Formula E Miami ePrix Race Discussion


No passing through my dirty air please
So after what feels like an eternity Formula E’s Round 5 is only now a few weeks away and will take place on Saturday 14th March along the coast of Biscayne Bay in the heart of downtown Miami. As you’ll see from the track layout it doesn’t look the most exciting of tracks but the racing has been close in the previous rounds so it might be more exciting than you think.


It’s a massive weekend for the Formula E championship for two reasons. The first is that it will be a great indicator on the fanbase of the series as to whether they can match the viewing figures they’ve achieved on previous rounds after such a long break from racing. The cancelation of Rio was unavoidable but I’m sure the series organisers are biting their nails wondering if people will still remember the series. The other is that Formula E has now arrived in North America and this will be a big tell for the series. So far the series has managed to attract quite an interest for the US market with big Hollywood names sponsoring teams and well known American race teams entering. The proof, however, is always in the pudding and it will the be the 2 races in the US that determine if there is fan interest and therefore if that investment will continue. If it does then Formula E is very much on a good footing as an international series. It was recently reported that the viewing figures in Japan were huge as well so things are looking fairly good for them but lets remember that the F1 season is about to kick off again and people could very well lose interest. It seems a strange coincidence to me that the F1 season opener just happens to fall on the same weekend that Formula E arrives in the US. That your doing Bernie?

If the last couple of races are anything to go by then if they can get people to watch they won’t have problems keeping them watching. All the races have had multiple leaders and dozens of overtakes with drivers being rewarded for daring to go off line and go deep into breaking zones. Also with them all being street circuits we are seeing drivers paying a heavy price for errors and going off track which, personally, I think is what racing should be about. As for race winners and contenders it appears that the series is so close up that if a team and driver get it right on the day they are capable of winning. No one would have predicted that Felix Da Costa would have won the last race in the Amlin Aguri which had previously spent most of the time at the back of the field but he did. In fact the only things that seem predictable in Formula E is that Nick Heidfeld will look like he’s on to a good result before some disaster will strike and that Bruno Senna will win the fanboost before sticking it into a wall before he can use it.

The man leading the championship at the moment is Lucas Da Grassi and probably deservedly so. He has impressed me more than I thought he would and he was certainly the best driver out there at the last race before his suspension failure. Some of his overtakes and the way he pressured Buemi into a mistake were pretty amazing. Buemi (or Moose as he is to us) himself probably has the best overall package but doesn’t appear to get it right on the day and the last two times he’s lead a race he’s been pressured into errors (he got away with it in Uruguay). The other championship contender is Sam Bird in the Virgin car who has always been there and there abouts pace wise and will be cursing himself for the Hamilton style error of missing the red light at the end of the pitlane last time out which almost certainly cost him a race win.

I’m a little confused by the championship race itself right now as the organisers have failed to clarify (so far) how its going to adjust to the changing calendar. The original idea was that with a 10 race season the drivers would drop 2 results from their totals but with Rio going that took it down to 9. However a round at Moscow has now been added taking it back to 10 again which would bring the normal system back into play however its just be announced that the final round in London will be a double header with races on Saturday and Sunday. Will they now drop 3 results or will 9 results now count. Every driver apart from Prost has had at least one no score so if only one result was going then it would be a level playing field. If it is now 3 results going then Di Grassi’s lead is actually much larger than the championship table makes out as he has managed a podium at every race other than the last one. I’m hoping we’ll get clarification.

Any others to watch out for? Well, as much as he is a panto villain, Nelson Piquet Jr appears to be consistently quick in the Team China car and is edging ever closer towards the front of the points tally. The Andretti cars are also usually quick but its never certain who will actually be driving the things. Its been announced that Marco Andretti will not continue to race for them due to Indy Car commitments which I believe will mean they’ll put Matty Brabham back in the car. Brabham (American by birth, Australian by name) was last seen crying on the curb side in Uruguay but has looked pretty quick when he’s come in. The other driver who could be in the Andretti car is the ever popular JEV but with him possibly having 3rd driver duties with the Ferrari F1 team that weekend its unclear as to whether he’ll be there for not.

Its all fun and games in Formula E and I will encourage you to watch it just for the brilliant close racing. Race starts at 4pm local time which makes it 11pm European time.
Enjoyed the write up, well done. Didn't Prost have a DNF in the first round when he took out Quick Nick? That move still gets me angry, it was so careless. Just think if the reaction if that had been in F1.

I think Formula E is becoming my favorite form of racing right now. I love the battles up and down the field. The lack of pace and noise don't bother me as it's the quality if racing that I want to experience, not the rest of "the show".
Great write-up! Have to agree with Westy, that move of Prost's scared me silly at the time, and now I can't help but feel furious every time I see it. I also agree that Formula E is my favorite form of racing. All of the fun of Formula Ford, F3, F3000, and with top shelf drivers. Magnifico!
Thanks guys. Prost did get a DNF in round 1 but still scored points that weekend because he got the pole position so he is the only one who has scored points in every round. I agree the move was mental!

I concur with you guys on the form of racing. Was so good to see Di Grassi's late braking heart in mouth overtakes at the last round and also great to see car's that aren't on rails that the drivers have to really get to grips with.

Mind you I still think the pitstop rules could do with a change round. Not sure about the track layout at Miami but I guess we'll see what its like when we get there.
teabagyokel are you French? If you're not French then you won't get the drive.

In all seriousness though I hope its JEV and Matty Brabham until the end of the season as both have added to the series. If JEV can't because of Ferrari commitments then its a serious oppotunity for someone as that Andretti car is a front runner on a normal day. If you were a young talent without funding and a drive for 2015 you'd be begging to get in that seat to put yourself in the motorsport shop window wouldn't you? I'm surprised Robin Frinjs isn't camped outside Michael Andretti's house right now.

I do think they'll go for someone North American based for these races though. Any of our American posters want to take a guess at who?
I think its fair to say that the Red Bull junior programme was at an embryonic stage when Scott Speed drove the car. Although surely Bourdais has to be the man for Andretti being (1) French (2) successful in America and (3) Toro Rosso.

Actually Phoenix is a good call Greenlantern101 as you'll see above.

I remember some good racing at Phoenix though. 1990 saw an epic battle between Senna and Alesi.

I think we'll get lots of action with the cars in close quarters to each other. I can see another E-Trulli train forming.
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Hey now, that's not entirely fair. All planned developments, with the exception of communities planned for the rich, end up with a grid system. The reason a lot of English towns, and most old American towns, aren't gridded is because they grew organically. Did none of you study the growth of towns in your humanities classes as kids?
To get the discussion back on Formula its been anounced that 8 different manufacturers will construct power trains for the teams to use next season. This is the gradual start of opening up the free for all on the constructors. Whilst the gearbox etc will be standard the teams will have a choice of electric motors they can develop.

No surprise to see Audi or Renault in there but good news all the same.
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