The official race calendar was released this afternoon for the all-new FIA Formula E championship’s inaugural season, marking a new chapter in an industry previously not known for its eco-credentials: motor racing.
Thanks to its relative quietness when compared to traditional gasoline-based motor racing, Formula E races won’t be taking place on traditional grand prix circuits miles away from civilisation either: it’ll be taking place in the very heart of some of the world’s most famous cities.
That’s not the only unique thing about Formula E either. Thanks to its urban setting, Formula E races will be more about just the race, says Formula E Holdings, official promoters of the FIA Formula E Championship. Unlike Formula One, where qualifying sessions are held for several days preceding the traditional Sunday race, Formula E events will take place on on a Saturday and contain everything from free practice to qualifying and a one-hour race in a single day. This will not only minimise the disruption to traffic in the host cities due to road closures, but it will also make it much easier for fans to follow.
With the racing has finished, each Formula E race will end with a live-music concert, presumably headlined by local and global recording artists.
“It’s a great feeling to be able to confirm our calendar for the inaugural Formula E season and we’re very thankful to all the cities, and candidate cities, for showing their commitment to sustainable mobility,” said Alejandro Agag, CEO of Formula E Holdings, the official promoters of the FIA Formula E Championship. “The level of interest we have received from cities all over the globe has been overwhelming and choosing the final 10 has been a challenging and meticulous process. We’re confident our final 10 cities will provide an array of fantastic backdrops to showcase electric cars in their favoured urban environments, as well as allow us to put on a great spectacle for the fans.”
While the Formula E Championship is envisaged as an open championship in which manufacturers and teams can design, build and race their own electric cars — provided they adhere to strict FIA Formula E specifications — the inaugural season will operate slightly differently in order to help successfully kickstart the series.
For the first season only, all ten competing teams — each with two drivers — will race the Spark-Renault SR_01E race car, which was unveiled last month. In subsequent years however, it is hoped each team will design and build their own cars.
For years, advancements in every aspect of internal combustion engine design can be traced back to motor racing, from lightweight body panels and carbon fibre composites to improvements in direct fuel injection, oil technology and even brake design.
With Formula E poised to enter the motor racing world next year, expect the same kind of trickle-down benefits to electric car design with improvements in everything from charging and motor technology to improved battery design, power delivery and battery management.
That, in turn, can only mean one thing for EV drivers: better, cheaper, and more impressive plug-in cars.
Tickets for the inaugural Formula E championship go on sale early next year, and you can see the full race calendar below (subject to FIA Track Homologation)
Round 1 – Beijing, China, 13th September 2014
Round 2 – Putrajaya, Malaysia, 18th October 2014
Round 3 – Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, 15th November 2014
Round 4 – Punta del Este, Uruguay, 13th December 2014
Round 5 – Buenos Aires, Argentina, 10th January 2015
Round 6 – Los Angeles, USA, 14th February 2015
Round 7 – Miami, USA , 14th March 2015
Round 8 – Monte Carlo, Monaco, 9th May 2015
Round 9 – Berlin, Germany, 30th May 2015
Round 10 – London, UK, 27th June 2015
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