For its season finale, Formula E will head to Seoul, South Korea from August 14th to August 15th. As well as being the final two races of the season, the Seoul sessions will also mark the last outings of the Gen2 car – at least in a Formula E race setting. ATRL’s Chiara Schanno takes a look back on the second generation of electric racing.
The Gen2 era has seen over 50 races and provided fans with tight racing but also some more controversial moments. The new era of cars had their first championship outing in December 2018 in Diriyah, Saudi Arabia. Portuguese driver António Félix da Costa took the first win in a Gen2 car, opening an unprecedented streak of eight different winners in as many races. Jean-Éric Vergne was the driver to break the streak, taking his second win of the season at the 2019 Monaco ePrix. The previous race, the Paris ePrix 2019, Dutch driver Robin Frijns took his first ever Formula E win in another first: the first ever wet Formula E race. Almost miraculously the series had hosted four and a half seasons without ever racing in wet conditions, the most wet action they had before Paris were damp patches on track in some previous sessions.
Da Costa, Vergne and Frijns are only three drivers that managed to win a race. Over the course of the Gen2 era, 19 different drivers took wins. Da Costa has more Gen2 era wins than any other driver, having won 6 races in the time since the Gen2 introduction.
But the past four seasons have not been all glory, there also has been a fair share of controversial moments. The aforementioned Paris ePrix 2019 was one of them, when hail was coming down in parts of the track but the race continued either way. Another low point in Formula E history was the first Valencia ePrix 2021 where only 9 drivers were classified in the race results. A late Safety Car and the consequential usable energy reduction caused the majority of the field to run out of (usable) energy and either stopping on track or using more energy than allowed, and therefore, being disqualified from the race.
The most recent controversy though occured at race 1 of the 2022 New York ePrix. Once again, it had started to rain, causing slippery conditions in some parts of the track while others stayed almost dry or had streams crossing the track. With 7min to go, 1st, 2nd and 4th place crashed out in one corner which brought out a red flag, but luckily no driver was injured. Per the rules, the standings from the previous completed lap were the race results – causing quite a strange sight on the podium: 2 drivers (1st and 2nd place) did not even make it into the pitlane, as they were among the drivers that caused the red flag.
Either way, if there was controversy or a spectacular race: it’s all history now, and a new, faster era awaits. But only after this season’s World Champion has been crowned.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Chiara Schanno was introduced to Motorsport through their family at a young age. Getting really into F1 in late 2016, they soon started to watch more series and is now particularly interested in electric racing like Formula E and feeder series racing like Formula 2. A non-motorsport related (fun) fact about Chiara is that they have stage experience in both acting and singing. They are based in Germany.
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