Formula E: Rounds 10 and 11 – London ePrix Preview

Discussion in 'Motorsports' started by Jordan Adcock, Jun 26, 2015.

  1. Jordan Adcock

    Jordan Adcock

    Formula E’s season finale comes in two parts this weekend, but it’s three drivers in particular who will be racing for the title around Battersea Park.

    After visiting nine cities over nine months, the still-new electrified single-seater series’ final destination is the British capital, which hasn't hosted competitive motorsport for 40 years after the Crystal Palace circuit was closed in the early 1970s due to increasing safety concerns

    Realistically, Nelson Piquet Jr (China Racing) looks odds-on to take the title, with a 17 point lead over Lucas di Grassi (Audi Sport ABT) and a further six ahead of Sébastien Buemi (e-Dams) after his comfortable win last time in Moscow

    But di Grassi and Buemi have also been multiple winners (or at least di Grassi won at Berlin on the road) and despite recent bad luck both have remained at the front in terms of pace. di Grassi has described the championship as "fully open", so expect to see them fight Piquet Jr hard to be Formula E's first ever driver's champion.

    Buemi’s teammate Nicolas Prost (e-Dams), Jérôme d’Ambrosio (Dragon Racing) and Sam Bird (Virgin Racing) remain mathematically in contention but each would require serious trouble for the three ahead of them in order to snatch the title at this point. d’Ambrosio and Bird especially would need points for pole or fastest lap in addition to the 50 for winning both races.

    Moving away from title contenders, London also sees a mammoth five driver changes: apart from Simona de Silvestro and Sakon Yamamoto, 2013 GP2 champion Fabio Leimer is in at Virgin Racing after Jaime Alguersuari was suddenly declared unfit to race, the Spaniard reportedly fainting after the Moscow ePrix.

    Vitantonio Liuzzi is absent from his Trulli GP seat owing to Japanese Super GT commitments, meaning Swiss GP3 racer Alex Fontana stands in for him.

    Ironically, McLaren test driver Oliver Turvey moves from that series to partner Piquet Jr at China Racing, replacing Antonio García.

    Andretti Autosport is running a special orange/white livery at this race, referencing de Silvestro’s regular Indycar livery.

    Amlin Aguri will be no more next season, at least in its precise form; Amlin the sponsor is apparently looking to sponsor another team, and is going to court to try and extricate themselves from Super Aguri Formula E (SAFE) the racing team. Can the mostly midfield runners add another success to their rather fortunate Buenos Aires win?

    The Battersea Park Street Circuit has undergone a few revisions from its original clockwise form. The Simon Gibbons-designed track now runs anti-clockwise for 2.925km on the Carriage Drive roads bordering the park, and features a few more chicanes which Karun Chandhok insists each have their unique character. The first set at turns 4-7 look quicker, the set on the South Drive tighter and slower.

    These changes have of course necessitated more building and surfacing work, which has been controversial for some local residents. Whether or not objections to park disruption cause Wandsworth Borough Council to break the five-year contract after this weekend remains to be seen.

    But what organisers can’t change is how narrow the track is. It’s possibly as tight as Monaco, which Formula E also raced on this season, and even Monaco’s roads don’t feature significant crowning at the centre (used to aid draining in the roads’ everyday use). Navigating all of the 17 corners could therefore be very difficult, even without the British weather intervening to give Formula E its first ever wet races.

    The circuit’s tightness is perhaps what makes Piquet Jr likely to convert his lead into the title this weekend. The Brazilian didn’t start the season brilliantly, but China Racing has managed the scarce battery power better than any other team, and ever since the third round at Punta del Este he hasn’t finished lower than 5th.

    But a little bit of misfortune could leave him very vulnerable. Say for example he slips up in qualifying compared to di Grassi and Buemi, bouncing back might be next to impossible with the track so tight to overtake on. Just a thought, but don’t rule out some final twists as a season of discovery for Formula E comes to a close.

    Drivers’ Standings after 9 races
    Nelson Piquet Jr China Racing 128 points
    2 Lucas di Grassi Audi Sport ABT 111
    3 Sébastien Buemi e-Dams 105
    4 Nicolas Prost e-Dams 82
    5 Jérôme d'Ambrosio Dragon Racing 77

    Teams’ Standings after 9 races
    1 e-Dams
    187 points
    2 Audi Sport ABT 143
    3 China Racing 132
    4 Dragon Racing 116
    5 Andretti Autosport 104

    Qualifying is at 11am UTC this Saturday and Sunday, which you can follow here on RaceDepartment through Formula E’s live online stream. It’s also available for the race at 3pm UTC.

    To watch ITV4’s coverage of Race 1 on Saturday, qualifying is on from 11:30am, the race programme from 3pm with the race starting at 4pm. For ITV’s coverage of Race 2 on Sunday, the times are the same.

    Watch a virtual lap around Battersea Park in RaceDepartment’s video gallery here.
    Last edited: Jun 27, 2015
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  2. the_sigman


    Supporting Alex Fontana, the Swiss-Greek driver this weekend. And as an Audi fan, I would love to see Lucas become the champ :)
  3. Andy_J

    PC Veteran Gamer and Biker. Premium

    Watching the news on TV, so I'll miss it. :rolleyes:
    Last edited: Jun 27, 2015
  4. Philip Heck

    Philip Heck

    Go Nelson! :D
  5. Nelson Ullinskey

    Nelson Ullinskey

    Thanks for the support!! :D
    • Winner Winner x 1
  6. Dan Allen

    Dan Allen
    I am the Pastor Maldonado of RaceDepartment.

    God damn it how do I keep missing this?!?