Getting To Know: Formula E

Struggling to understand Formula E’s rules and regulations? We’ve got all the information you need to know about the electric motorsport.

Written by Kristina Agresta

April 10, 2021

What is it?

ABB Formula E is a single-seater racing series that uses all-electric cars. Formula E pushes for renewable energy and electric car innovation every season by racing on the streets of cities across the world. FE is in its seventh season and is constantly gaining popularity. Many drivers in the series like Stoffel Vandoorne and Pascal Werhlein came from Formula 1 and brought their fans along with them. There are two separate titles; one for the driver with the most points, and one for the team with the most points. Formula E is essentially an electric F1 style series, but with its own energy and quirks.

What are the cars like?

Formula E is a series like F1 which requires teams to come up with their own cars, however, teams can buy powertrains and other parts from manufacturer teams like Mercedes, Audi, BMW, and Nissan. The cars are built by each team and are constantly innovating as the sport grows. The Gen2 cars currently in use now have enough power for a full race, so car swaps are no longer needed. They can go a top speed of 280km/h, and go from 0-100km/h in 2.8 seconds.

What does an FE weekend look like?

Shakedown (Usually Friday)

Teams make sure the cars are functioning properly and the FIA checks the track to make sure it is up to regulations for the weekend. The cars run at a reduced speed and energy. (110KW)

Free Practice 1 & 2

250KW of energy is available for use in free practices. FP1 will last for 45 mintues and FP2 will last for 30 minutes. If it is a double header weekend (meaning two races, one on Saturday, one on Sunday), there will be an additional Free Practice (FP3) before the second race.

Qualifying

In Formula E, qualifying is done in four groups of six cars. The order in which they go out is determined by their championship standings. Each driver has six minutes to set the fastest possible lap, and the top 6 qualifiers move onto the Super Pole shoot-out. Starting with the sixth-fastest driver, they each go out individually to set a time. When they cross the line to start their flying lap, the pitlane light goes green to signal for the next driver to start his warm-up lap. This is completed until every driver sets a time. The fastest driver gets pole, the Julius Baer Pole Position Trophy, and three points. 

E-Prix

Similar to F1, the cars start from a staggered grid. When the lights go green, the cars go off to race for 45 minutes on the streets of some of the world’s biggest cities. If it is possible, Formula E tries to do a double-header. The schedule is fairly the same, but there is only one free practice session (FP3) on the second day.

How are points allocated? 

In the race, the top 10 finishers receive points. (25, 18, 15, 12, 10, 8, 6, 4, 2, 1) Drivers also receive 3 points for getting pole position, 1 point for the fastest lap in qualifying, and 1 point for the fastest lap in the race. 

What is Fanboost?

Fanboost is a feature of Formula E that allows fans to have an impact on the race. Through social media and the Fanboost platform, the fans vote for their favorite drivers and the top five drivers will receive a special boost of power in a 5-second window in the second half of the race. Fans can vote in the 6 days leading up to the E-Prix.

How does Attack Mode work?

Attack Mode is another way drivers can gain extra power in a race. On the track, there are certain zones called Activation Zones, that a driver must go through to gain attack mode. The zones take the drivers off the racing line and cause them to go slower through the corners, however, they are able to collect an extra 35kW of power and can use that extra power when they want to race harder in the next few laps.

What are the teams and who are their drivers?

Team and Country Drivers

Audi Sport ABT Schaeffler

 

Lucas Di Grassi 

René Rast

BMW i Andretti Motorsport

Jake Dennis 

Maximilian Guenther

Dragon/Penske Autosport

Nico Mueller

Sérgio Sette Câmara

DS Techeetah

António Félix Da Costa

Jean-Éric Vergne

Envision Virgin Racing

Robin Frijns 

Nick Cassidy

Jaguar Racing

Sam Bird

Mitch Evans

Mahindra Racing

Alexander Sims

Alex Lynn

Mercedes-EQ Formula E Team

Stoffel Vandoorne 

Nyck de Vries

NIO 333 Formula E Team

Oliver Turvey

Tom Blomqvist

Nissan E.Dams

Oliver Rowland

Sébastien Buemi

ROKiT Venturi Racing

Edoardo Mortara

Norman Nato

Tag Heuer Porsche Formula E Team

André Lotterer 

Pascal Wehrlein

Got any more questions? Let us know in the comments below and we can help!

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Kristina developed her love of motorsport through years watching Top Gear with her dad every night. She specializes in Formula One and it’s feeder series F2, F3, and F4. Her favorite teams are Williams & McLaren and supports Prema & ART Grand Prix in feeder series. Outside of motorsport Kristina spends her time supporting the Washington Football Team and studying film. You can find her on Twitter as @agrestaP1.

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