Can you believe it? We are already heading into the third season of Formula E, the first all-electronic racing series. This season looks to be the most competitive yet, with a number of changes all aimed at creating more exciting racing.
Last season, most thought it was going to be easy for Renault eDams to win the championship, and it really was not in the end. Sebastien Buemi was pushed hard until the very end of the season to the Drivers Championship, in what was an exciting season finale in London.
Talking about circuits, there is a large ‘refresh’ for Season Three. London, Punta del Este, Beijing, and Moscow are gone, while there are new additions in Hong Kong, Brussels, Montreal and New York. Interestingly Monaco returns to the Formula E series, hosting their race once again before the Grand Prix in the middle of May.
Calendar (Season Three)
Round 1 9 October 2016 Hong Kong
Round 2 12 November 2016 Marrakech
Round 3 18 February 2017 Buenos Aires
Round 4 1 April 2017 Mexico City
Round 5 13 May 2017 Monaco
Round 6 20 May 2017 Paris
Round 7 10 June 2017 Berlin
Round 8 1 July 2017 Brussels
Round 9 15 July 2017 New York
Round 10 16 July 2017 New York
Round 11 29 July 2017 Montreal
Round 12 30 July 2017 Montreal
The new season also introduces new teams, regaining the team we lost when Trulli departed early last year. Jaguar Racing has taken their spot in the championship, one of many top name manufacturers putting their name to the series. Backed by Williams Engineering, they have a high class driver line-up of Adam Carroll and GP2 driver Mitch Evans.
Another new addition is the Techeetah team, who have taken over from the former Aguri squad. Jean-Eric Vergne has made the switch from Virgin, where he is joined by Chinese driver Ma Qing Ha.
At the front of the field, there are no changes to the driver line-ups at either Renault eDams or Abt Sportsline. The championship winning pairing of Sebastien Buemi and Nico Prost remain at Renault eDams, while Daniel Abt and Lucas di Grassi remain at Abt Sportsline.
Jose-Maria Lopez has replaced Jean-Eric Vergne at DS Virgin Racing, alongside Sam Bird, while Antonio Felix de Costa has made the move to Andretti. We will not see former F1 driver Bruno Senna this season, with him replaced by fast rookie Felix Rosenqvist at Mahindra and Mario Engel takes the second seat at Venturi as the Brazilian concentrates on World Endurance Racing.
The cars are largely the same as last year. Visually they have changed with a revised front wing, which now attaches to the top of the nosecone as well as the bottom. This reflects the concept design of the ‘Roborase’ car, which will be the first driverless race car.
There are some small changes, with the weight reduced slightly, and the maximum regeneration increased from 100kwh to 150kwh. The overall battery weight has been increased from 200kg to 230kg, although there will be no increase in the power output, which has remained capped at 250kwh.
We head into the new season full of expectation, with the field as close as ever and a new crop of drivers all aiming to take crown when the season finishes in New York, next July.