world’s first ever fully-electric single-seater race took place in Beijing, heralding
the beginning of an electric season of the FIA Formula E Championship that will
now witness nine more races, the final
one concluding in London on June 27 2015.
Beijing Evergrande ePrix was held on a temporary race track built around the
city’s iconic Olympic ‘Bird’s Nest’
Stadium. The winner was Audi Sport ABT’s Lucas di Grassi. According to an FIA
press release, around 40 million are believed to have watched the race
worldwide on television with 75,000 attending on site and one billion social
interactions recorded around the race.
Di Grassi won the race after race-leader Nicolas Prost (e.dams-Renault) and
Venturi’s Nick Heidfeld touched on the final corner of the final lap in the
battle for the lead, sending Heidfeld into a spectacular crash which he walked
away from unharmed.
driver Franck Montagny finished runner-up, three seconds after di Grassi with
team-mate Daniel Abt crossing the line third, only to later have it taken away
from him after failing short of the required 28kw power consumption usage.
Virgin Racing’s Sam Bird was eventually promoted to claim the final place on
Racing’s Indian driver Karun Chandhok finished fifth in the pack of 20 drivers,
a remarkable feat by itself. For Mahindras, the performance will definitely be
a morale booster as the company is the only Indian car maker committed to
making electric cars in India.
di Grassi said that he was happy more so because Nick [Heidfeld] is fine and it
also shows how safe these cars are. He said he was lucky to be at the right place
at the right time. “I’m extremely happy to be the first ever winner of a
Formula E race,” he said.
two of the new Formula E series takes place in Putrajaya, Malaysia, on November
release further said that Formula E is the FIA’s new fully-electric
single-seater championship designed to appeal to a new generation of motorsport
fans. Competing entirely on city-centre circuits all over the world, it uses
cars capable of speeds in excess of 225kph. Its 10 teams feature some of the
leading international names in motorsport including Alain Prost and Michael
Andretti, along with high-profile environmental supporters including Sir
Richard Branson and Leonardo DiCaprio. Meanwhile, it’s driver-line up boasts an
array of former Formula One stars such as Jarno Trulli, Jaime Alguersuari,
Sebastien Buemi, Lucas di Grassi and Bruno Senna.
hope the new series will also help increase the interest in electric vehicles
and promote sustainability, as well as accelerate the technology available
which, over time, will filter into the road-going electric vehicle market.
success of Formula E has attracted many top global partners including the likes
of Michelin and Renault, both leaders in their field, with Renault providing
the expertise behind the Spark-Renault SRT_01E Formula E car.
Picture of Audi Sport
ABT’s Lucas di Grassi, courtesy FIA