Formula E Beijing ePrix Discussion

Dash Racing

Points Scorer
It's one week to go until the start of the Formula E season. With all the drivers finally confirmed, the driver lineup for this year's Beijing ePrix has a few new (and not so young) faces.

However, the driver lineup isn't half as interesting as the introduction of manufacturers to Formula E. With the regulations for everything behind the battery opened up for this season, eight manufacturers stepped forward to engineer new powertrain solutions. Ultimately, Andretti scrapped their drivetrain, joining Aguri in using last year's drivetrain. Venturi is the only manufacturer supplying two teams, the works team, and Dragon. Some teams have opted for direct drive, others for gears, some have two motors, some just one. Which is the best solution? Who knows, but that's the point of Formula E's opening of the regulations, they want to find the best way to make an electric car, and test it under racing conditions.

Testing already shows the cars are quicker than last year, partially due to a boost in maximum power to 170Kw, but the testing at Donington seems to show reliability may be an issue for the new drivetrains, which may give Andretti and Aguri the edge at the start of the season, though they'll likely see that advantage fade as the season progresses.

FanBoost has been open for a week now, and last year's champion, Nelson Piquet Jr is at the top of the board. It's probably safe to say he'll keep that lead, since he was very popular last year too. The winner of the FanBoost won't be revealed until the race is underway, meaning the drivers only get FanBoost in one car. Will they choose to use their FanBoost all in one burst, or will they opt to have slightly increased power over a longer period of time? We won't know until they climb into their second car.

Also new this year is the introduction of the full course yellow. Hopefully we won't see one of those at Beijing, and will have a nice clean race.

The circuit once again runs around the birdcage, but they've removed the chicane between turns two and three. This may create a bit more of an overtaking opportunity into turn 3, but that remains to be seen.

A very serious collision between Heidfeld and Prost at the end of last year's race proves that just because Formula E is slower than Formula 1 right now, that doesn't mean it's any less cut-throat. These drivers mean business. Last year's winner was Lucas di Grassi. Can lightning strike twice in the Thunder in Beijing?
 

FB

Not my cup of cake
Valued Member
Last year's race was a bit dull until the last couple of laps but as the season went on the races started to heat up. Hopefully the rule changes won't lose the edge we saw.
 
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Greenlantern101

Super Hero And All Round Good Guy
Contributor
I had no idea this was on so soon. Thanks for the heads up.

FYI its on ITV 4 again 8am Saturday morning.

Lets hope the music and slo-mo play back 'WHILST THE RACE IS ON' has been dropped. Less gimmicks, more racing please.
 

RasputinLives

Doesn't look a bit like Jesus
Contributor
Whilst they made some errors with the live coverage feed it was nice to see them experiment. I remember so particularly awesome camera angle at the chicane in Uruguay.

From the testing I saw (sorry not written that up yet) the new cars are miles in front of last years and the only chance Andretti and Aguari are going to get is if everyone else retires. They'll beat Trulli however who are struggling to even get their car even running at the moment but refused to change back to last years car.

Audi Abt look miles out front but Virgin and EDams look like they could get there. NexTV, Dragon and Venturi look like they might bother the front on a good day. I have a sneaky feeling D'ambrosio is on the rise.

I think its going to be exciting stuff this year but lets hope China is a bit better set up track wise this year.
 

Dash Racing

Points Scorer
I suspect Formula E now know how to set up good shots, since we had some absolute crackers of camera angles - that chicane at Uruguay is far and away the best angle I've ever seen in any motorsports ever. I don't really understand the complaint about music - but I'm one of those people who pretty much constantly has music playing all day, my whole day goes skewiff without it, and I like that it gave the racing a video gaming ambiance - again, I'm the gaming generation, so maybe that's part of it. The slo-mo showing the start stuff is probably taken straight from Formula 1, and I hate it there too. Hopefully, Formula E won't keep doing that - the only time a review of the start is valuable is if something special happened, or to fill safety car time.

I don't have the detailed spreadsheets I put together during testing, thanks to my computer dying, but Audi Abt definitely had a performance edge over the rest of the field. Virgin and eDams will almost certainly catch up, from my memory of their predicted optimum times - I think my spreadsheet indicated they still had a few tenths in the car. Trulli are pretty much going to have to write this year off, if you go off of last year's performance and this year's pre-season testing.
 

Bill Boddy

Professional layabout
Contributor
Before I go to a Formula E race I must be certain that the music is not being played there. When I listen to music I want to listen to it as the foreground activity.
 

Dash Racing

Points Scorer
Oh dear, more trouble for Trulli after their drivetrains were held up in customs. They may not even make it to the grid for the opening race. At least one other team (unsure which), is searching for battery cooling fluid after forgetting to bring their own. Unlike last year, Williams Engineering no longer supplies the cooling fluid to the teams, and teams are expected to source their own.
 

RasputinLives

Doesn't look a bit like Jesus
Contributor
Trulli's entry has been proper comincal since the very start hasn't it?

Exciting about getting up to watch this tomorrow. As long time fan of Frinjs I'm hoping he drives the wheels off that Andretti and gets a good result. I don't hold out much hope for the Andretti being on the pace though.

I'm tipping Danny Abit for the win despite myself. Knowing Abt his wheel will fall off as he pulls on to the start line or something.
 

RasputinLives

Doesn't look a bit like Jesus
Contributor
Anyone watch the race this morning? Not a classic but pretty enthralling. Buemi was awesome today but some great scarps through the field.
 

Dash Racing

Points Scorer
I did watch, live on TV for a change! I don't like Fox's coverage of Formula E and for the next race, I'll just wait for it to hit youtube. I prefer my Formula E without commercial interruption and a Fox guy having to talk for a few minutes after every commercial before I get back to listening to the actual commentary team.

Finally a good result for unlucky Heidfeld... but now I'm wondering whether the bad luck comes with the car!
 

RasputinLives

Doesn't look a bit like Jesus
Contributor
I have to admit I was cheering on Loic Duval for the last podium place. To say they are running a customer car I think the Dragon boys are doing a brilliant job. If you think how far behind everyone else they were this time last year Jay Penskie has really pulled that outfit together.

Can't see past Buemi vs Di Grassi for the title at the moment. I think the only way that would change is if Virgin get that car together. The pace is obviously there they just need to work on the power saving.

I have to say its fascinating to see the wide range of approaches the teams have gone for on the powertrain components regarding how many gears to use, twin motors, weight distribution and all that. Really is a step into the unknown on some of it and it all seems to have come into play without taking away from the close nip and tuck racing we saw when it was a spec series last year.

Nelson Piquet by the way had pretty much conceded his title and written off this season for next year just after qualifying!
 

Dash Racing

Points Scorer
Definitely, Jay Penske's really got things working at Dragon. Did we honestly expect anything less? It is interesting to have both Penske and Andretti involved in Formula E. I think Formula E is going to be very popular with people with an Indy car background, given the nature of the tracks. The fact we have several drivers with Indy experience, and two teams with Indy programs competing in the series so far acts as sort of a proof of concept if you will. I do wonder whether Formula E might become an alternate route to F1 for the America-based open wheel drivers.

I won't write off Virgin just yet, I think they'll get on top of their power saving in time to mount a decent try for the championship, though I would still put my money on them only finishing second or third - but I think second and third will be close.

It was so exciting hearing the different sounds of the cars through the race. I think having all the cars sound subtly different definitely adds something to the enjoyability of the series for me, it's not just the same monotonous sound from the cars anymore.

I was surprised how close the racing remains despite the drastic change in powertrains for some of the teams, and I think it bodes really well that this opening stanza at Beijing was so closely fought in the midfield.

I don't really like Nelson Piquet Jr anyway, so I must admit to deriving a bit of schadenfreudian pleasure from seeing him write off the season so soon!
 

RasputinLives

Doesn't look a bit like Jesus
Contributor
It was also interesting that Turvey dragged the massively overweight NexTVR up to 6th today whilst Piquet had a moan. Yes he had as bit of look with the full course yellow but he kept his head down and did the laps to pick the result up.
 

FB

Not my cup of cake
Valued Member
I made the effort to get up and watch it as an horses douvry before the GP. I suspect this will the foie gras before the boiled beef and cabbage of the F1 race. The Renault cars were really quick, fortunately there was plenty of action down the field to keep me entertained.
 

RasputinLives

Doesn't look a bit like Jesus
Contributor
I think the Audi cars (well Di Grassi's anyway) would have been at least within spitting distance of the Renault if they hadn't been stuck behind Heidfeld's Mahindra for so much of the first half of the race. Thats what you get for messing your quali up though.
 

F1Brits_90

Race Winner
Yeah it wasn't as good as last yr I feel. But you never know could be a 1 off as different circuits may favour certain powertrains but if its not buemi could run away with this championship as he did look very comfortable out front & nico prost isnt good too inconsistent with many mistakes last yr & yesterday

But Renault can wind red bull & horner up by saying we got a dominant engine, .......... in Formula E LOL
 
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