New names, a new qualifying format and new rivalries set to ignite – but the same sensational all-electric racing is firmly in prospect in 2021/22. This week will offer the first glimpse…
This week’s three-day test in Valencia (29 November – 2 December) will present a sneak preview of what lies in store during the eighth campaign of ABB FIA Formula E – its second as a World Championship – with new faces in new places and pre-season bragging rights up for grabs at the Circuit Ricardo Tormo.
Drivers and teams will have the opportunity to rack up the miles around the Spanish track, with morning (09:00 – 12:00) and afternoon (14:00 – 17:00) sessions on both Monday, 29 and Tuesday, 30 November, followed by a full day (09:00 – 15:00) on Thursday, 2 December, equating to 18 hours of running in total. Wednesday, 1 December will be dedicated to media activities.
The test will allow competitors to sample the increased power of the Gen2 car – entering its final campaign prior to the advent of the eagerly-anticipated Gen3 single-seater for 2022/23 – with 220kW now at their disposal (up from 200kW) and 250kW in ATTACK MODE (previously 235kW).
While there are a number of changes in the 22-strong entry, the line-ups at last season’s top four teams remain unchanged. Nyck de Vries will bid to defend his hard-fought crown with Mercedes-EQ, alongside Stoffel Vandoorne, who was one of the fastest drivers in the field in 2020/21 with an unrivalled three pole positions to his credit.
Mitch Evans and Sam Bird were arguably the most closely-matched pairing on the grid in Season Seven and both are back with the renamed Jaguar TCS Racing outfit – with their sights solidly fixed on silverware.
DS Techeetah is fired-up to recapture the Teams’ title after slipping down to third in 2020/21 and has retained the services of former champions António Félix da Costa and Jean-Éric Vergne, while Envision Racing will again head into battle with the quietly impressive Robin Frijns and Nick Cassidy, who is aiming to build upon a head-turning rookie campaign.
Avalanche Andretti (hitherto BMW i Andretti Motorsport) is another team sporting a new identity. The incumbent Jake Dennis – who so very nearly clinched the crown at his first attempt in Formula E last season – will be flanked by 2019 Indy Lights champion Oliver Askew, with the IndyCar podium-finisher preparing to make his debut in the all-electric single-seater series.
ROKiT Venturi Racing has pinned its hopes on 2020/21 championship runner-up Edoardo Mortara and 2016/17 title-winner Lucas Di Grassi. German duo Pascal Wehrlein and André Lotterer will once more represent TAG Heuer Porsche, as Oliver Rowland joins countryman Alexander Sims at Mahindra Racing.
Maximilian Günther replaces Rowland at Nissan e.dams alongside 2015/16 champion Sébastien Buemi, while Dragon / Penske Autosport wasted little time in snapping up Antonio Giovinazzi after he was released by Alfa Romeo’s Formula 1 squad, with the Italian partnering Sérgio Sette Câmara.
At NIO 333, finally, Oliver Turvey will be joined by multiple Macau Grand Prix winner and current FIA Formula 2 Championship front-runner Dan Ticktum.
The 2021/22 Formula E campaign will officially get underway with Saudi Arabia’s double-header Diriyah ePrix on 28/29 January, as Jakarta, Vancouver and Seoul all host races for the first time and Mexico City marks a welcome return.
A revised qualifying format will also be introduced, featuring Groups and head-to-head ‘knockout’ Duels and setting the scene for another intriguing season of electrifying competition – the prelude to which, at Valencia’s Circuit Ricardo Tormo, is now just around the corner. Daily reports from the test will be published on fia.com
Source : Fia