Formula E Preview: Round One

Formula E commences its second season this weekend with round one of the 24 race season in Beijing, China. The ten team and 20 driver setup features a wealth of talent in drivers like Simona de Silvestro, Lucas di Grassi, and Bruno Senna – and of course last year’s champion Nelson Piquet, Jr. Di Grassi won the race last year by 2.8 seconds and only led one lap the entire race! 

Let’s take a look at some numbers of note heading into the first round.

  • Last year’s championship was decided in the last race of the year and the two contenders ended up only being separated by a single point. A championship that close gave Formula E some good publicity last season and the FIA will certainly want another close battle this year. Just for some reference, the last time Formula One had a championship like that was three years ago when Sebastien Vettel edged out Fernando Alonso by three points. IndyCar had a championship decided by zero points (a tiebreaker was used) this year.
  • Seven different drivers won races last season and the most any one driver won was three. These numbers will obviously change this year as the schedule is over double the length of last year’s. 65 percent of the field (13 drivers) made it to the podium.
  • There was just one caution at Beijing last year that lasted for two laps for a crash by Bruno Senna on the second lap of the race. Just like Formula One, the Formula E series also uses a safety car in the event of larger crashes or debris on track.
Series Refresher
The points system is the same as Formula One except there are five extra points available over the course of the race weekend. Three are awarded to the driver who secures pole position and two more are given to whoever sets the fastest lap during the race. 
Drivers must stop once during the race to change cars. Yes, get out, run over, and jump in another car. It’s a little weird at times but hasn’t seemed to detract from the tight racing and battles. There were 29 lead changes last season, averaging 2.6 per race. The race with the most lead changes (5) was Miami while the least (0) was Monte Carlo – which is kind of expected considering its notoriety as a processional race.
by: Drew B., Founder 

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