UK motorsport fans will be able to see one direction racing could take in the future when the Formula E championship for high-powered electric cars reaches its climax with two races in London’s Battersea Park this weekend.
Now in its second season, the competition was set up to promote electric vehicle R&D, and involves nine teams, each with two drivers. Last year’s London ePrix, which marked the end of the inaugural 2014-2015 season and was the first motor race to be held in the city since 1972, saw Nelson Piquet Jr crowned champion.
The finale on Saturday 2 and Sunday 3 July will decide whether he’s succeeded by Lucas di Grassi, who drives for the Abt Schaeffler Audi Sport team, or Renault e.dams driver Sebastien Buemi. After races in eight cities around the world including Beijing, Buenos Aires, Paris and Berlin, they are separated by a single point, having taken three victories each with 60 points still to play for.
Average speed around the 2.975km, 17-corner Visa London ePrix track was 121.327km/h last year. A change to regulations for season two that allowed teams more leeway on powertrain design has resulted in an increase in other races of more than 2.5km/h.
All the cars are charged by a generator that runs on glyercine, but have different gearbox, motor and inverter designs, as well as significant differences in rear-suspension. Future seasons will see the regulations open up further, allowing manufacturers to focus on improving battery technology.
For London in 2016, Formula E has partnered with solar energy company Lightsource to boost the event’s green credentials. The eVillage area where fans can get close to drivers at the podium ceremony and autograph session, as well as discover more about sustainable design, will run on renewable energy generated by solar photovoltaic panels system combined with storage and glycerine biofuel solutions.
There will also be solar-charged buggies available for disabled transport and solar-powered mobile phone charging points for the public. Official course cars supplied by BMW i will also be charged using renewable energy, as will the majority of ticket booths at the entrances.
For more information and to book tickets, go to http://fiaformulae.com/en/tickets.