There are new faces. 15 veteran drivers are coming back for more, while some newbies are jumping in. There are some new tracks. And there’s more power. That’s what the new season promises to deliver Formula E fans.
Formula E’s Early Days
Six years ago, we met Alejandro Agag and Lucas di Grassi at the Long Beach official unveiling of the second race of the first season of the brand new Formula E race. Of course, we were more than excited. Single-seat racing electric vehicles (EV) competing on on a famous city street sounded like a lot of fun.
What really impressed us was talking to both Alejandro and Lucas. Alejandro told us that the idea was born a couple years earlier and in two years they were able to bring the concept to life. Think about it. Two years to create a race unlike any other, using single-seater EVs, a full season format, and signing up cities and tracks. That is no small feat.
Lucas told us something else that made us look forward to it even more. When all 15 cars were on the track, their decibel signature was the same as one Formula 1 car. If you’ve ever been to a Formula 1 race, you know what we’re talking about. Your chest vibrates so much when they come screaming past you. But nothing like that with Formula E, which, while some might lament, is a welcome difference.
Our first race at the Long Beach street track was another surprise. All journalists looked at each other at the end of the race and realized we never needed or even put earplugs in! A first for all of us. We talked and exchanged during the race.
Formula E 4th Season — Who’s Returning & What’s New?
Audi Sport ABT Schaeffler will be back, making this its fourth year in a row since the very first race. The Andretti Autosport is also back, as well as DS Virgin Racing. Dragon will be back, as well as Mahindra Racing and Venturi, which has also been here since day one. The Renault e.dams team will continue this season but reported it would be the last, with Nissan coming in next to replace it. Finally, last year’s newcomer Panasonic Jaguar Racing is returning.
A new face is TECHEETAH, which is replacing Team Aguri. The new player is the NIO Formula E Team, but it really started off as Team China Racing previously. We’ve covered NIO in the past here on CleanTechnica.
Another new face is Andre Lotterer, who comes from the exciting world of endurance racing. Andre holds a driver’s title in the FIA World Endurance Championship, with three victories in the 24 Hours of Le Mans. He joins teammate Jean-Eric Vergne at TECHEETAH.
Neel Jani joins Dragon Racing and also comes from the world of endurance racing in GP2 single-seaters. He will be teaming up with Sebastian Buemi.
Luca Filippi might sound familiar to those who follow IndyCar racing. He started his career in Formula Renault, moving to Formula 3000, GP2, and then IndyCar in 2013. He joins the NIO Formula E team.
Edoardo Mortara is new but has worked with Formula E in the past. He started his career in 2006 in Formula Renault, then onto Formula Three Euroseries, and finally to the German DTM championship in 2011. He test drove for the Venturi Formula E team at pre-season in Valencia.
These new talents show yet again that Formula E still attracts new and veteran talents regularly. This is something we were intrigued about. Talking to Lucas di Grassi years after the start, he told us that many of his former racing friends felt they had missed the boat by not jumping onboard the electric drivetrain sooner.
Formula E 4th Season Calendar
As far as the calendar, the racing kicks off in Hong Kong in one week and adds some new tracks.
- 3 Dec — Hong Kong, HK
- 13 Jan — Marrakech, MA
- 3 Feb — Santiago, CL
- 3 Mar — Mexico City, MX
- 17 Mar — Sao Paulo, BR
- 14 Apr — Rome, IT
- 28 Apr — Paris, FR
- 19 May — Berlin, DE
- 10 Jun — Zurich, CH
- 14 to 15 Jul — New York City, US
- 28 to 29 Jul — Montreal, CA
Formula E 4th Season Means More Power
Season #4 will introduce an additional 10 kW of power in race mode. This increases the power output from 170 kW to 180 kW. This could mean a few things for the season races. It could spell faster or longer races but will certainly mean overtaking will be fun.
It’s surprising to see a formula race get underway in such a short amount of time. We’re happy to see that Formula E is returning for a fourth season and sorely miss the street track of Long Beach, California.
Don't want to miss a cleantech story? Sign up for daily news updates from CleanTechnica on email. Or follow us on Google News!
Have a tip for CleanTechnica, want to advertise, or want to suggest a guest for our CleanTech Talk podcast? Contact us here.