Highlights from the 2014 LA Auto Show

Formula E Grand Prix confirmed for Beijing this September

By

March 17, 2014

Ten teams, with two drivers, will drive fully-electric Formula E racers at speeds in exces...

Ten teams, with two drivers, will drive fully-electric Formula E racers at speeds in excess of 225 km/h (140 mph) (Image: FIA Formula E)

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As Nico Rossberg and Mercedes celebrate the first win of the 2014 Formula One season, another group of racers prepares for a new electric race series. All-electric Formula E racers will hold their own Grand Prix for the first time this September at the iconic Bird’s Nest Olympic Stadium in Beijing.

Although this is the inaugural year for Formula E, the Federation Internationale de l'Automobile (FIA) and the same massive infrastructure that oversees Formula One is already fully behind the fledgling series. Designed by Rodrigo Nunes, the new track was built in close cooperation with the FIA, Formula E, the Olympic Park committee, the Republic of China Motor Sport Federation (FASC), the Mayor of Beijing and the Chinese Government. Beijing’s Formula E circuit is the first of ten city-based races scheduled as part of the 2014/2015 season.

The Beijing circuit comprises 3.44 km (2.14 miles) of track with 20 turns, and racers will...

For this event, which is due to take place on Saturday September 13, each of the 10 teams has access to four Spark-Renault SRT01E Formula E fully-electric single-seat racers, or two cars per driver. Racers will wind their way around the 20 turns of the 3.44 km (2.14 mile) track in a counter-clockwise fashion at speeds in excess of 225 km/h (140 mph).

For season two, Formula E has arranged for an "open championship" season, where teams will be allowed to design and develop their own cars in accordance with technical specifications to be set by the FIA.

"The Beijing track is an amazing facility," said Lucas di Grassi, driver for the Audi Sport ABT Formula E Team. "For the drivers, it will be a tremendous challenge to learn the limits of this track quickly, as well as to understand the best overtaking opportunities. The most obvious places are likely to be the first and last corners. The circuit will also require lots of traction and braking stability, while the energy recuperation at braking zones will help to stabilize the car. The pit lane is also unique and requires practice to get right."

Ten teams, with two drivers, will drive fully-electric Formula E racers at speeds in exces...

The Beijing track isn't exactly one of the most complicated, or innovative, or technical of tracks. With a large percentage of straight-aways, sharp 90 degree corners and four strategically placed chicanes, it will be interesting to see how the electric racers perform as they make their way around the former Olympic Bird's Nest Stadium and the National Aquatic Center.

Donington Park Raceway in the UK has been confirmed as the new headquarters and central workshop for Formula E as part of a program to increase development and reduce overall costs.

Source: Formula E

About the Author
Angus MacKenzie Born on the cold, barren Canadian plains of Calgary, Alberta, Angus MacKenzie couldn’t decide between marketing, automotives or an entrepreneurial path - so he chose all three. When not writing, Angus has for the past six years been Editor-in-Chief for elemente, an internationally recognized architecture/design magazine.   All articles by Angus MacKenzie
7 Comments

Muaaaa,.. a 1:1 scale RC car race. :)

The sound of Formula Es zooming past at 225 would be epic

Nairda
17th March, 2014 @ 03:50 am PDT

It would be akin to, but a little louder than the sound of one hand clapping!

Serenah
17th March, 2014 @ 09:07 am PDT

The cars will be charge from unscrubbed coal burning power plants making them the dirtiest race cars in the world for the day at least.

Slowburn
17th March, 2014 @ 02:06 pm PDT

@ Slowburn

not sure about the coal-burning plants in China, but here in the USA... charging an EV with entirely coal-burning plants is still more efficient than driving a gasser.

Milton
17th March, 2014 @ 07:16 pm PDT

@ Milton

I didn't say less efficient even if I don't think your numbers are right.particularly if you count the general inefficiencies of the electrical grid. Also The Green Fascists are dead set against the additional electrical generating capacity needed to switch over to electric cars.

I said they would be the dirtiest race cars when using unscrubbed coal plants. Using scrubbed coal plants they won't be noticeably clean even ignoring the mess made by mining and refining the rare earth materials required by the motors.

Slowburn
18th March, 2014 @ 12:31 am PDT

@ slowburn - I doubt that your theory (even if true) would make them dirtier than F1 engines!

@ Serenah - Have you listened to one? MW

Martin Winlow
19th March, 2014 @ 04:12 am PDT

What would Gizmag's comments be without Slowburn? No one else seems to lack the ability to discern between acceptable technology and dirty policy.

Technology is neutral. The USE of unsustainable tech is not. EV's are a by far healthier choice than ICE driven machines. Just because a (or any) EV is charged by electricity from a dirty powerplant one should not blame the electric appliance that uses it rather the decision maker(s) who enabled the generation of dirty electricity.

"Green fascists..." Name calling really brings Your case home! (Not that Slowburn ever backed his unsustainable opinion with sources) Move to Bombay or Bejing and breathe the air of progress.

Niko
19th March, 2014 @ 10:33 am PDT
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