Article: Enter the Dragons! @DragonRacing

Dragon

I’m not sure about you, but for me Dragon Racing are a team that have always flown somewhat under the radar.

Quite how this has happened from a team comprising over 150 years of racing experience in its crew – 275 race wins, 24 Indy 500 wins – but even more significantly, runners-up in the inaugural 2014/15 Formula E Constructors Championship – I’m not entirely sure.

But believe me, that radar of mine is now firing pings off in rapid succession and as Nick Heidfeld will no doubt tell you following the Beijing ePrix, when you’ve got a couple of hungry dragons breathing down your neck, you’d better sit up and take notice!…

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The Dragon Racing drivers hunting down third place man, Nick Heidfeld.

Sporting a new, eye-catching red and black livery for the 2015/16 season, Dragon Racing took summer testing in their stride. Again, rightly or wrongly they weren’t grabbing the headlines, but what they did manage to do was quietly amass an impressive 366 laps; the 4th highest team tally (by comparison, Renault e.Dams led the way with 426) and at the same time demonstrated consistent pace.

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And it’s that word, consistency, that could again prove effectual for the team in season 2. Last year, drivers Jerome D’Ambrosio and team mate Loic Duval were strong points scorers throughout the season and D’Ambrosio was right there to claim the race win in Berlin following Di Grassi’s exclusion. Dragon Racing were also the only team to have both drivers appear on the podium together, not once but twice. Rightly so the team have retained this highly effective driver pairing and both immediately proved this decision to be the correct choice in Beijing, where they provided some of the hungriest racing and exhilarating moments in the race.

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Two into one usually doesn’t go… the Dragon Racing boys just got away with it!

Something that has changed for the team this year however is the powertrain and in this regard the Beijing ePrix revealed a very interesting talking point. As you may know, for Season 2 the rules have been opened up to allow manufacturers to develop their own powertrain. Dragon Racing however has become the first customer team in Formula E and are in fact running the powertrain that the Venturi Formula E team has developed for their car. And yet in Beijing, Dragon Racing was able to comprehensively outperformed their supplier and thus closest rivals at this stage of the season. Duval and D’Ambrosio finished 4th and 5th respectively, whilst at Venturi, Stephane Sarrazin finished 9th, with Jacques Villeneuve a distant 14th; both with troubled races and regeneration issues.

Venturi Automobiles have some 15 years worth of experience designing, manufacturing and selling in the electric vehicle market. They also hold the EV land speed record – 240.320mph with the Venturi VBB3. It therefore stands to reason that they have likely built one of the most competitive electric powertrains out there. However of the two teams it is Dragon Racing who are – as their name won’t let you forget – those with the racing experience. And whilst the hardware the two teams share is the same, the software coding, race strategy, pit stop proficiency etc… is all down to the individual team personnel knowing how to extract the best out of the car. In that regard – just as last year – Dragon Racing seem to be doing an exceptional job!…

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The team and drivers managed their electric energy with great success during the Beijing ePrix to ensure they were devastatingly effective all race and perhaps if they had more clear track in front of them they might have been able to mix it with Renault e.Dams. They are of course the team that saw Dragon Racing finish the World Constructors Championship in second place last year and make no mistake about it, if the early signs are anything to go by, this team isn’t about to let them forget that!

Enter the Dragons.

by Tom Clancy @Retro_F1

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#ElectricRacing Podcast Ep 6! Cat on the Track #FormulaE

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Episode 6: Cat on the Track

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Formula E is back! and what a start to Season 2 it was.

The FormulaEDiary team round up all the news from the Beijing ePrix, discuss what we made of the race and rate driver and team performances.


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The @DSVirginRacing guide to #FanBoost in Season 2

DS Virgin Racing drivers Sam Bird and Jean-Eric Vergne head to the arcade to guide you through the changes to #FanBoost in Season 2, including all the ways you can now vote for your favourite racer!…

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#BeijingEPrix #FormulaE #DriveTheFuture

Lucas di Grassi: A Champion in the Making?

Lucas Di Grassi

Speed. Consistency. Intelligence. Likeability. There are few drivers in the world that meet those criteria but Lucas di Grassi might just be one of them. His unique blend of speed and superb race craft alongside his charming and approachable personality got me thinking; is he the complete Formula E driver?…

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Interview: #FormulaE CEO Agag talks Calendar, FanBoost & New Teams

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Some CEO’s and senior figures can be hard to engage with. Alejandro Agag isn’t one of those people. Walking up and down the pitlane during the second week of testing, Agag was making time to talk to team representatives, drivers and members of the media. Never one to miss an opportunity to talk to someone in the series, I managed to get some time with him after he had just finished a round of interviews…

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Interview: #Senna A learned Mahindra, Brazil and his Fans…

Bruno Senna

When it comes to drivers who make you feel like they have all the time in the world for you, they honestly come no better than Bruno Senna…

Now I asked your teammate this question but he wanted me to deflect it on to you. Mahindra are such a popular team with the fans and everyone would like to see them have a much stronger year. Can you tell us what the team struggled to get right last year and what they’ve learnt to hopefully see you fighting much further up the grid this year?

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Interview: #Heidfeld talks Mahindra, The Attraction of FE… and that Hair!

Nick Heidfeld

As I sat down with Nick Heidfeld – who impressively decided to go cross-legged – on the back of the teams transit vehicle I found myself excited to put my questions to Mahindra Racings latest signing – a driver I had watched in Formula 1 for so many years…

So Nick, here in Donington we’re all gearing up for the start of Season 2, but if we rewind a year… what is it that attracted you to the Formula E championship?

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Gallery: #FormulaE Testing 2015: Week 1

 

Photography by Tom Clancy @Retro_F1

#ElectricRacing Podcast Ep1: It’s like a First Date

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Episode 1: It’s like a First Date

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In the first ever episode of Electric Racing, we discuss Formula E testing, TV rights and the driver line-up for the 2015/16 Season.

Special guest Oliver Weingarten – former General Secretary of the Formula E Teams Association – joins Anil, Tom and moderator Spanners this week to talk all things FE.