Di Grassi wins first all-electric Formula E ePrix
Audi Sport ABT’s Lucas di Grassi has won the inaugural Formula E Evergrande Spring Beijing ePrix, taking the lead after frontrunners Nicolas Prost and Nick Heidfeld crashed in a last corner duel.
The inaugural round of the 10-race season of the global electric race series was held over 25 laps of a 3.5km course through the streets of Beijing round the Bird’s Nest Olympic stadium.
Formula E is a new FIA single-seater championship and the world's first fully electric racing series. The FIA is showcasing the series as a possible future of motor sport and as a framework for R&D around the electric vehicle.
All drivers drove a version of the Spark-Renault SRT_01E with enough power for 20 to 30 minutes of hard racing. Rather than the familiar Formula One tyre changes, drivers make pit stops to swap cars halfway through the race.
The cars are the product of a collaboration between Spark Racing Technologies, McLaren Electronic Systems, Williams Advanced Engineering, Dallara and Renault. They have a maximum speed of 225 kph and can accelerate 0-100 kph in 3 seconds.
The Formula E series will run to June next year, with races taking part in the heart of 10 cities - including London, Berlin, Monte Carlo and Miami.
The season features 10 teams, each with two drivers. From season two, Formula E will operate as an open championship
...allowing teams and manufacturers the opportunity to showcase their own electrical energy innovations. Working to the technical specifications set out by the FIA, teams will focus their efforts on improving and developing battery technology in the hope this will filter into the everyday electric vehicle market.
The series was the brainchild of the federation’s president, Jean Todt, and Spanish businessman, Alejandro Agag.
“We expect this championship to become the framework for research and development around the electric car, a key element for the future of our cities,” Agag said.