Hero to Zero: the reality of battery management in Formula E

Managing your source of power in motorsport is vital. It can make or break a driver’s race weekend. Guaranteed, the actual act of running out of fuel during a race is something that has not happened in Formula 1 for many years, but in a sport like battery-centred Formula E, managing the power source until the end of the race is still a learning curve for some of the championship’s brightest talents.

With a new generation of Formula E just months away, pre-season testing for season five getting underway in October, the innovative second gen car will incorporate a battery that will last the entire race distance. For the first four seasons of the all-electric championship the cars had a capacity to last half of the race distance, resulting in a tense and often highly-strategic mid-race car swap. The new battery, developed by McLaren Applied Technology, will see the top power output increase to 250 Kw/h (335bhp) and an additional 50 Kw/h available to drivers during qualifying sessions.

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Why Sam Bird is Formula E’s finest talent

Sam Bird has proved himself to be one of the fastest, highly competitive and most consistent drivers in the four season history of the Formula E Championship. Until Audi’s Lucas di Grassi won his first race of season four in Zurich, Bird had been the only driver to win a race in every single season of the all-electric championship. This consistency is what has lead Bird to be in with a mathematical chance of winning the drivers’ title at every single Formula E finale*: a pretty impressive statistic.

His seven Formula E wins places him joint-second with di Grassi in the ranking of most successful Formula E drivers, with 34% of his races in Formula E resulting in a win or podium finish for the British driver.

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The reality of being a woman in motorsport

The reaction of people when I tell them that I am a motorsport journalist is usually met with total surprise. Maybe it is my age, or the fact that I don’t “look” like I would be interested in motorsport, but usually it’s the fact that I am a woman. The responses are never negative though, normally a reference to Suzi Perry or Lee McKenzie and words along the lines of “wow, that is different.” I always find it funny though because, to me, my gender isn’t really relevant to how I do my job – it never has been and it never will be.

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