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Welcome to the 1st of 10 discussion threads for the 2014/15 e-Prix season.
Normally this introductory post would talk about the history of the circuits, famous battles from previous years and of course what we expect to happen in the upcoming race. As this is a completely new series of Motorsport, mainly set in circuits that have never been seen before we don't have any previous history to go on. This won't stop me introducing you to the event plus a quick run down of the teams and drivers as well as a quick look at the circuit itself.
The basic format will be 2 practise sessions, followed by a 30 minute qualifying session and a 45 minute race. 2 cars are allowed per driver and a pit stop is mandatory to change cars at somepoint during the race.
Full rules and regulations can be found here: http://www.fiaformulae.com/en/guide/rules-and-regs.aspx
Teams and Drivers are as follows:
Antonio Felix Da Costa.
Remember Super Aguri? Amlin Aguri are in a technical partnership with them and are our 1st team on the grid.
Katherine Legge has been in Indy car, champ car and a few years in DTM where she was soundly beaten by Williams Susie Wolff in the battles at the back of the field.
Antonio Felix Da Costa was at one time predicted to be the next big thing to come into F1 as it happens he is the Red Bull test driver and DTM racer.
Andretti Formula E
Run by Micheal Andretti the team is a side project of the Indycar team which should mean valuable race experience which will be vital in the early part of the season.
Franck Montagny. One of the many journeymen racers to make up the Formula E grid. His only F1 experience was 7 races with Super Aguri in 2006. He only finished 3 of those races, highest placed 16th
Second driver TBC. They better get a move on!
Audi Sport Abt
Lucas Di Grassi
One of the few teams on the grid with a full racing pedigree. Expect big things from the 5 times DTM champions.
Lucas Di Grassi. Raced for Virgin F1 (Now Marussia) in their opening season. Very experienced in Hybrid racing.
Daniel Abt. Yes I know what you're thinking, he's only in because his dad owns the company. Well you're right. He is currently racing in GP2.
Nelson Piquet Jr
On home turf for the Formula-e opener. This team should be well funded and has a rich motorsport background.
Nelson Piquet Jr. No need to talk about his F1 experience....
Ho-Pin Tung. Little known about him. One time Renault test driver and finished 28th in GP2 in 2010
Another US based team run by the son of Roger Penske. This team will be well funded and although they also run an Indycar team they are one of the least experienced race teams on the grid.
Jerome d'Ambrosio. Replaced Di Grassi at Marussia and performed significantly better.
Oriol Servia. Another Indy & Champ car journeyman, little known about him this side of the pond.
No it's not a cheese based French car but a joint venture between the current GP2 constructors leader and Alain Prost. They should know how to set a car up and with the Professor calling the shots they could be an early leader.
Nicolas Prost. Another team keeping it in the family, Experienced LMP1 racer.
Sebastien Buemi. The Moose is back! Popular driver on the F1 grid but sadly never made the cut in the fierce Red Bull program.
Indian based team from India. One of the largest manufactures of electric vehicles mean they could be a team for the future.
Karun Chandhok. Well you can't have an Indian team from India without an Indian driver from India in it. Well known face in the commentary box in recent years but has he still got the racing instinct.
Bruno Senna. Nephew of the late great Aryton Senna but everyone knows that anyway but I'm sure we'll be reminded every time we see him on screen.
All aboard! The Trulli train is back. The team is definitely looking towards the future and seeing how the technology can become main stream. I'm not expecting them to be at the front but will be a key campaigner for the sport.
Jarno Trulli. Yes he is driving his own car! He is also one of the most experienced drivers on the grid and the only one to have actually won a F1 race.
Michela Cerruiti. The 2nd female driver on the grid. Currently 6th in the Auto GP championship.
Holders of the current electric land speed record they know a thing or two about electric motors. Funded by Leonardo Di Caprio should mean the image of Formula e is widely promoted in the key markets.
Nick Heidfeld Holds the record for most podium place finishes in F1 without a win. Will he be able to break that curse here?
Stephane Sarrazin. Another experienced endurance racer. Had one outing in a Minardi in 1999 where surprisingly he didn't finish.
Branson is back. This time pushing the eco friendly racing. Little racing experience but a big budget.
Jaime Alguersuari. Another product of the Red Bull academy, expect to see him at the DJ booth at the end of the races.
Sam Bird. One of the many GP2 drivers who could never quite break into F1, maybe this is his chance to get noticed.
There's the teams and drivers. More details can be found on the formula e website. http://www.fiaformulae.com/en/teams.aspx
The interactive circuit map can be found here: http://www.fiaformulae.com/en/calendar/2014-beijing/beijing-circuit.aspx
Set in the 2008 Olympic park it is a combination of 90 degree turns and straights which should suit the Indycar drivers in the field. It features a unique 'U' shaped pitlane designed to give fans a close up view of the action.
ITV4 has 'Live' coverage at 8am Saturday 13th September. This will just be highlights of practise/qualifying plus the live race. I'm not sure if live coverage of the earlier sessions are being broadcast yet but will keep an eye out.