It is no secret that I adore the FIA Formula E Championship. I have been a fan since the idea of an all-electric racing series was announced in 2012. However for many Motorsport fans the series has failed to make that connection, with recent reports suggesting Formula E’s TV audience is three-times lower than originally projected.
With the final round of the championship being hosted in England’s capital over the weekend, I wanted to tell you why I think you should give Formula E a chance ahead of the London ePrix.
THE EPIC TITLE BATTLE
As we approach the final two rounds of the season, two men are sat at the top of the drivers’ standings with just a point between them.
Brazilian Lucas di Grassi and Swiss Sébastien Buemi will both be fighting for the title of Formula E champion in the second season of the all-electric sport. Although various polls are suggesting the fan-favourite is di Grassi of the ABT Schaeffler Audi Sport team, both men have an identical amount of wins throughout the season; not including di Grassi’s win in Mexico which was later disqualified. With three wins each to their names over the eight rounds so far, who will come out on top and be crowned the 2015/16 Formula E Champion?
BUEMI STRIVING FOR CHAMPIONSHIP VICTORY
Former F1 driver Sébastien Buemi is once again part of the championship battle as we come to the end of a Formula E season. The Renault e.dams pilot missed out on the inaugural championship title last year in London by a single point, with Nelson Piquet Jr becoming the first championship winner in the motorsport series.
In what must give Buemi a sense of déjà vu, he is once again just one point behind the championship leader approaching the final two rounds.
BACK THE BRITS
Since its launch the FIA Formula E Championship has welcomed six British drivers to the sport. British drivers have had mixed success in the championship with our best hope of taking a win over the weekend being Sam Bird.
Bird, a driver for British Formula E team DS Virgin Racing, managed to take home victory in London last year. Sam has also claimed another race win this season in Buenos Aires, as well as a podium finish. The current drivers’ standings places Bird in third place with two rounds left, however the DS Virgin driver does also have a mathematical chance at clinching the title.
Another Briton in the series is Oliver Turvey of NEXTEV TCR, team-mate to last year’s championship winner Piquet Jr.
NO SHORTAGE OF OVERTAKING
With the electric racing series using street circuits as their choice of race track, overtaking might sound tough and can be a rarity. In similar motorsport series, such as Formula One, it is well documented that overtaking can be difficult and that in many ways qualifying is the most important aspect of the racing weekend. Not in Formula E.
Speaking to the Evening Standard yesterday, Sam Bird spoke with absolute confidence that there will be “more overtaking and racing in one Formula E [race] than in a whole season of Formula One”.
LOCATION LOCATION LOCATION
How many motorsport series can you name that are able to race around the streets London? Not many I’m guessing. The 2.925km track around Battersea Park is once again host to the London ePrix, although this may be the final time.
In May of this year it was confirmed by both Formula E and the Battersea Park Action Group (BPAG) that the series would not be returning to the park, despite a contract being in place for the park to host the electric series until 2017. With London proving so popular with fans and drivers, it is believed that the championship want to continue with a round in London on their calendar.
Where could the race be hosted? Formula E commentator Jack Nicholls told me his ideal London ePrix location in the week.
“I think there has to be one round Buckingham Palace,” Nicholls said. “Up the Mall and round Trafalgar Square. They close those roads all the time, it must be doable!”
As well as London, Formula E has also visited incredible cities such as Paris, Long Beach and Beijing over the 2015/16 season.
If you are interested in watching the final two rounds of the Formula E championship in London you can catch coverage on ITV over the weekend. Round 9 and 10 are being broadcast live on Saturday and Sunday respectively, both starting at 3pm.
I will also be present at the London ePrix this year, working with e-racing.net. The FIA accredited media team will be working hard to bring you the biggest stories both on and off the track.