Formula E Long Beach ePrix Race Discussion

RasputinLives

Leave me alone I'm on Smoko
Contributor
Well believe it or not the next Formula E race is already less than 3 weeks away as the race schedule starts to speed up after its sporadic start. Round 6 of Formula E swoops into a venue very familiar to motorsport as it lands at Long Beach, South California. The track itself is a modified version of the classic lay out that has held races such as F1 and Indy Car since 1975. The track lay out looks like so:



Whilst the traditional 90 degree corners of US street tracks are there we also have a couple of chicanes thrown in so while some of the racing will be similar to what we saw in Miami we will have added breaking zones which should create added overtaking opportunities and, most likely, added carnage. Miami was the first Formula E race to go all the way through with no safety car which added to the interesting element of power saving. Whilst there will be an element of that here I doubt we'll go the distance without someone in the wall so I expect it to lessen off.

Round 6 marks the half way point in the Formula E season so I thought I'd use this thread for a quick team review. So in order of the Teams Championship here we go:

e-Dams Renault:

They looked the strongest team in testing and to be honest I still think they are the strongest team now. They are the only team to have 2 wins in the competition and Nico Prost is the only driver to score points in all 5 rounds which is why he is leading the championship table. This is not the driver we expected to be up there and also not the driver I believe to be the best in the team but Sebastian Buemi seems to have a multiple of moments and can't put the package together for the whole weekend. Even on the race he won he nearly threw it away and in the race at Miami he appeared to be completely off the pace for no reason I could fathom. The teams title is there for the taking for e-Dams but I'm not confident one of their drivers will take it as both seem to panic under pressure.

Audi Sport ABT:

Audi Sport ABT have scored more podiums than any other team which shows that set up wise they've been on it from the start. Lucas DI Grassi has obviously brought all that experience from testing the Formula E car to the team and its worked well. Di Grassi was the stand out in the field and lead the championship from round one but as he slipped back at Miami so he lost his lead. Di Grassi has shown he is hungry for success and I don't expect him to fade away from the drivers title fight and expect him to be there or there abouts in every race. Strangely its Danny Abt who has lead the most races for the team but results just never seen to have come for him. He's had constant issues with the car which has lead to him having to take different tactics to other drivers but doesn't seem to have done much for his energy management skills. The Miami race was his for the taking but he used too much power and had to back off and come 3rd. It still got the ball rolling for him though and it will be interesting to see if he can challenge.

Virgin Racing:

The Virgin team has been a tale of two sides really. Sam Bird has beena revalation to the series and has been part of some of its most exciting bits of racing. He always seems to be up there but has been robbed of better results by some very silly mistakes from himself and the team. Ignoring a red light in Argentina and not pitting when he needed too and having to crawl round an extra lap in Miami certainly cost him podiums if not race victories. He is still only 15 points behind Prost in the championship though and if he can cut these mistakes out is looking good to be in with a chance. Bird's team mate Alguersauri has been the biggest disappointment n Formula E for me. Jamie has always talked the talk and been rated highly but has come into this series where he has a chance to shine and shown nothing but average. He really needs to get on it to claw some reputation back.

Andretti Formula E:

What to say about Andretti? Well their car has always been there or there abouts and they seem to have the head for tactics in the sport but with a constantly changing driver line-up they have no consistency. JEVE seems to be here for the long term now and he certainly brings speed and excitement with 2 poles in 3 races. He hasn't brought results though as he seems to slip back down the field as the race goes on. Whether this is power management issues I really don't know. California boy Scott Speed surprised everyone in Miami by putting in a brilliant performance and only narrowly missing out on a race win. As the next race is in California I fully expect Andretti to keep him on (It'll be the first time they've run the same drier line up two races running if they do!) and it'll be fun to see if he can repeat the performance on home soil.

Dragon Racing:

I'm not you are as surprised as me to know that Dragon are 5th in the teams championship but I think they've been pretty anon for the entire season. D'ambrosio appears to have picked up some good results without actually being seen on camera but has never figured in the race win fight. Servia did score them a pole back in Malaysia but has now moved to a team management role meaning that Loic Duval has joined the team. Duval is a former WEC champion and a quality driver and hopefully can push Dragon forward. He had half an hour in the car before the event at Miami and went from 20th on the gird to finish 7th which is very promising.

Amlin Aguri:

I think Amlin Aguri will be pretty happy with 7th place in the constructors and a race win to their name. They haven't really been one of the teams to beat and did sort of luck into their race win. The team is being pushed forward by Antonio Felix Da Costa but they really do need to do a lot more work to be properly competitive. Signs of progress are there though but they are nothing more than midfield at the moment. Their Mexican driver Duran is showing signs of improvement and he always gets the fan boost which should come in hand in helping them score some solid points. Katherine Legge is due to come back into the car at some point but no one is exactly clear on when.

China Racing:

China Racing are 6th in the standings with 49 points. Every single one of them has been scored by Nelson Piquet Jr. Love or loath the guy (most people loath him) Piquet Jr has really shown his quality in this series and seems to have master the art of energy saving more than any of the drivers. He is actually my dark horse for the drivers title. The team appears to have a lot to learn but Piquet is dragging them by the scruff of the neck to the top of the standings. Chinese driver Ho Pin Tung now appears to be out and Charles Pic appears to be in. Pic really struggled in Miami though which probably shows how poor the car really is.

Mahindra Racing:

The indian team went for the old HRT driver line up and seem to have inherited the old HRT form. Miami was an improvement thought as it was the first race Bruno Senna didn't hit the wall. Chandhock would have no luck if he didn't have bad luck but its fair to say that the team have not really been at the races at all and I don't really expect them to improve. Still Bruno always gets the fan boost.

Trulli:

The Trulli cars appear to have the exact same effect as Trulli the race driver. They create massive trains of cars trying to get past them. Lets be honest the Trulli team are in a state and its only been some top quality qualifying from Jarno that's got them any points at all. They did come into the championship at the last minute though so maybe we shouldn't be too surprised. Until Miami they were running Popular Italian driver Cerruti but just a day before the race she pulled out due to personal reasons and announced the end of her 'electric dream' on twitter. This was massively unexpected (My theory is she's pregnant but maybe I've watched too many soaps) and on finding out that Antonio Liuzzi was on holiday in Miami Jarno rang him up and beg him to come race. Liuizzi even had to borrow helmet to race. Whether he'll carrying on with the team at Long Beach we don't know but I doubt it'll make much difference to the race results.

Venturi:

Who would have thought that Venturi - the best electric car producers on the planet - would only have 8 points after 5 rounds of racing? Even more tragically they actually appear to have one of the best cars in the field and probably should have had about 3 wins by now. Nick Heidfeld just can't catch a break though but he does keep trying bless him. Which is more than can be said for his team mate Stephane Sarrazin who is frankly a waste of a Formula E seat and needs to be replaced quick sharp. Surely Venturi will score a big result before the season ends and won't finish last in the championship....surely?

So that's the state of play as we come to long Beach but what that means for the race result I don't know. We've had 5 winners from 5 races so far and no one has won off pole. I fully expect a 6th winner in long Beach if I'm honest. We have seen plenty of close racing thought and I don't expect that to change. The cars can follow really closely and are equally matched and driver skill and judgement really makes a difference. I was excited about this series before it started but half way in and I'm even more excited. Brilliant stuff. Hope you're all enjoying it as much as me.
 

Dash Racing

Points Scorer
Nice team review, RasputinLives. The longer this series goes on, the more excited I am about it. Having a lot of top shelf drivers racing in a B license series on tight street circuits with very basic aero sure does keep things exciting.

Long Beach can't come soon enough for me. If Speed races at Long Beach, I'm expecting he'll get another podium finish, probably alongside Lucas di Grassi.
 

siffert_fan

Too old to watch the Asian races live.
Contributor
I am really looking forward to this race. Over the years, we have seen Long Beach host races in Formula One, Formula 5000 and Indy cars, and it has usually been one of the best races of their respective seasons. I see no reason why this should change for Formula E. It will be very interesting to see if the relative lack of noise (which Bernie is always prattling on about) makes any difference to the enjoyment of the event.

I would also say that I think this is the coming formula, with Penske's buying in only reinforcing that opinion. The Captain is rarely wrong on things like that.
 

RasputinLives

Leave me alone I'm on Smoko
Contributor
It was very good to see packed grandstands at Miami siffert_fan and as I know you're going to Long Beach you'll have to let us know what the atmosphere is like. Lots of pics too.

If I wasn't getting married on the days its held then I'd be heading out to the London one. The second season is meant to start in Paris next September so I might aim to go to that one.
 

Dash Racing

Points Scorer
I don't think their unstable driver line-up has been that bad a choice. Has it bit them in the ass? Sure. But it also means they can go through their list of wanted drivers and give them all a shot to impress. Perhaps they'll have a more stable driver line-up in the future, and because the team itself is still learning about the car, this year is just one long interview process?
 

RasputinLives

Leave me alone I'm on Smoko
Contributor
I think they have one of the best cars in the field and with a driver line up they'd been working with since day one would have at least won a race by now.
 

siffert_fan

Too old to watch the Asian races live.
Contributor
We are really looking forward to this race. Our first experience of a new form of racing is always thrilling. I suspect that this is the form that may truly threaten the primacy of F1, and it will be interesting to see if the experience lives up to the expectation.

The downside is that our time frame is exceedingly narrow. We have to be on a flight to England the next, and we are going to the WEC race at Silverstone the following weekend. Thank God LAX is so close that catching our flight presents no problem.
 

KekeTheKing

Banned
Supporter
Exactly. It's not like people were paying for F1 pit passes in the 50s and 60s.

It's utterly foolish to compare the two series. In any way, shape, or form.
 

KekeTheKing

Banned
Supporter
watch it as Motorsport

Oh for sure that's what I do.

I also like to provide a counterbalance to posts like #13.

Can you imagine the mob scene, in literally any motorsport country, if the F1 circus said, "Come one, come all, take a poke around the paddock for free!!" Bernie wouldn't be the only one having a heart attack.
 

RasputinLives

Leave me alone I'm on Smoko
Contributor
I see your point KekeTheKing but, having experienced it myself, Formula E has tried to be more accomodating to fans than F1 and other series have. I think that was the point of post #13. I do see what your saying in the fact that right now Formula E can afford to do that to build its fanbase but its still nice to see all the same.

I am really enjoying Formula E and its given us some great racing. I understand others haven't enjoyed it as much but variety is the spice of life. It hasn't effected my viewing of F1 in any way shape or form though and nor do I expect it too. Maybe there should be a F1 vs FE thread if people want to debate it?

In news for Long Beach, local boy Scott Speed will still be in that Andretti so we'll get to see if it was a fluke or if he has evolved to be a quality racing driver. Andretti's first unchanged driver line up all season. Its Piquet, Bird and JEV for the fan boost at the moment.

They've also stated they are aiming for there to be no car changed by 2018.
 
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