You may not have heard of it yet, but you will soon enough. Formula E racing is quickly growing in worldwide popularity, though obviously, it has long ways to go before it catches up to its big brother, Formula 1 racing. Since there’s a good chance you may not even know that Formula E racing exists, the following will put you up to speed, no pun intended, on what exactly this new motorsport is:
So What Exactly Is Formula E?
Formula E is a racing series that consists of a single-seated vehicle similar in appearance to the cars in Formula 1. However, the major difference is that all of these cars run fully on electric. The actual racing competition takes place in major cities throughout the world on various street tracks, with the racing year running from the fall to the summer.
The first season of Formula E racing took place last September in Beijing, China, with season 2 having just started on May 9th in Monaco.
It is overseen by the Fédération Internationale de l’Automobile, also known as FIA (www.fia.com), and was originally conceived of by Alejandro Agag, a once-prominent politician in Spain and current businessman. He was able to procure various funds from investors and entrepreneurs, not to mention also securing endorsements with major companies such as Visa, BMW, DHL, and Qualcomm.
Who are the Main Participants?
In the first season of Formula E, there were 10 teams involved, all of whom have been involved in motorsports for quite some time. Many of the racers were once Formula 1 racers.
Some of the main teams include:
- Virgin Racing (run by Richard Branson)
- NEXTEV racing (run by a Chinese EV technology firm)
- Mahindra racing
- Dragon racing
- Venturi (backed by Leonardo DiCaprio)
Some of the major race car drivers, all of whom are former F1 stars, are:
- Sabastien Buemi
- Jean-Eric Vergne
- Charles Pic
- Nick Heidfeld
- Vitantonio Liuzzi
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The Formula E Cars
The cars themselves look similar to the cars used in Formula 1. Since they operate fully on electric through the use of a battery, they have a very limited range. This means that the drivers of the cars have to be able to manage how much they use the car’s power. They are also allowed to make a pit stop only halfway through the race in order to switch into another car that is fully charged.
In season 1, every team had to use the same exact car, with very little room for any customization of the parts. Known as the Spark-Renault Formula E car, it has:
- A McLaren electric motor that produces 270bhp
- A Williams battery
- A Dallara carbon-fibre chassis
- Treaded tires for either wet or dry weather
In the second season, the rules have been changed so that racing teams have been able to create their own electric motors. In the future, it is expected that this customization will eventually extend to batteries and various additional aspects.
Formula E cars are not as fast as Formula One cars yet, though their speed has increased so far in season 2.
If you’re a fan of motorsports, you owe it to yourself to check out Formula E!
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