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May 25, 2024

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Key Moments In Formula E History

FORMULA E is in its 10th season. From its humble beginnings on a napkin, to earning FIA World Championship status, there are lots of wonderful moments to reflect on. Let’s take a trip down memory lane and see how this magical electric racing series came about, as well as highlights in the last 10 incredible years.

How Formula E was founded

The idea for an all-electric street racing series started out as nothing more than a collection of notes on a napkin. The story goes that former FIA President Jean Todt and Formula E Founder Alejandro Agag met on the evening of March 3, 2011, where they wrote down a few words on what would eventually become the world’s first all-electric international single-seater championship.

Formula E wanted to race through the streets of the most iconic cities in the world — with a grid full of the best racing drivers and teams around — to show just what sustainable mobility was capable of. As well as great racing, driving electric vehicles helped on the path to a better and cleaner future.

In just three years, Formula E made it from concept to reality — through prototypes, innovative EV technology for the race track and on to GEN1. It was time we went green.

Season 1: 2014/15

Formula E made its debut on the grounds of Olympic Park in the Chinese capital Beijing in 2014. The race was filled with drama from start to finish, and showed the world that electric racing can not only be better for the environment but it doesn’t have to limit the actual racing. Ten teams made up the grid, with the likes of Mahindra, Renault, Audi Sport and Andretti all wanting to be a part of the championship from the start. Nelson Piquet Jr made history when he became the first Formula E champion after an intense season.

Season 2: 2015/16

Formula E welcomed seven new manufacturers for the second season. Ten races made up the calendar in nine different cities, and it was again a nail-biting championship battle. This time it was Sebastien Buemi and Lucas di Grassi, with both hunting down their first Formula E title.

The championship had one of its most surreal moments when both championship contenders crashed on the first lap. Buemi and Di Grassi managed to limp back to the pits, with the title now being decided by the important point for fastest lap.

The point went to Buemi, who won the Drivers’ title with his team Renault e.Dams finishing the Teams’ Standing on top for another year.

Season 3: 2016/17

This season brought with it lots of change. The calendar got a huge shake up with trips to Hong Kong, a first visit to Africa thanks to Marrakesh and the return of Monaco. However, one of the biggest headlines was the addition of a double-header in New York City — the first time a motor race had been held in the Big Apple since 1896. From a championship perspective, Di Grassi finally got his hands on the championship trophy — the most dominant win from a driver so far, winning by 24 points in the Montreal double-header.

Season 4: 2017/18

Season 4 welcomed ABB as the title partner of Formula E, and nine manufacturers were now on board.

Jean-Eric Vergne became the fourth different Drivers’ Champion in the first four seasons. The Frenchman drove his TECHEETAH to the top spot, finishing 54 points ahead of the second-placed di Grassi.

Formula E continued to make history, like racing in Zurich, which was the first Swiss circuit race since the 1954 Swiss Grand Prix.

Season 5: 2018/19

The start of a new era for the all-electric street racing series: GEN2 was here. Car swaps were a thing of the past, and drivers had more power thanks to a new lightweight battery that was pumped out 250kW (335bhp) for a top speed of 280 kilometers per hour. Formula E reinvented racing again with ATTACK MODE to bring a new tactical element to the races.

Several big names joined the grid, with the likes of Formula 1 legend Felipe Massa at Venturi Racing, Belgian fan-favorite Stoffel Vandoorne in the new HWA Racelab squad and Pascal Wehrlein at Mahindra Racing.

Unpredictability reigned supreme for another season of unforgettable racing, as Vergne became the first two-time champion.

Season 6: 2019/20

Porsche was a new entry on the grid, with the Mercedes-Benz EQ Formula E Team also bringing its name to the championship.

Things got off to a fantastic start, with entertaining races in Diriyah, Santiago, Mexico City and Marrakesh, before the world was plunged into uncertainty and lockdown following the coronavirus pandemic. Racing was on hiatus. When it was safe to do so, Formula E got racing again — hosting six races in nine days at the Berlin Tempelhof Airport venue. It was here that Antonio Felix da Costa clinched his first Drivers’ Championship.

Season 7: 2020/21

After six seasons of racing on the streets of the world’s best cities, Formula E gained World Championship status. As a result, a talented grid of 12 teams, including 10 manufacturer outfits, and 24 of the best drivers from around the globe fought it out to be the first Formula E World Champion. Diriyah made history as the championship’s first night race, with new locations for E-Prix including Valencia, Spain; and Puebla, Mexico.

In the end, only one could become champion and that honor was handed to Nyck de Vries. The Dutchman, and his teammate Vandoorne, also helped Mercedes in sealing the Teams’ Championship for the first time in its Formula E history.

Season 8: 2021/22

Season 8 brought with it lots of changes. Qualifying got a big shake-up, with a new never-before-seen qualifying format introduced for race day. There were the usual group stages, but instead of leading to Super Pole, they now fed into one-on-one duels. A one-shot lap for the drivers to battle for the Julius Baer Pole Position. The championship also hit its 100th race at the final race of the season in Seoul, South Korea, and said a fond farewell to its beloved GEN2 era.

Season 9: 2022/23

GEN3 arrived — the most technologically-advanced Formula E car yet. The third generation of car has two powertrains, and is the most efficient formula racing car ever and also the fastest Formula E car yet with a top speed over 322 kph.

Once again the championship broke new ground, racing on four new circuits in three new countries. A trio of back-to-back races in India, South Africa and Brazil were a season highlight, having never raced there before. Portland also saw a return of racing to the United States of America.

Season 10: 2023/24

After 10 years, we’re here at Season 10, and there’s so much to look forward to. New races in Tokyo, Shanghai and Misano are just some of the highlights, as a huge percentage of the field have swapped teams for the new year. It has all the ingredients for the best season yet — make sure you’re along for the ride.


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