The Goodwood Festival of Speed is the highlight of any racing fan’s calendar – whether you are a member of the media, a general car-mad fanatic or a racing driver yourself. The dynamic display of motorsport memorabilia in addition to the beastly modern-day machinery that is paraded up the famous hillclimb, makes it an event like no other in the world.
Tom Dillmann certainly made a positive impression in the FIA Formula E Championship when he made his race debut around the streets of Paris several weeks ago, picking up four vital constructors’ points for Venturi GP in what seemed to be a one-off outing for the young Frenchman in the all-electric championship.
Since racing around the streets of the French capital, it has been confirmed that Dillmann has now secured a full-time race seat with the Monaco-based Formula E team starting in Berlin this weekend. This fortuitous opportunity presented itself after Stephane Sarrazin, whose seat Dillmann will be filling, left the team to drive for Renault-powered Techeetah after the quick departure of their driver Esteban Gutierrez. This driver change means that Dillmann will pair with German driver Maro Engel for the rest of the 2016/17 season.
As many of you will know, I recently travelled to Monaco and Paris for back to back weekends of the FIA Formula E championship. As well as collecting a wealth of content for this very website, I also tried to film as much as possible so I could put together a little video blog from my trip. It’s hardly groundbreaking coverage from behind the scenes of the all-electric championship but it was fun to make and a nice way to reflect on such a surreal weekend.
Starting 15th on the grid in Paris, Daniel Abt drove one of the best races in his Formula E career to place his ABT Schaeffler Audi Sport in P7 as the final laps of the Paris ePrix approached. He had been awarded Fanboost and overtaken a total of eight cars during the 49 lap race, making him a worthy contender for driver of the race.
Unfortunately Abt ran into trouble just three corners before the chequered flag. A battery management issue caused the car to come to an abrupt halt and ended his race meters from the finish line. Understandably, Abt was a broken man and although he was able to take several positives from the weekend in the heart of France’s capital city, the disappointment in the unreliability of the car hurt him deeply.
Jean-Eric Vergne felt his steering fail the lap before his race-ending incident, until the steering “broke completely” and resulted in the Frenchman ploughing into the barriers at Turn 13 during the Formula E Paris ePrix.
Sam Bird secured Super Pole in Paris last year, demonstrating fantastic performance around the Parisian streets, although a bad start resulted in a disappointing race for the British driver who could only manage a sixth place finish.
Looking ahead to this weekend and the return to the streets of Paris, Bird hopes to improve his result here from last April, however qualifying didn’t go quite as plan – Bird describing it as “the worst qualifying I have ever had in my career”. He qualified 18th with a 1:03.573, +1.402s off the pace of Buemi.
The FIA Formula E Championship is known for its fast-paced, action-packed race days. We are witness to two practice sessions, qualifying and a race all within a Saturday, in addition to the handful of fan engagement sessions that are scattered through out the day for visitors of the all-electric racing series.
These crazy schedules have always been a challenge for the drivers and teams in the sport. It tests the stamina of the racing drivers and the displays the skill the mechanics and engineers have in order to get a car up and running in such a short space of time, as well as fixing any damaged sustained during a session.