Countdown to race start

Current E Mahindra Racing Blueprints Feb 2016 Lights Out grid timeline

Dodging, darting, weaving through throngs of people to catch drivers and team principals as they prepare for the task ahead – the pre-race gridwalk interview has become a classic motorsport television feature.

For good reason: it’s fascinating to see how many mechanics, engineers, management – and, of course, VIP guests – can be packed onto that small piece of tarmac under the gantry lights.

Formula E is no different, with the pre-race gridwalk feature a firm favourite among fans. Series boss Alejandro Agag makes sure to participate every time too, with his own microphone no less. In season two, the electric racing grid has become even more packed as teams have expanded.

But just what are all those people in brightly coloured team workwear actually doing? Are they there for show, to get sponsors’ logos in front of cameras, to escape the garage for a bit – or are they doing something meaningful?

As Mahindra Racing’s chief engineer Vin Patel details in this month’s infographic, the pre-race grid routine is in reality a piece of precision choreography, with a set of complex processes to run through and minute details to check and double check before the race begins.

There’s not much time to get everything done, either, while the drivers must be both physically and psychologically prepped for the upcoming battle.

Those final few minutes before the lights go out perhaps demonstrate more clearly than at any other point of the weekend just how much of a team sport Formula E really is.

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