Formula E: Five things to watch during the London ePrix
The inaugural season of the FIA Formula E series will conclude this weekend with the London ePrix doubleheader.
Race 1 will be shown LIVE Saturday at 10:30 a.m. ET on FOX Sports 1, with the season finale on LIVE Sunday at 10:30 a.m. ET on FOX Sports 2.
Here are five things to watch during the event:
1. Three-way title fight
The answer to the big question everyone wants to know is who will be the inaugural FIA Formula E series champion?
Right now, NEXTEV TCR’s Nelson Piquet has a 17-point lead over Audi Sport ABT’s Lucas di Grassi and a 23-point lead over e.dams Renault’s Sebastien Buemi.
Although there are technically six drivers still alive for the championship, Prost, D’Ambrosio and Bird are all a fair ways back.
Thirty points are available at each event, with three points to the pole sitter, two points for the driver who sets the fastest lap, and 25, 18, 15, 12, 10, 8, 6, 4, 2, and 1 point being awarded for the drivers who finish from first to 10th respectively.
2. Pit stops
The e.dams-Renault team has a healthy 44-point lead over Audi Sport ABT in the Team Standings and will most likely take that title. However, the French team, co-owned by Jean-Paul Droit and four-time Formula One World Champion Alain Prost, had a big slip-up last time out in Moscow when they had both their cars held in the pits for 10 seconds longer than necessary, costing them valuable positions.
Each driver has to make one stop each race to change car, as the technology is not there yet for a Spark-Renault SRT_01E car to be able to complete a full race distance on one battery charge.
As in any racing series, the race can be won or lost in the stops, and e.dams-Renault (and all of the teams) will have to make sure there are no more slip-ups in the pits if they want to finish as high as possible in the championship.
3. First time winners
In nine races, the FIA Formula E series has seen seven different winners, with only Nelson Piquet Jr. and Sebastien Buemi winning twice. The top three drivers in the points without a win are Jean-Eric Vergne (seventh), Daniel Abt (ninth) and Nick Heidfeld (10th) who have all had podium finishes this season.
Heidfeld, in fact, came close to winning the inaugural race but crashed heavily in the final turn after colliding with Nico Prost. Finishing third last time out in Moscow was the closest he has came since to winning an ePrix.
4. Four debutants
There will be four drivers making their FIA Formula E debuts this weekend:
– Simona de Silvestro – Andretti – will attempt to be the first female Formula E driver to score points
– Fabio Leimer – Virgin Racing – will be racing in place of Jaime Alguersuari, who has not been cleared to race by the FIA due to health reasons
– Oliver Turvey – NEXTEV TCR – the only one of the debutants yet to drive a Formula E car
5. British weather
If you don’t like the weather in England, just wait a few minutes. There is – as there always is an England – a chance of rain in London on both Saturday and Sunday this weekend.
The FIA Formula E series has yet to have a wet race, despite the fact that the cars are ready for it. In fact, they wouldn’t even have to come in for a tire change, as the Michelin tires they used are designed to be able to race in dry and wet conditions.