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ePrix preview: Formula E lights up

2014-09-12 09:31

NEW ERA IN MOTORSPORT: Ten teams of 20 drivers will drive the Spark-Renault SRT_01E electric racer at the inaugural Formula E race on September 13 2014. Image: Renault

BEIJING, China - On Sunday (September 13) motorsport will enter a new era with the inaugural Formula E race to be raced on the streets of Beijing, China.

Drivers will race 200kW electric single-seat race cars and the championship will also provide  research and development into “zero-emissions” vehicles.

Renault provided its expertise in the design of its Spark-Renault SRT_01E, the car that will be used by the 10 teams competing in the championship.


Renault is also the title partner of the e.dams team set up by ex-Formula 1 driver Alain Prost and Jean-Paul Driot. Sebastien Buemi and Nicolas Prost are the drivers tasked with competing during the 10  rounds of the inaugural season of the FIA Formula-e championship.

Q&A with Patrice Ratti, managing director of Renault sport technologies:

Q: What persuaded Renault to invest in the FIA Formula-e championship?

PR: “The fact that we are already involved many different competitions is the very reason we are interested in Formula . For Renault, it was obvious that we had to be a part of this new venture. This is a unique and highly innovative experience, which is set to give motorsport a totally new look.

IMAGE GALLERY: 2014 Spark-Renault SRT_01E
VIDEO: Renault announces Formula E partnership

Q: What can you tell us about the development of the Spark-Renault SRT_01E car?

PR: “I think it’s fair to say that Spark-Renault SRT_01E was a joint effort. Renault, Dallara, McLaren, Williams and Michelin - it’s very significant that so many big names from the world of motorsport have all worked together on a project that is most definitely geared towards the future. All the engineers and technicians were very enthusiastic and excited during the creation of the car.


“Everybody strived, in their specialist area, to improve the slightest detail in order to provide the teams with reliable and quick race cars for the very first race. However, our work is not yet done: we will be on hand at all of the races to provide the teams and drivers with the same kind of technical assistance we offer at the championships we organise.”

Q: Tell us more about the e.dams-Renault team:

PR: “It seemed obvious that we should join forces with Alain Prost and Jean-Paul Driot’s team. Alain Prost has a long, shared history with Renault and is also ambassador for the Brand.

"The competitive records of these two greats speak for themselves, and we know that they will do everything in their power to ensure e.dams-Renault does well. The performances of Sebastien Buemi and Nicolas Prost during recent tests were also very encouraging.”


The majority of electric vehicles are currently driven in cities and the same will apply to Formula E races, which will be held at ten city-centre circuits. Starting in September 2014 and concluding in June 2015, the race calendar complements that of F1 and the World Series by Renault.

Formula E race calendar:
Sept 13 2014 - Beijing (China)
Nov 22 2014 – Putrajaya (Malaysia)
Dec 13 2014 – Punta del Este (Uruguay)
Jan 10 2015 – Buenos Aires  (Argentina)
Feb 14 2014 – To be announced      
March 14 2015 – Miami  (USA)
April 04 2015 – Los Angeles  (USA)
May 09 2015 – Monaco (Principality of Monaco)
May 30 2015 – Berlin (Germany)
June 27 2015 – London  (England)


The Formula E championship is open to 10 teams, each with two cars. A very high-quality field is set to contest the inaugural season, since ten of the confirmed drivers have already competed in Formula 1 at some stage during their career.

At the meetings, the drivers will all have two single-seater race cars that they may use as they see fit. The races will feature one mandatory change of car.


Races will be one-day events, ensuring disruption is limited for the host city and local residents, whilst also keeping running costs down for the teams.

In the morning, two practice sessions will be held followed by qualifying, which will be split into four ten-minute sessions, with five cars challenging for pole position in each group.

The race, or ePrix, will last about an hour, with a mandatory pit stop so each driver can collect a second car with a fresh battery. 'Flat' in ePrix, can mean more than just the tyres...


Unlike practice and qualifying, where full power will be available (200kW), power will be restricted to 150kW during races. The three most popular drivers with online fans will be rewarded with a FanBoost (180kW for five seconds).

According to organisers: “There will be no shortage of action for fans, and the low noise
levels of the cars means that it will even be possible to organise concerts during the races.”


Points will be awarded to the top 10 finishers using the standard *International Automobile Federation scale. The driver who grabs pole position will be given three bonus points and the driver who sets the fastest race lap two points.

The title of Drivers’ champion will be awarded to whoever has the most points at the end of the season, with drivers able to discard their poorest result. The Constructors’ championship will be decided by counting all results for both cars.

*FIA points scale - 25, 18, 15, 12, 10, 8, 6, 4, 2, 1

Read more on:    renault  |  china  |  motorsport  |  formula e

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