Formula E

Beijing Formula E street circuit revealed

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  • #251895

    It’s not exactly inspiring:

    Formula E Beijing Grand Prix circuit

    The pit lane concept is interesting, though.

    Here’s the press release, interesting bits highlighted:

    Organisers of the FIA Formula E Championship have today revealed the location and circuit layout of the Beijing Formula E Grand Prix – exactly six months ahead of the opening round of the new global electric race series.

    Taking place on Saturday, 13th September 2014, the inaugural Formula E race has been set around the grounds of China’s iconic Olympic Stadium, more commonly known as the ‘Bird’s Nest’ and venue for the 2008 Olympic Games. At 3.44km in length and featuring 20 turns, the anti -clockwise temporary circuit has been custom made by designer Rodrigo Nunes, working in close cooperation with the FIA, Formula E, the Republic of China Motor Sport Federation (FASC), the Olympic Park Committee, the Beijing Mayor, the Chinese Government and event organiser Team China Racing.

    The circuit, which remains subject to final FIA Homologation, boasts an impressive cityscape backdrop taking in both the Beijing National Aquatics Centre and the Olympic Stadium itself. It will see the 20 Formula E drivers tackle a mix of tight left-hand turns – offering late braking and overtaking opportunities – together with twisty chicanes and two main straights. In addition, the track features a unique ‘U -shaped’ pit lane with spectator areas located inside giving fans an incredible close-up view of the action.

    The Beijing Formula E GP circuit is the first of 10 city-centre races on the inaugural 2014/2015 Formula E calendar to be revealed. Formula E is a new FIA Championship using fully-electric single-seater race cars capable of speeds in excess of 225km/h. Ten teams, each with two drivers, will go head-to-head to create a unique and exciting racing series designed to appeal to a new generation of motorsport fans, whilst accelerating the electric vehicle mark et and promoting sustainability.

    Alejandro Agag, CEO of Formula E, said: “Today’s unveiling of the Beijing circuit marks a very special moment in the evolution of the FIA’s Formula E Championship. From the series’ official launch back in August 2012, we have since confirmed our 10 host cities, 10 international teams, leading partners, global TV broadcasters and signed drivers. Now people can visualise where all the aforementioned will come together to put on the world’s first fully-electric race, which we’re sure is going to be an amazing spectacle. Getting to this stage has taken an enormous effort from everyone involved and I’d like to personally thank them for helping us turn the FIA’s vision into a reality. The track looks fantastic and we’re looking forward to going racing come September.”

    Mr JuQing Tian, Executive Director of the Beijing Olympic Park Management Committee, said: “We are pleased to welcome the FIA Formula E Championship to our beautiful Beijing Olympic Park on 13th September 2014. The race has been classified as one of the top five Beijing Municipal Sport Events. As the venue management department and race supporter, we will try our best to provide local support and assist the Formula E race operation. I would like to take this opportunity to remind all motorsport fans about the 2008 Beijing Olympic Games glory and proudly present the development of sports and culture industry in the post-Olympic times. All these have given full expression to the sincerity and determination of the Beijing government and people to protect the environment. Finally, I would like to wish the event a great success and many more years in the city of Beijing.”

    Lucas di Grassi, one of the signed drivers for the Audi Sport ABT Formula E Team , commented: “The Beijing track is an amazing facility. 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 stabilise the car. The pit lane is also unique and requires some special practice to get right.”

    Formula E races will be held over a single day in order to minimise disruption to each host city with the practice session, qualifying and 60-minute race taking place on Saturday followed by a live music concert.


    Egad, is that….the pitlane? Shaped like a square loop?


    I’d have preferred them to race around the 400m running track inside the Bird’s Eye, myself.


    Yup, it’s terrible. But what did we expect. I did a small redesign of what the track could have looked like if the designers’ imagination wouldn’t be as small as the fraction of people in favour of Abu Double:

    I hope other tracks won’t be as bad as this one, but I’m not counting on it.


    When it looks like the most “interesting” parts are going to be the 4 roundabouts on there, Its certain that an opportunity for an exciting track was missed.

    Let us just hope that the track will be lined with enthusiastic fans to make up for it and still make a nice event out of FormulaE


    It says a lot when the most interesting part of a new circuit is its pitlane…


    @andae23 Do you realise that the stadium you’ve put that next to isn’t the birdcage?

    What impresses me is that they squeezed out one extra corner by slightly stretching a chicane, and another by declaring the vaguest kink to be a corner.

    I suppose that they don’t want long straights, because that shows up the weakness of electric cars, whereas short acceleration is their speciality. But even considering that, if the straight between 14 and 16 is okay, then they barely need the first chicane, and definitely don’t need one of either the second or third chicane.

    In addition, the track features a unique ‘U -shaped’ pit lane with spectator areas located inside giving fans an incredible close-up view of the action.

    That doesn’t mean during the actual race does it? I know they’re making the change of cars into a silly running race, but would people forgo seeing the race itself for that?


    @matt90 I do, but what’s more important: having an interesting circuit with challenging corners or a nice background?

    It’s obviously the latter :P


    And the interest amongst race fans takes another dip..

    I really hope Formula E comes up with some actually exciting news before the season starts.


    While I do think you’ve got a funky design there @andae23, I think we have to recognise that Formula-E’s purpose is as a vehicle to generate greater public interest in electric cars. So naturally, circuit designs are going about the ‘show’ and visual impact for TV viewers first, with their racing merits firmly secondary.

    I think that to really enjoy Formula-E, you’re going to have to not think of it in the same way you do a typical motorsport championship.


    Well, an interesting pit lane and a boring circuit.
    Best way to describe it: Meh


    Right angle, chicane, right angle, chicane: Inspiring stuff right there.

    The pitane is the mose interesting feature yet it’s still just right angles.

    Iestyn Davies

    I like your layout Andae, and the bird’s nest can still be used for a panning background shot. But the track being designed for braking/regen/torque sounds like a Formula E standard feature. But the pits allowing close fan viewpoints is a plus (and their pit lane doesn’t have to be straight).


    I saw it at first and thought “nice simple, fast layout”. Then I saw they decided to throw 4 chicanes in there. Ruined.


    So it’s a lot of 90 degree turns with a bunch of chicanes added. Let’s hope that this is the worst of the planned circuits…

    Suddenly, the Yas Marina circuit doesn’t seem all that bad.

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