#FormulaE set to electrify Mexico City

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Formula E to follow Formula 1 – and Bond – to Mexico City

Formula E looks set to finally fill the longstanding TBC slot on the season 2 calendar, with the announcement of a race taking place in Mexico, March 2016.

A modified version of the circuit Autodromo Hermanos Rodriguez in the heart of the sprawling capital, Mexico City – which welcomed F1 back less than a fortnight ago – will house the ePrix event. The venue will also join the Berlin ePrix as the only other Formula E track not to take place on city streets, but will instead utilise a street circuit like layout.

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All the signs were there from the beginning for Formula E’s latest venture. Mexico City was after all the venue for the World Motorsport Council’s meeting that approved the all-electric championships season 2 calendar. The TBC marker, already hovering tentatively in place…

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And it makes sense that Formula E should wait until the spotlight is away from Formula 1’s decent on the capital before making its own announcement. The two world championship races should compliment each other perfectly – taking place in March and October – providing the countries motorsport fans with the next big event to anticipate no sooner has one finished.

Last months Formula 1 Mexico Grand Prix was a huge success, drawing a sell-out crowd to the venue which put fans at the heart of the experience. In a departure from other grand prix events that use the pit lane complex to house the podium ceremony, the Autodromo Hermanos Rodriguez instead utilised it’s arena section of track, creating a concert like atmosphere for the celebrations.

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Formula E will be looking to capitalise on this success and it’s arrival will cement a real motorsport revival for the country, which in itself is also embracing electric vehicles…

Mexico currently houses 291 EV charging stations, 122 of which are in Mexico City itself. The CFE (Comision Federal de Electrical – the organistaion responsible for supplying Mexico with electricity) is aiming to open 30 more of these in the months ahead, as the government plans to reduce the countries CO2 emissions by 51% http://www.bnamericas.com/en/news/electricpower/mexico-advances-electric-vehicle-charging-station-buildout. It’s unquestionably a big market for the sport, who’s core foundation is to promote the use of electric vehicles in city centres around the world.

Trulli

Somewhat ironically Formula E has just lost it’s Mexican poster boy, as Salvador Duran and Team Trulli part ways – at a time when questions and uncertainty surround the future of the team in the sport. However, that’s not to say Duran will not find a drive elsewhere before the ePrix rolls around; whether that be a return with the team, a takeover company, or one of the other FE teams on the grid (who are permitted up to two driver changes during the 2015/16 season).

Alongside Long Beach, Mexico would also deliver two races in the continent for a successive year, as Miami slips from this years calendar. It also delivers on the Latin America market, further diversifying Formula E’s vision for a truly global championship.

by Tom Clancy @Retro_F1

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#ERadio FormulaEDiary.com’s new #FormulaE Show

FormulaEDiary.com has joined forces with Downforce-Radio.co.uk and Spanners Ready to bring you an exciting, new Formula E show… E Radio!

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In our first broadcast we round up all the news from what was undoubtedly one of the most exciting motor races this year and an instant Formula E classic: Round 2, the Putrajaya ePrix, Malaysia.

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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

#FormulaE Guide: Round 2 #PutrajayaEPrix

FIA Formula E Putrajaya ePrix 2015

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Location: Putrajaya, Malaysia
Date: 07th November 2015
Track Length: 2.5km / 1.55miles clockwise
Turns: 12
Distance: 32 laps

Last Race

Pole Position: 1:21:779 - Nico Prost - e.Dams Renault
Podium:
1st. Sam Bird (Virgin Racing)
2nd. Lucas Di Grassi (Audi Sport ABT)
3rd. Sebastien Buemi (e.Dams Renault)
Fastest Race Lap: 1:24:429 (lap 20) - Alguersuari - Virgin Racing

Overview

Taking place some 30km south of Malaysia’s capital Kuala Lumpur, the city centre high-streets of Putrajaya lend themselves perfectly to creating an exciting and dynamic race track. The Formula E cars race past impressive architectural skyscrapers and some of the best examples of environmentally sustainable buildings in the world; this city encapsulates the green ethos of Formula E making it an ideal location for the series.

Considerably shorter in length than the Beijing ePrix, Putrajaya’s bumpy 2.5km circuit features a mixture of straights,  slow-medium speed corners, as well as a hairpin and some fantastic elevation change. An extremely tight turn 1 chicane (reminiscent of Formula 1’s Monza) sees drivers arriving at around 200kmph before experiencing a breaking force of almost 2G.

Key overtaking opportunities present themselves throughout Sector 1 at Turns 1, 3 and 4. A good exit out of Turn 12 is crucial to lining up a move into the first corner and carrying momentum throughout this part of the track.

The circuit layout remains unchanged from last year.

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Challenges

  • The heat and humidity are the first challenge that the drivers must overcome when racing in Malaysia. It is not only an issue for the drivers but for the cars themselves and teams will need to take precautions to prevent overheating issues with the powertrain and brakes.
  • The circuit is characterised by some especially bumpy sections of track, in particular when entering Turn 8, as well as the final Turn 12.
  • A hard braking zone for Turn 7 may cause problems for the cars especially in qualifying where the drivers push to get everything out of the car. Last year we saw plenty of lock-ups causing the cars to run straight on and miss the corner.

Weather

weather

Due to the weather in Malaysia often creating typhoon rain showers and possible thunderstorms in the afternoon (as seen at countless Formula 1 Malaysian Grand Prix over the years), the timetable for Putrajaya ePrix is altered. The race itself will start two hours earlier at 2:00pm and there will only be one practice session instead of the traditional two. This of course means the drivers are able to do less qualifying and race simulations, which should make things even that bit more exciting and unpredictable.

Event Timetable

07:45 - 09:00     Practice 1
10:00 - 10:06     Quali Group 1
10:10 - 10:16     Quali Group 2
10:20 - 10:26     Quali Group 3
10:30 - 10:36     Quali Group 4
10:45 - 11:00     Super Pole
12:04             Beijing ePrix (26 laps)

Coverage

(UK GMT) Channel: ITV4  05:00-07:30am

You can also live stream the Formula E Championship on the official website.

#FanBoost

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FanBoost voting is already open for you to give your favourite driver a boost in the Putrajaya ePrix. You can head over to the official website now to register your vote, or download the official FanBoost app.

This year you can also vote via Twitter, Instagram and Facebook using hashtags. Simply post a message including the hashtag #FanBoost and a hashtag with the full name of the driver you want to vote for e.g. #SimonaDeSilvestro.


2014 Rewind Theatre

Last years Putrajaya ePrix saw Lucas Di Grassi and Sebastien Buemi come from 18th and 19th on the grid to finish 2nd and 3rd respectively. But it was Britain’s Sam Bird who took the top step of the podium, claiming victory for Virgin Racing


Be sure to join us for the Putrajaya ePrix on Twitter during the race, and stay tuned for the Post Race episode of our Podcast ‘Electric Racing’.

And in the meantime, why not listen back to our thoughts on the Beijing ePrix.

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Written by Tom Clancy @Retro_F1

Sam Bird looks back at Beijing

Sam Bird

Sam Bird battled hard throughout an action packed Beijing ePrix to take 7th place and score DS Virgin Racing their first points of the season.

In his latest blog post, the two time Formula E race winner reflects on what was a tricky first race for the team, but one lined with fantastic support from the fans!…


“Looking back to our first race of the season in Beijing, it was really one of mixed emotions…

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

Podcast logo Round 1


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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#FormulaE #ElectricRacing Podcast Episode 5!

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Episode 5: He Came In Like A Wrecking Ball

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With just over a week to go until Formula E hits the streets of Beijing for Round 1 of the 2015/16 World Championship, it’s been a busy week for news and we’re here to make sure you’re fully up to speed.

This week we talk #FanBoost changes for Season 2, a new host city lines up on the calendar and there’s now just one race seat remaining in Formula E. Plus Jaime Alguersuari decides it’s time to hang up his racing gloves. All this and much more…


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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!…

*Insert Coin*

#BeijingEPrix #FormulaE #DriveTheFuture

#ElectricRacing Podcast Ep4: Raikkonen TV

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Episode 4: Raikkonen TV

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In this rather impromptu episode of Electric Racing, we get together to discuss all the news that broke after we hung up our microphones last week… Including Formula E’s new Qualifying format ‘Super Pole’, Broadcaster announcements and the latest in Driver news.


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