at the drivers. This is a track where the confident drivers will really be able to throw the cars into the corners whilst others will simply be trying to avoid the walls. Overtaking should also be possible, particularly into T1 and hairpin.
If you’re a fan of Formula 1, you’ll be well aware that Malaysian weather is fairly predictable; it will be hot, humid and wet, quite possible all at the same time. Weather forecasts suggest that rain is likely at one point, if not throughout the whole day, so for the first time we’ll get a true indication of what these cars can do in the rain. It’s worth remembering that the tyres used by these cars can work in both wet and dry conditions, so don’t expect multiple tyre changes!
The e.dams Renault team were simply unstoppable throughout testing but Nicolas Prost’s last minute move on Nick Heidfeld Venturi denied the pair of them a podium in Beijing. It would be foolish to look past either team heading into Malaysia as both teams seemed on top of the battery technology and Nick Heidfeld’s power management in Beijing was very impressive, allowing him to pull a last minute move on Prost from seemingly out of nowhere The Mahindra team will also be looking to threaten the podium, with Chandok impressing in China whilst Bruno Senna will be looking to bounce back from an incredibly disappointing opening race. Fanboost could also make a difference, although we have a feeling that Nicolas Prost won’t be receiving many votes this time round…
Have you missed Formula E? What do you want to see this weekend?
You can leave a comment below, or tweet us @formulaediary.
Written by: Anil Parmar