Back in college I produced a thesis about why we see a lack of women in motorsport. Motorsport is not a man’s sport, but undeniably you can state that is still very male-dominated. Things are changing though and for the better. This thesis took me months and during the research for the project I looked into the ideas that circulated about a women’s motorsport championship. The people that I had found that backed the idea, I will be honest with you, I didn’t have much respect for them or their values. Therefore, the fact they were promoting this idea of a segregated championship just for women didn’t appeal to me at all. Fast forward five years later and W Series is announced.
Ah Formula E, you always know how to keep us on the edge of our seats. Whether it is producing 9 different winners, from 8 manufacturers nonetheless, or making us wait until the last round of the season to see who of the four contenders will be crowned drivers’ champion, you have got it all.
It has been a bit of a mental year, a new generation of cars meant that nobody really knew going into the season who would have the most competitive package and be able to storm ahead of the competition. As the field was so open for opportunity, a whole wave of teams and drivers were able to demonstrate the driving talent that got them in to the highly-competitive world of Formula E and at each of the first eight races, we saw a new winner crowned which brings us on to the first point nicely.
When Jaguar Racing joined Formula E in season three, they inevitably found themselves at a slight disadvantage as teams around them had already gained two years experience in the all-electric championship. The first season proved slow and a huge learning curve, with the team’s best result being a 4th place and 8th place at the Mexico City ePrix for Mitch Evans and Adam Carroll, respectively. Nelson Piquet Jr, the season one champion in Formula E, then joined the team for season four alongside Evans.
Season Four, with the duo of Evans and Piquet Jr, proved to be more of a success. Evans earned his first ever pole position in Formula E and even managed to secure himself a podium finish after Daniel Abt’s disqualification in Hong Kong.
However, with the introduction of the Gen2 cars and Jaguar taking big steps such as producing most of their race car in-house, Evans has really had his time to shine and finally demonstrate the raw and impressive talent he has behind the wheel. Finally taking his first Formula E win this year and currently sitting in third in the drivers’ standings, the Kiwi could take the title this weekend. I caught up with him away from the track to hear his thoughts on his best Formula E season to date and how he and the team plan on tackling this possible career-defining weekend.
Aged just 21, it could be easy to label Maximilian Günther as just another ‘rising star’ in motorsport. However, he is more than that. So much more.
The young German found himself in the FIA Formula 3 European Championship before being handed a promotion into FIA Formula 2 with Arden International in 2018. Despite this impressive racing resume, all this was cut-short when Günther got the call up for a ‘full-time’ drive in FIA Formula E with Dragon Racing for season five. I say ‘full-time’ in inverted commas as it gets a little confusing, you will see why later.
With a trusted source telling me Günther will be in the car until the season finale in New York this July, I took the time to catch up with the young racer to hear why he has decided to risk his career for Formula E despite still technically representing the team on a race-by-race basis.
“I really enjoy Formula E,” Günther starts with a beaming smile. “Formula E is a very modern championship with attack mode, different power levels and the very nice-looking cars. It is really cool and offers unpredictable races. There are a lot of different winners too. We don’t really know what to expect as spectators or as a driver, so it makes it very interesting!
He secured his first pole position around the streets of Paris last time out, only to have it snatched from his grasp due to the car having “non-respect of the minimum tyre pressure”. This weekend in Monaco he starts the race in P3 after a penalty from Oliver Rowland promotes him up a place on the grid.
Despite racing around the famous Monaco street circuit during his time in F1, the Formula E rookie said that racing around this shorter version of the famous grand prix track layout was like learning the track all over again.
“I would like to drive the whole track,” Wehrlien told http://www.katyfairman.com. “I didn’t expect it [to be the full grand prix track] so I am not disappointed. The full track is really nice and I would like to do it but it is a new track again for me.
“There is no reason why not,” Rome ePrix winner Mitch Evans tells me when I ask if he can win the remaining races in the Formula E calendar this year. He has a huge grin on his face, stinks of champagne and sweat and is bouncing from the contestant hype from the media pen. Just minutes earlier, Evans took not only his first Formula E win after two and a half seasons, but also finally helped Jaguar Racing clench their first win in the all-electric motorsport.
Speaking exclusively to katyfairman.com after the race, Evans described the thrill of this first Formula E win and how he managed to keep his cool one year after a possible podium in Rome slipped through his fingertips – oh and the part when he referred to himself as an “absolute idiot” for missing the second attack mode by just centimetres with a hungry Andre Lotterer breathing down his neck to take the lead of the ePrix.
“Did you wake up this morning and think that today you would win your first Formula E race,” the interview began. “To be honest,” Evans paused, “no.”
Six different winners. Six different manufacturers. Six different races. It’s the angle that the marketing team at Formula E have used to promote season five of the all-electric championship so far, and rightfully so. It is a scenario most modern motorsport series could only dream of.
Such variety, unpredictability and uncertainty has kept both fans and those within Formula E on their toes, with drivers even stating themselves that they aren’t sure as to why this year has produced some of the closest racing the series has ever seen. Could it be that Formula E boasts one of the greatest grids of drivers seen in motorsport, or the fact that we have recently upgraded to the new second generation of cars that are faster and all the teams are just pushing to the absolute maximum?