Brought to you by TheJudge13 contributor Anil Parmar (editor in chief – FormulaEDiary.com)
This weekend will see Long Beach, the famous street circuit in California, play host to the sixth round of the FIA Formula E championship. We’ve had five different winners in as many races so far; could we finally see a repeat winner for the first time this season?
The race will take place on a shortened version of the legendary Long Beach street track currently used by Indycar. The drivers will compete for 39 laps across the 2.1km circuit, before crossing the finish line along the Marina and Rainbow Lagoon Park.
The track features just seven turns, including the trademark hairpin, and several long straights. Former IndyCar driver and Formula E driver ambassador Gil de Ferran believes the wide nature of the track will encourage overtaking:
“With the exception of one corner in the southern end, Long Beach is super wide, which is why traditionally you have such good racing there, because people can get side-by-side. It’s going to be interesting to see from a strategic perspective where the drivers are going to make the use of the boost to overtake each other. If you make it on one straight you can be attacked back on the next straight,”
It’s likely that qualifying may not be as important here as it was in Miami.
Whereas the previous race in Miami proved to be a slow burner due to the amount of battery management required, Renault Sport Technologies engineer Roberto Dlacic believes that Long Beach “doesn’t require a lot of energy so the drivers can push hard and use different out-of sync strategies”.
Drivers and Teams:
For the first time this season, there will be no driver changes going into a Formula E race. Loic Duval, Scott Speed and Vitantonio Luizzi all made their debuts in Miami and have retained their seats for the inaugural Long Beach ePrix.
|Audi Sport ABT||Lucas di Grassi / Daniel Abt|
|eDAMS Renault||Nicolas Prost / Sebastien Buemi|
|Virgin Racing||Sam Bird / Jaime Alguersuari|
|Team Mahindra||Bruno Senna / Karun Chandhok|
|Team Andretti||Scott Speed / Jean-Eric Vergne|
|Team Venturi||Nick Heidfeld / Stephan Sarrazin|
|Almin Aguri||Antonio Felix Da Costa / Salvador Duran|
|Team Trulli||Jarno Trulli / Michela Cerruti|
|China Racing||Nelson Piquet Jr / Charles Pic|
|Dragon Racing||Loic Duval / Jerome D’Ambrosio|
The Ones To Watch:
Both championships are shaping up to go down to the wire with Audi Sport ABT, Virgin Racing and e.Dams Renault dominating the headlines so far. e.Dams-Renault driver Nicolas Prost leads the championship after his long overdue win in Miami but expect Sam Bird and Lucas di Grassi to also fight for the win. Nelson Piquet and Sebastian Buemi will also be hoping to close the gap to championship leaders.
|2||Lucas di Grassi||Audi Sport ABT||60|
|3||Sam Bird||Virgin Racing||52|
|4||Nelson Piquet||China Racing||49|
|6||Antonio Felix da Costa||Amlin Aguri||37|
|7||Jerome d’Ambrosio||Dragon Racing||34|
|8||Jaime Alguersuari||Virgin Racing||26|
|9||Daniel Abt||Audi Sport ABT||19|
|12||Karun Chandhok||Mahindra Racing||18|
|13||Bruno Senna||Mahindra Racing||18|
|14||Oriol Servia||Dragon Racing||16|
|17||Charles Pic||China Racing||12|
|18||Loic Duval||Dragon Racing||6|
|19||Nick Heidfeld||Venturi GP||5|
|20||Stephane Sarrazin||Venturi GP||3|
|21||Takuma Sato||Amlin Aguri||2|
|22||Salvador Duran||Amlin Aguri||1|
Team Andretti have also been very strong, albeit inconsistent in their first season. It remains to be seen if Scott Speed’s Miami podium will fire the team up enough to see either Andretti driver challenge for the win.
Team Trulli and Venturi GP will desperately be hoping to get some big points. Despite a consistent line up, Venturi GP have scored just 8 points in 5 races, with Nick Heidfeld suffering from severe misfortune in the opening rounds. The question in everyone’s mind, ‘Could it finally go right for Heidfeld’?
How To Watch:
Formula E is broadcast on a number of major broadcasters around the global. A full list can be found by visiting: http://www.fiaformulae.com/en/guide/television.aspx. If you’re based in the U.K, coverage begins at 11pm on ITV 4 this Saturday, with the race starting at midnight.
Qualifying also takes place on Saturday and can be streamed through the official Formula E website.
|10:00||10:20||FE School Series – Practice/Qualifying|
|12:00||12:10||Qualifying Group 1|
|12:15||12:25||Qualifying Group 2|
|12:30||12:40||Qualifying Group 3|
|12:45||12:55||Qualifying Group 4|
|14:15||14:35||FE School Series – Race|
Note: All times are list in local time zone. Long Beach is seven hours behind UTC
Remember, you can vote for your favourite driver to receive a burst of extra speed during the race. The three drivers with the most votes will receive one five-second ‘power boost’ per car, temporarily increasing their car’s power from 150kW (202bhp) to 180kW (243bhp).
Voting can be done by visiting http://fanboost.fiaformulae.com/ (you have to be registered)