As we approach the sixth round of the FIA Formula E Championship in Paris this weekend, it’s important to understand the layout of the 1.920m track and the twist and turns that brought us so much action here last year. Join me as I walk the race track that will be host to the championship here in the heart of Paris this weekend.
LAST TIME OUT
The Paris ePrix, that occurred during April of last year, crowned Lucas di Grassi of ABT Schaeffler Audi Spot the winner, with home-man Jean-Eric Vergne taking second and season two’s drivers’ champion Sebastien Buemi completing the podium in third.
Cars will line up here Saturday afternoon, opposite the EMOTION club, ready for a long drive down to Turn 2. It must be noted that during this part of the track, it’s fairly obvious we are on the streets of Paris. The road condition isn’t fantastic and there is a variety of tarmac from quick ‘patch ups’ dotting down the start/finish straight. These road conditions will be quite the change from the fresh and pristine tarmac we saw in Monaco just a week ago, the principality getting ready to host the Formula 1 race just two weeks later.
Turn 1 will be sure to bring much action as the 20 cars try and squeeze into the tight right hand corner. It is also here, just before the entry into Turn 1, that the cars reach their top speed of 190km/h.
After tackling Turn 1, you are met with a change of road surface. A fresh layer of tarmac presents itself until the start of Turn 8, covering around 50% of the track layout.
Turn 2 is home to many barriers, which as ever the drivers are keen to test with the “shall I kick it” test – a totally official measurement to grasp the strength of these safety barriers.
Turn 3 which leads into Turn 4, is on a long and winding part of the track that is reasonably narrow. We have the Les Invalides behind the track at this point, the iconic building that the track is based around.
Most drivers are very happy with the location of the track, Sam Bird stating “you couldn’t get a better location than this.”
The freshly tarmacked surface, pictured here along the straight from Turn 5 to Turn 6, continues and provides a nice break in the bumpy street circuit. Drivers then approach Turn 7 which is the slowest turn on the track, recording a speed of around 45km/h.
After Turn 7 you are met by a long straight, parallel to the start/finish straight the other side of the Les Invalides. Although the drive down to Turn 8 comes across as a long straight, it is in fact one of the shortest on the calendar – with Monaco being the shortest.
The fresh tarmac comes to an end by the time we approach turn ten and the drivers soon make their way to the pit lane. The entry and exit is a slightly unconventional as drivers head up a small straight before having do to a 180 degree spin at the head of the pit lane before finding their pit boxes.
The final couple of corners include Turns 13 and 14, the latter being a right-hander that takes you around to the start/finish straight again.
Overall the track is bumpy and has been compared to the likes of Hong Kong for it’s technical ability. Drivers generally seem positive with the track and once the teams have found the right set up, it could prove to be a successful race for the majority of teams on the track.