Electrifying US debut for FIA Formula E

April 6, 2015

Electrifying US debut for FIA Formula E

April 6, 2015

fe_longbeach_apr4_15_race_1The first North American stops of the inaugural FIA Formula E World Championship season brought new cars, new concepts and new fans to a pair of contrasting street circuits, as the all-electric cars generated exciting racing and a new vibe.

The competition features equally matched identical cars, an impressive lineup of talented drivers and a diverse group of well managed teams.

fe_longbeach_apr4_15_race_23Going coast-to-coast from the fifth stop in Miami to the sixth in Long Beach, the races produced the fifth (Prost-Miami) and sixth (Piquet-Long Beach) different winners in the first six races of the championship. The Long Beach victory was the first for the China Racing team.

Michael Andretti saw his Andretti Formula E team claim second place at Miami with Scott Speed then match that result with Jean-Eric Vergne at Long Beach. Audi Sport ABT also claimed podiums at both races with Daniel ABT at Miami and Lucas di Grassi at Long Beach.

The Miami race brought out star power with racing champions Emerson Fittipaldi, Gil de Ferran, Roger Penske and Virgin Racing’s Sir Richard Branson on hand in a race won by e-dams-Renault’s Nicolas Prost. His father, Alain Prost, a four-time Formula One World Driving Champion, is the e-dams-Renault team principal.

Two weeks and 2,736 miles later in Long Beach, America’s premier street circuit responded with its own excitement and star power with the wider streets of Long Beach offering some highly charged moments.

DiCaprio1Leonardo DiCaprio (pictured right), QUALCOMM Executive Chairman, Dr. Paul E. Jacobs, supermodel Irina Shayk (above presenting the second place trophy to Jean-Eric Vergne in Long Beach), actor Adrien Brody and singer/songwriter Skylar Grey were on hand in Long Beach.

They saw a storyline worthy of Hollywood play out as Nelson Piquet, Jr. scored his first win. He was sporting a helmet design replicating that worn by his father, Nelson Piquet, when the senior Piquet, eventually a three time Formula One World Champion, scored his first Formula One victory here in Long Beach 35 years ago.

With its limited sounds, moderate speeds and electric power, the series may not be for some racing purists, but its innovative power, race format, designated musical “EJ”, fan friendly E-Village and aggressive social media campaign attracted and appealed to many newcomers. At its core, the racing teams and drivers delivered real competition and entertaining races.

The series now heads to Monaco, Berlin and Moscow, before arriving in London for the 10th and 11th races that will close out the first season. Considering that the series was created with new cars, new powertrain, electronics, battery and tire technologies, the logistical challenges of a global championship and a new approach, the two North American stops have helped it to establish its presence on the motorsport stage in its first season.

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