Across the globe, businesses are making the transition towards electric vehicles in a bid to reduce emissions and improve air quality.
Up until very recently, this didn’t extend to motorsport. Breakneck speed, high-G manoeuvrability and impeccable driving skill were purely the preserve of conventional fuels; electric vehicles simply didn’t have the stamina.
Since 2014, however, a new racing series has shown that electric vehicles are just as, if not more capable of enabling spectacular feats of racing talent: Formula E.
WHAT IS FORMULA E?
Formula E is a single-seater track racing class featuring purely electric vehicles. Chassis are identical across all eleven teams, with each team having two drivers – a mix of experienced F1 drivers and emerging talent. These teams, such as DS Techeetah, Nissan e.dams and BMW i Andretti Motorsport are headed by major manufacturers, with more joining every season.
Each Formula E season runs from winter to summer, with the 2018/19 season the fifth to take place. All practice, qualification, Super Pole and E-Prix races take place in a single day on a range of urban tracks in cities across the globe. In 2018/19, Formula E introduced a new car and several rule changes known as Gen2, improving battery capacities and eliminating the need to swap cars mid-way through each race.
The differences between Formula E and Formula 1
Cars, tracks, format; Formula E is an altogether different beast to its closest conventional racing rival, Formula 1. Here’s what sets Formula E apart:
- Exclusively raced on city circuits, not traditional racetracks
- Identical chassis and aerodynamics for every team
- More competitive with extra overtakes, crashes and podium positions
- Free to view in the UK
- Slightly slower vehicles than F1
- Different rules and format to F1
Formula E fixtures
Check out this season’s fixtures on the official race calendar.
WHY WATCH FORMULA E?
Whether you’re a die-hard F1 speed-lover or prefer more nail-biting motorsports like MotoGP and WRC, Formula E ticks every box. To the sound of the cars’ futuristic squeal, the e-series brings together a 174mph top speed, frantic urban racing and plenty of scrapes into a fiercely competitive package. There are no scheduled stops to refuel either, meaning drivers must ensure they don’t drain their battery packs too soon and fail to finish.
There are even greater changes still. Formula E differs from all existing motorsports with the addition of Fanboost and Attack Mode. The former sees spectators voting online for their favourite drivers – the five with the most votes gaining an extra five-second burst of power they can use during the second half of the race. When the driver activates Fanboost, their vehicle’s protective ‘halo’ canopy glows violet.
Attack Mode allows drivers to collect an extra 25kW of power when they arm their vehicle’s Attack Mode and drive through pre-decided zones on the track – usually located off the racing line. Once activated, the drivers can use this power to drive more aggressively and overcome the competition.
The number of uses, duration and arm time of Attack Mode differs from race to race and is only announced an hour before start, pitting teams’ on-the-spot strategies against one another. When drivers are in Attack Mode, their vehicle’s protective canopy is lit blue.
Lastly, because Formula E takes place on the street and is available to view for free in its entirety, everyone can enjoy this new-fangled form of racing.
HOW IS TOTAL INVOLVED WITH FORMULA E?
TOTAL has partnered with Formula E since the early days of the sport, and today develop and supply specialised electric vehicle lubricants for the DS Techeetah race team, working alongside DS Automobiles.
Advancements gleaned from working at the forefront of performance EV design and development have also found their way into Total’s range of QUARTZ EV and RUBIA EV fluids for hybrid and electric passenger and commercial vehicles. Specifically tailored to safeguard the efficiency and performance of alternatively fuelled vehicles while keeping maintenance to a minimum, they’re an excellent choice for any driver or fleet manager. Learn more about QUARTZ EV and RUBIA EV.
Contact our team to learn more about Formula E – the future of motorsport, supported by Total.