Formula E 2.0 – Moving On

With a degree of freedom to innovate, the cars seemed faster this year. That was my perception from trackside, anyway. With 20kW higher maximum power allowed for 2015/16, perhaps it’s obvious that they would be quicker. It’s hard to know if lap times can be directly compared with the 2015 results, as the timing line had been moved and there may have been changes to the track layout. Buemi’s 1:22.033 set in Sunday Superpole compared with Sarrazin’s 1:23.901 from 2015. It could mean progress, or it could mean just statistics.

After the TT Zero e-bike race on the Isle of man in June was something of a damp squib this year, with the diminished field and John McGuiness’s unfortunate/ridiculous kill-switch problem, it was good to see the full field of Formula E cars make it to London and put on such an exciting couple of races. And there should be more cars next year as Jaguar joins the series.

I don’t know whether Buemi slowed abnormally into that turn in the final race or di Grassi deliberately rammed him, but their clash shows how the drivers really are taking Formula E seriously. Clearly, it’s real racing for them, not just test driving; even though the equivalent of less than 400 BHP can’t be terribly frightening. The driving may have been questionable in terms of sportsmanship, but to see them pushing so hard bodes well for the future of the series, and for EV advancement in general. Let’s hope for even more power and more speed next year.

Interesting to note, in the e-village, that the Renault Zoe EV can be bought for as little as £15,000. That’s really not bad for a car that offers such a low price per mile in terms of energy costs. It even looks like something a “normal” person would drive – Nissan Leaf take note.

After 2015 and 2016 in Battersea Park, the London ePrix moves on to we know not where for next year. So, speed comparisons versus this year will again be meaningless, and there will be no getting away from the high catch fencing that is the trade-off for being able to get so close to the action. The way to get better photos is to stop whining and apply for a track pass.

Picture: Nico Prost, snapped from the wrong side of the fencing, races to the first of his weekend’s back-to-back victories, Saturday July 2.

Prost 2016


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