Formula E

Formula E Round 1: Beijing ePrix

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    R.J. O’Connell

    It’s finally here. Barging in and waving its own dual two-finger gestures of electric motors and social media powered fanboost in the face of the racing establishment like a rude teenager. Formula E. Beijing. OHHHH YEAH IT’S ON NOW

    e.Dams driver Sebastien Buemi was the fastest man in testing at Donington, behind him is a grid of intriguing veterans and rising stars. Sam Bird will be driving with a chip on his shoulder having missed out on F1 this past year. Jaime Alguersuari and Jarno Trulli return from lengthy racing exiles. Daniel Abt and Michela Cerruti may be able to use their successes here to land rides in IndyCar or elsewhere in the motorsports world. Nelson Piquet won’t have to deliberately crash to help his teammate win, because his teammate is Ho-Pin Tung. Also, Bruno Senna and Nicolas Prost will surely have a few battles here or there as the season goes on.

    Driver changes:
    Amlin Super Aguri – Takuma Sato replaces Antonio Felix da Costa (DTM commitments)
    Andretti GP – Charles Pic confirmed at team
    Dragon Racing – Oriol Servia replaces Mike Conway (Toyota WEC commitments)


    So….. I really wanted to watch this. But it turns out that not only do I have to pay to watch F1 in the Netherlands, I have to buy a second, separate package from a different company to watch Formula E.
    What a way to build a fanbase guys, way to go. R.I.P. Formula E.


    They don’t broadcast it at all in Hungary, so you’re still better off.
    (and there’s always streaming, but shush)


    Just remember guys, the race starts at 9 AM British time! :)

    Bradley Downton

    And the Program starts at 8am British Time!

    Well excited for this! :D

    Ed Marques

    I know it’s just the first event.
    But the cars look very slow and the sooudn it’s almost not existent.
    At least is just qualifying, lets if the race is better


    Well that was certainly a great debut! Racing, overtaking, AND a good chunk of controversy! :D


    Well #FormulaE certainly set the bar high in terms of last-lap drama! If that disgraceful move from Nicolas Prost doesn’t deserve a race ban nothing does.

    Up until then the race was not without its moments of interest – many of them courtesy of Montagny who put on some great passing moves.

    The action tailed off at times but I think the blame for some of that must go to the awful track layout. Some of the forthcoming venues look more promising.

    The pit stops were novel but doesn’t the fact the drivers have to change cars highlight the shortcomings of electric powered racing at the moment?

    And while we’re on it, the elephant in the room is that the cars look slow. Sub-F3 slow. No wonder they haven’t got any support races and are avoiding using the same tracks as other championships. If the point of this series is to develop electric racing technologies that can’t come soon enough. Hopefully they’ll unlock more performance from these cars as the season goes on.

    I was glad I didn’t notice Fanboost once the race had started – hopefully it will be dropped as soon as possible. And they can chuck the silly sound effects and music as well. Surely the last-lap incident proved proper motor racing doesn’t need such naff ‘enhancements’?

    We’ve now got a long, two-month wait until round two in Malaysia. I’ll definitely be tuning in but the question now is whether Formula E can sustain a following beyond those who looked in for the novelty value.


    There are some positives and negatives to take from this.

    Racing was actually quite good despite what is probably the worst city circuit layout I have seen – all 90 degrees turns and straights broken by artificial chicanes. I didn’t mind the sound – they sound really futuristic but the music they played during the race wasn’t my cup of tea.

    I’m glad I didn’t notice fan boost and I hope they will just take it behind the barn and let it out of it’s misery.
    Director needs to improve though, on start he was focusing on completely wrong parts of the field and he was completely lost during car change. I still have no idea how Heidfeld gained a position during it and it was a shame they need to switch cars at all as there was a five-driver battle for lead going on right before the stops.

    I’ll tune in for next race, the series look promising.


    I enjoyed the race. It’s not F1 quality, and the cars do look slow. However, there was some good action and for such a tight circuit, great to see the cars able to pass. I like the sound of the cars, kind of like jet engines winding up. It reminded me of watching smaller racing series.

    The music is naff, but I didn’t really notice it too much. I know others have complained that the music overwhelmed the commentary, but I didn’t notice that. (Strangely, just checked my audio settings, and my TV is set to “Game” mode. Maybe that’s the secret).

    I’ll keep watching, and am planning on seeing the race in London when it gets here in 2015.

    Euro Brun

    Enjoyed the racing except for the last corner crash – heart in mouth until I knew Heidfeld was OK. I noticed Dario go eerily quiet in the commentary box.

    I understand the minimum pit stop time in terms of safety, however I disagree with this time being pit in to pit out. It should be garage time only. Heidfeld used a cheeky tactic to leave the pit tent early, but then drive slower than the speed limit, meaning he got track position. Not happy with the gamesmanship there – its fine by the rules, but the rules are wrong in my opinion.
    Also the length of the pit out and the need to remain on the limiter all the way caused a massive anti-climax when Sam Bird was ‘racing’ out of the pits, but in reality ended up in 6th (or 7th) by the time he got back to the track.

    Lastly, I know the marshals are volunteers, but it was ages before someone actually went up to Heidfeld – by which time he’d clearly decided ‘sod this, I’ll get myself out’.

    Will definitely be following the season though, just don’t mention the fan boost…


    The race was a good one. Bit quiet in the middle, but there’s enough action to make a decent highlights reel and get more people hooked in over the season, which is what the series needs first.

    Prost’s move was pretty harsh, almost as if he was trying to turn into the pit lane rather than the actual corner, but I don’t think a race ban is warranted. 10-place grid penalty should be enough (as it seems to be a big disadvantage in the spec-format FE).

    Fanboost wasn’t mentioned during the race, which means it is effectively a service to the fans rather than something which has a direct impact on the race, which is surely a good thing in both directions?

    As opening races go, I think Agag and the FE organisers can be proud of themselves, though anyone having difficulty getting onto the FE website?

    Uzair Syed

    The music is annoying, the track was rubbish, the cars are too slow, the two-month wait for the next race is too long and fanboost is crap but overall, this is a good start for Formula E!

    This one race was more interesting than the whole of the 2013 F1 season. There were some overtakes, pit stops were interesting, there was a battle for the lead and the last lap crash was spectacular! However it was completely Nico Prost’s fault and he needs some form of penalty for the next race. And IMO these cars look better than the 2014 F1 cars. Oh and I like the safety car too! A BMW i8.


    Good start to the series, as many have said the track was shocking but the drivers managed to get some overtaking done which was good to see. Prost’s move was very silly and probably merits a ban.

    Who even won the fanboost thing anyway?


    All the negatives* were outweighed by the fact that Heidfeld actually went for the overtake in the last corner. This would not have happened in F1. Any F1 driver in that position would’ve accepted P2.

    *music, fanboost, pitstops, wheelcovers, tires (personal opinion)

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