Jennie Gow, anchor for ITV’s Formula E coverage, looks back at the “bonkers weekend” that was Miami and predicts that Long Beach will provide similarly scintillating racing.
Miami was a bonkers weekend. The crowds were amazing, the racing was superb, and we had the fifth winner in five races. I think it was the happiest podium we’ve seen so far, too.
It was also the start of the F1 season, so the Formula E race got everybody in the mood for some great motorsports. The electric racing was brilliant. And then F1 went – “Oh, we can’t really follow that!”
The standard of drivers is rising every time they get in the cars. There were three new drivers this time out – Tonio Luizzi, Scott Speed and Loic Duval. All three did a fantastic job. We thought Luizzi was going to finish in the top 10 but it didn’t quite work out that way. Duval is a superb driver too and drove a great race.
The highlight of the weekend, however, was Scott Speed. He was just fantastic. Sometimes personalities don’t come across well on TV. You never really get to know them. But Scott gets the media. His racing was brilliant. And as soon as he got out of the car, he was honest. He was the standout success. He was so close to winning. He got a lot of people excited, so it’s great that he’ll be back in the car for his home race.
You had to feel for Sam Bird, who did that extra lap but had no usable energy left. It was like taking out the batteries, licking both ends, putting them back in and still finding there’s nothing there. Mistakes are made in racing and that’s one that will have really hurt. He’ll be back on form in Long Beach though, I have no doubt.
We need to see Nick Heidfeld on the podium. He’s a great driver, in decent machinery, but he’s P19 in the championship. There’s just nothing coming his way. It would be good to see him get something from the cookie jar in Long Beach.
At the top of the driver standings, it’s all pretty close. It’s a nice spicy set up for Long Beach. Considering Nico Prost has just won his first race but is now leading the drivers’ championship, it makes you remember that the most important thing is consistency. There have been five different people winning races, but which one, time after time, manages to rack up the points? Both Prost and Bird are doing a great job of that.
We’re starting to get patterns now, although the pit stops remain unpredictable. It’s such a big change in single-seater racing for drivers to be getting out of one car and into another. Not all of the teams have quite got the measure of them yet, and they can be confusing for people watching at home. But we’ll get there.
e.dams-Renault were always going to be impressive. I’m surprised it’s taken as long as it has to eke out a margin over the other teams. From this point, I think we’ll see them assert their dominance throughout the rest of the season.
It’s disappointing not to have Cerruti in the championship anymore and, as we don’t yet know what’s happening with Legge’s drive, it looks like there are no full time female drivers any more. It would be great if someone like Simona de Silvestro or Danica Patrick could have subbed for someone on American soil. This sport needs drivers that can compete at the same level, and the standard is so high. We also need to female drivers in WEC, which looks like the natural talent pool for Formula E.
Scott Speed is going to win Long Beach. He only had something like 20mins in the car before the Miami race kicked off, so I think he’ll be able to start a bit higher up the field this time round. He said he had juice left in that car when he finished, which means he could have pushed a bit harder, a bit earlier. If he wins, the fans will go nuts. It’s free entry, so I’m looking forward to seeing heaving crowds with popcorn buckets and big foam hands. The home crowd will help Speed find that extra bit.
Di Grassi has had two bad races now and these things tend to come in threes. In view of their consistency, I think Prost and Bird will make up the rest of the podium.
Then it’s Europe next! It will be a good opportunity for Formula E to gain more of an audience over here. You have to be pretty dedicated to follow it from Europe at the moment. We were going up against Ant and Dec and The Voice last time. Having the race at a time when it’s easier for people to watch and take part in will be key – because it’s an interactive sport.
Formula E continues to be exciting, with brilliant racing that is drawing crowds in places that don’t really get so-called European sports. It’s what motorsport needs.