In just over 2 weeks time Formula E’s home race and season finale – the London ePrix double header – takes place at Battersea Park!
“I don’t think I’ve ever raced anywhere quite as pretty as this, with all the trees and flowers next to the track,” Jerome D’Ambrosio told the assembled media as they joined him for a lap of the track.
“I think we’ll need to use our clear visors because of the shade caused by the trees. And I hope I’m not in the first qualifying group as I think there are going to be a lot of leaves on the track at that stage too.”
The Dragon Racing star was giving a gathering of local and national media a unique insight into the track that is bringing circuit racing back to London for the first time in over 40 years.
As Formula E is about promoting the advancement of electric vehicles, a fleet of electric bikes had been kindly arranged by Fully Charged, and as the peloton took to the roads, D’Ambrosio and Formula E CEO Alejandro Agag provided a unique insight into the challenges of not only driving the track but arranging a race there too.
“We looked at many venues for a London race,” said Agag, “and Battersea provided the best solution. It’s in the heart of the city, it has great transport links and because it takes place inside of the park, we don’t have to shut any roads.”
Having ridden the track, the press was keen to know how the Formula E drivers are going to deal with the camber of the roads, which is more pronounced than it has been at any of the preceding venues.
“It’s going to be a big challenge for sure,” D’Ambrosio agreed. “We will run the car higher than usual to stop the floor of the car touching the road and to make sure that when we hit the brakes all four wheels are on the ground. I think there could be a lot of safety cars!”
Standing trackside 10 months ago at Donington Park during summer testing, there was certainly a buzz in the air (no pun intended… although now I wish it was), the birth of a new motorsport. But as much as anyone could have hoped, I don’t know if many would have wagered Formula E having the success that it has in it’s first season, both in terms of a racing series, but just as importantly, getting people talking and excited about electric cars, their possibilities and potential for the future. It’s changing peoples perceptions, exactly as it set out to do.
Now as the sport returns to the UK, it’s time to celebrate!
The London ePrix takes place on the 27th and 28th of June. #DriveTheFuture