The FIA have designated the championship as an open series, meaning manufacturers may bring their own designs to race meetings. With many citing the need for motorsport to find alternative forms of energy use, Formula-e is intended to become the top level all-electric car championship, allowing manufacturers to develop their technology to ultimately be used in road cars.
TechnologyEditFor 2014/15, Formula-e will be limited to a one-make series, with only one car homologated for the year: the Spark-Renault SRT-01E. McLaren Electronic Systems are set to provide the powertrain and electronics, with Williams Advanced Engineering supplying batteries capable of producing 200kw (around 270bhp) of energy for half an hour.
Despite the new technology, cost cutting measures and universal parts are to be used elsewhere. Michelin have developed an 18" wheel specifically for the championship, while each car will have a Hewland built, set ratio, sequential gearbox.
Formula-e will use the FIA's conventional system, with a one-hour practice session scheduled before qualifying. Qualifying will see the cars split into four groups of five cars in a ninety minute session to set the fastest time (pole position is to be awarded three points).
The race, in Formula-e named an "ePrix", will comence with a standing start about two hours after the end of qualifying, with drivers making a mandatory pitstop to change cars. With power limited to 150kw (202bhp), the drivers will race for sixty minutes, with a temporary boost available to the three most popular drivers through the "FanBoost" system. The fastest lap setter will be awarded two points, with the championship following the FIA's established points system.
From the eleven races, the FIA will award both a Drivers Championship and a Teams Championship to the driver/team with the most points. From the start of the 2015/16 Season, Formula-e becomes an open championship, with eight nominated manufacturers allowed to develop their own parts for their teams. They will be initially limited to developing the powertrain, but the FIA are yet to announce whether these manufacturers will compete for their own championship, alongside the established drivers and teams versions.
The FIA first announced an interest in starting an all-electric Formula class of racing in 2010, beginning a submission process for willing designers and championship proposals to be made, closing on the 14th of October, 2011. Two submitters were Alejandro Agag and Template:Frederic Vasseur, whom contributed a championship proposal and car design respectively. Agag founded Formula E Holdings along with Enrique Bañuelos in 2012, having been awarded marketing rights to the newly formed FIA Formula-e Championship on the 1st of August 2012. Vasseur was then approached to construct the all electric car for the championship, resulting in the Spark-Renault SRT_01E.
The new SRT_01E entered extensive testing in 2013, covering over 4,000km before the first ten race-ready cars were delivered in May 2014. The ten teams, which had come forward since the start of 2014, began testing, evaluating and preparing the cars at Donington Park from the 3rd of July, with four days of extensive testing over two weeks. The cars had already had a shakedown in June at the circuit (which became the centre of Formula-e from that point, apart from the London based officies of FEH), and would appear once more at the circuit before the season started in Beijing.
To Beijing and BeyondEditThe 2014/15 FIA Formula E Championship started with a bang at the 2014 Beijing ePrix on the 13th of September, 2014. Lucas di Grassi made history by becoming the first winner of an ePrix in fortunate circumstances, after Nicolas Prost hit the side of Nick Heidfeld in the run into the final corner of the race, sending Heidfeld into a high speed slide. Heidfeld's car was thrown into a barrel roll by a curb, although he would walk away unharmed when his ruined Venturi run machine smacked into the opposite barrier.
Although none of the subsequent races have seen quite the level of late drama as Beijing, the intensity of the racing remained, with Sam Bird, Sébastien Buemi, Prost, and, most surprisingly, António Félix da Costa winning the next four ePrix. Buemi became the first man to win two ePrix in one season, while Nelson Piquet, Jr. became the title favourite with just two races remaining.
From the start of the 2015/16 Formula-E Season, eight manufacturers will join the series, redesigning and constructing their own powertrains for the SRT_01E. The FIA hopes that this will stimulate development of other areas in road cars and in Formula-e, although work on other areas of the car in 2015/16 will be heavily restricted.
The homologation period for the manufacturer's designs began in February 2015.
Images and Videos:
- ↑ 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 1.4 http://www.fiaformulae.com/en/guide/overview.aspx
- ↑ 2.0 2.1 2.2 http://www.fiaformulae.com/en/guide/car.aspx
- ↑ 3.0 3.1 3.2 3.3 3.4 3.5 http://www.fiaformulae.com/en/guide/event-format.aspx
- ↑ 4.0 4.1 4.2 4.3 http://www.fiaformulae.com/en/news/2015/february/eight-manufacturers-to-enter-fia-formula-e-from-second-season.aspx
- ↑ 5.0 5.1 5.2 5.3 http://www.fiaformulae.com/en/news/2014/may/insight-fr%C3%A9d%C3%A9ric-vasseur-spark-racing-technology.aspx
- ↑ http://www.fiaformulae.com/en/news/2012/august/new-fia-formula-e-championship-powered-by-electric-energy.aspx
- ↑ 7.0 7.1 http://www.fiaformulae.com/en/news/2014/july/insight-formula-e-pre-season-testing.aspx
- ↑ http://www.fiaformulae.com/en/news/2014/september/lucas-di-grassi-snatches-win-after-dramatic-last-corner-crash.aspx
- ↑ Cite error: Invalid
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