Motorsport’s most competitive series? Seven champions fight for Formula E title

Formula E

Posted on

| Written by

Just two weeks into 2024 and the first world championship motorsport action of the year is already upon us: The new Formula E season begins in Mexico this weekend.

Almost 10 years since its historic opening race in Beijing, the world’s first all-electric international motorsport series will begin its tenth season this weekend.

Consistently one of the most competitive top-level motorsport series on the planet – perhaps overly so for some tastes – Formula E will be eager to build on the successful first season of their Gen3 car last year.

With more overtaking and closer racing than ever before, there was rarely a dull EPrix in 2023. And with Jake Dennis and Andretti claiming the championship titles, it was yet another instance of Formula E producing different championship winners almost every year.

So what has changed for this season and what can fans expect from 2024?

Teams and drivers

Unlike Formula 1’s unchanged grid for 2024, there have been some significant swaps between the 11 FE teams, including at the sharp end of the grid.

Nyck de Vries returns to Formula E with Mahindra
Unsurprisingly, world champion Dennis remains at Andretti as he attempts to defend his title. But he will no longer be partnered by Andre Lotterer, who has bowed out of the championship after six seasons. Instead, Dennis will have Norman Nato alongside him in the Andretti garage, who moves over from Nissan for his third full season.

Dennis fought for the title against a pair of New Zealanders last season – Envision’s Nick Cassidy and Jaguar’s Mitch Evans. The two compatriots came to blows in dramatic fashion in Rome in the penultimate round of the series which damaged both their title bids, but now Cassidy has joined Evans at Jaguar, making the British team perhaps the most intriguing one on the grid – especially as they looked strongest in last year’s pre-season test at Valencia.

Cassidy replaces series veteran Sam Bird, who endured perhaps his worst season in the championship last year. But Bird remains on the grid having been signed by McLaren to replace Rene Rast. Bird will now race with Jake Hughes, who made a strong first impression in the last year’s championship before the team faded down the order as the season progressed. Both will be extremely motivated to have better championships this year.

Elsewhere on the grid, 2021 champion Nyck de Vries returns to the series after missing a season to pursue his Formula 1 ambitions. While that proved a deep disappointment, de Vries now has the opportunity to redeem himself at Mahindra alongside Edoardo Mortara, who arrives from Maserati. Mortara’s replacement at Maserati is the grid’s only rookie for 2024, former Formula 2 racer Jehan Daruvala.

Oliver Rowland also returns to the championship after departing from Mahindra following the Monaco EPrix last year. The only team to change identity for 2024 is ERT, the former NIO team, who retain their driver line-up of Dan Ticktum and Sergio Sette Camara.

TeamDriver 1Driver 2
AbtLucas di GrassiNico Muller
AndrettiJake DennisNorman Nato
DS PenskeStoffel VandoorneJean-Eric Vergne
ERTDan TicktumSergio Sette Camara
EnvisionRobin FrijnsSebastien Buemi
JaguarMitch EvansNick Cassidy
MahindraNyck de VriesEdoardo Mortara
MaseratiMaximilian GuentherJehan Daruvala
McLarenJake HughesSam Bird
NissanOliver RowlandSacha Fenestraz
PorscheAntonio Felix da CostaPascal Werhlein

Advert | Become a RaceFans supporter and go ad-free


The 2024 Formula E championship will again feature 16 races from January to July. And again, the season kicks off at the Autodromo Hermanos Rodriguez in Mexico City and finishes at the Excel Arena in London.

Italy’s round moves from Rome to Misano
The 2023 season saw a wealth of first-time hosts join the calendar, including Hyderabad in India, Cape Town in South Africa and Sao Paolo in Brazil. Of those, only Sao Paolo returns to the calendar for 2024, as Cape Town did not secure a place on the 2024 schedule and Hyderabad was removed due to a contractual dispute with the local government. The Jakarta circuit, which has hosted the series the last two seasons, will also not return this year, and nor will the round in Rome.

Instead, three new venues will be visited this year. The first being a single race in Japan in the heart of capital city Tokyo at the end of March, followed by a double-header at the Misano circuit known for hosting Moto GP and GT3 racing. The final new venue for 2024 is the Shanghai International Circuit, which will also host Formula 1 again for the first time since the onset of the Covid-19 pandemic.

113/01/2024Autodromo Hermanos Rodriguez
416/03/2024Sao Paulo
1125/05/2024Shanghai International Circuit
1226/05/2024Shanghai International Circuit

Advert | Become a RaceFans supporter and go ad-free

New rules

As there are few notable changes to the Formula E regulations for this new season, expect much of the same kind of breathless racing action viewers were treated to throughout last year.

Attack Charge pit stops will be introduced mid-season
As usual, all EPrix sessions will take place over the same day, aside from an opening acclimatisation session held the previous evening in most cases. The knockout qualifying format introduced in 2022, one of the most popular innovations that Formula E has brought to motorsport, with return again.

After missing its originally planned introduction in 2023, the so-called ‘Attack Charge’ pit stop rule will not be in action for the first part of the season – at least until the Misano rounds in April. ‘Attack Charge’ will see a new element of strategy introduced into races as drivers must enter the pit lane to conduct a 30 second compulsory pit stop which will enable them to receive a charge of battery power. As a result, they will gain two ‘Attack Mode’ periods of running at an increased rate of power compared to usual.

Until Attack Charge is formally introduced – an uncertainty given how some have voiced concerned about introducing such a major new feature to racing midway through the season – the sport will continue to operate its usual Attack Mode procedure, where drivers are compelled to activate a power boost a certain number of times during the race by running off line across special activation points on the outside of a specific corner on the circuit. Teams will again have the freedom to decide how long they wish to deploy Attack Mode at each activation, adding a degree of variance to strategies over the race.

Advert | Become a RaceFans supporter and go ad-free

How to watch

To the regret of many fans in the United Kingdom and Republic of Ireland, this year’s Formula E championship will be the first that will not be available on either free-to-air television or on a free-to-access stream on YouTube. The only way to watch this year’s Formula E action in the UK and Ireland is by subscribing to TNT Sports on Sky or through the Discovery+ streaming service. Only free practice sessions will be available to watch on YouTube.

Viewers in the United States can follow along on CBS Sports or on the Roku streaming service, new for the 2024 season. Australian audiences can watch via Stan Sport, while Eurosport will carry coverage of the series for most regions in Europe.

Formula E

Browse all Formula E articles

Author information

Will Wood
Will has been a RaceFans contributor since 2012 during which time he has covered F1 test sessions, launch events and interviewed drivers. He mainly...

Got a potential story, tip or enquiry? Find out more about RaceFans and contact us here.

11 comments on “Motorsport’s most competitive series? Seven champions fight for Formula E title”

  1. The cost of watching 15 of the 16 races is £120 for 4 months of subscription, if you don’t mind stopping and starting the monthly subscription between races 3 and 5, and between 12 and 13. That trick saves £90.

    1. I don’t watch it at all, so my trick is saving me £120.

  2. The transfer market went bonkers during the offseason, one of the chains involves no less than 6 teams:

    Daruvala (MASERATI) > Mortara (MAHINDRA) > Di Grassi (ABT) > Frijns (ENVISION) > Cassidy (JAGUAR) > Bird (MCLAREN) > Rast [out]

    The other two are rather simple:

    De Vries (MAHINDRA) > Merhi [out]

    Rowland (NISSAN) > Nato (Andretti) > Lotterer [out]

  3. I wish I could find Formula E interesting. The technology is, the spectacle just isn’t. It’s trying too hard, with the gimmicks and stuff…

    The racing just doesn’t do it for me.

    1. As a Old man the racing is different but has it charm that said it could improve a lot. While watching new technologies i think the engine will be stronger and more lasting which the car increases in size and we will see them on more real tracks. At the moment i find some circuits (FE) too narrow that must be improved first also RC must be hard on causing a collisions that happens too much. Wheel banging np the rest not so.

  4. I’ll be honest, I really enjoyed last season of FE. Getting rid of Fanboost was long overdue, and I don’t really have a problem with Attack Mode, as it’s not too dissimilar a slightly modified version of Push-To-Pass. And I’ve found, having seen it both on TV and in-person, that the “Duels” qualifying format, while perhaps not the most pure, is actually really engaging. I wouldn’t want to see it in F1 for sure, but I think it really works for FE.

    However, the pay-TV element this season is extremely disappointing. However, given FE have now been shown on all 4 UK Public Service Broadcasters, and lasted no more than 3 years on any of them, I don’t think FE had any other option except perhaps livestream the races on YouTube, which I’m sure would be popular, but would probably bring less TV exposure and revenue than the TNT Sports deal.

    Additionally, my understanding is all the races of the upcoming season will be uploaded free to the FE website 7 days after the race, so I suppose that isn’t too bad compared to some other sports.

    1. I think that you’re right about the races being available 7 days later on the FE site. To be fair, I’ve rarely felt a burning need to watch the races live – given how regularly previous broadcasters would hide, or even ignore, the coverage away, I don’t know which is cause and which is effect.

      If they had a decent driver tracker and timing screen to go along with their team radio broadcasts and could synch that all up with the delayed broadcast, I think they could have a great product on their hands. Hell, I might even pay a few quid to have access to something like that live too, but I absolutely can’t see myself taking out a TNT subscription no matter what.

      Either way, I hope to enjoy another season of FE commencing from 20 January.

  5. I don’t even consider it “motorsport”.
    Totally disconnected from the “real thing”.

  6. As I can understand and obviously respect mixed or negative opinions of other motorsport fans, after watching all 116 ePrix from its very beginning in September 2014, I was also able to come to conclusions myself.

    Initially it started as race-for-fun series, basically providing shelter for ex-F1 drivers elbowed out of the pinnacle of motorsports. Many of them were able to show how harshly they were treated and they are capable of shine in equal machinery, as season 1 went not only with spec chassis, but spec power train and gearbox, the hardware side of the cars were equal, the importance of the drivers proved to be extremely important.

    As seasons went by and different technical solutions were allowed and welcome, this gained the attention of heavy weight car manufacturers, which in turn attracted exciting young talents or champions of certain regional series on the driver’s side. While the drivers considered the series at some pastime activity in the beginning, behind their main series like WEC or DTM, the trend reversed at some point, but racing in multiple series and the comradery between drivers reminded a lot what F1 looked like in the 60s. At some point the series was referred to as the Bundesliga as Mercedes, BMW, Porsche and Audi fielded their own teams and supplied many of the remaining teams. All these factors and actors improved a lot on the professionalism of the series, races had became less random.

    On the technical side, Gen1 cars looked like late-90s F1 machines, two of them were needed to complete a not exactly long race distance, but brought forward car preserving skills and strategies being able to go one-two laps longer in the first car, allowing them to push a bit more in the second car. Their speed might have been unspectacular, but racing them on relatively narrow street tracks between unforgiving walls provided quality wheel-to-wheel racing.

    Gen2 proved to be a giant leap in terms of technology and quality of racing, and the Batmobile-like cars proved themselves. Attack Mode appeared, which was jokingly referred to as “Mario Kart” by the drivers themselves, and it served as a streamlined version of a pitstop for fresher tyres which cost you trackposition, but you can make up the places with the plus performance of the tyres, or in this case extra horsepowers for a limited amount of time. Similar concept as rolling forward a few rows on the dummy grid instead on completing a whole formation lap.

    Gen3 is our current spec car, which is smaller, lighter and drastically faster and more efficient than any electric racing car before. However, manufacturers leaving the series claimed that this technology level still bottlenecks their own development rate of electric solutions. Every generations meant to last for 4 seasons, and after 2 seasons a b-spec is being introduced as planned, Gen2 was an exception due to the covid-situation. Technical and sporting regulations are proactively planned, there’s a clean concept about it, they simply don’t wait until the formula becomes overused.

    In Season 9 the track selection was broadened, but keeping the concept of high speed lanes ending with heavy braking zones into a hairpin with multiple lines to take it and support overtaking efforts. Different tracks came into play, like the relatively superwide Portland circuit, which provided an absolutely unusual kind of racing. The main issue these days is the relatively huge difference between the power train solutions, where Jaguar and Porsche-driven teams excel, but the rest are lagging far behind and has the only option to improve their software solutions to close that gap. That still makes racing really intense and interesting, albeit not every team can compete currently for wins or podiums. This is in my opinion that FE has to address.

    1. Thanks for that overview, it was inevitable that opening up the cars’ development would lead to differences that would make the races more predictable, but it seems there hasn’t yet been a runaway team.

      Other than the silly sound, the goofy tracks have been the main reason I have no interest in FE. It’s good to read that they’re slowly expanding the range and types of tracks, even if they’ll probably always be city-focused, as that’s where BEVs are best used.

      1. @MichaelN Thanks for reading it through!

Comments are closed.