Admit it: this time last year, you thought Formula E had about as much chance of seeing the light of day as a group selfie taken by three Western heads of state at Mandela’s memorial. We all make mistakes.
The embryonic all-electric racing series has had rather an exhilarating 12 months, culminating in 10 teams and 10 venues signing up and a real racing car putting tyres to tarmac. We’re not talking backwater towns (well, mostly) or anonymous start-ups either. Oh no. Formula E has rounded up some of the most high-profile racing personalities and famous destinations with which to celebrate its birth, and some of the most impressive automotive marques with which to work. This is no grassroots event: the series has gone for the big time, first time.
Plenty more has been going on being the scenes too, including a distribution deal with DHL, a technology partnership with Qualcomm, broadcast rights agreed with Fox and TV Asahi and an investment into the sport worth millions of dollars by a group that includes NFL club owners.
It’s all here on Current E in case you missed anything.
Everything will get even faster this year. The Spark Renault racing car will be shown off to the public for the first time next week in Las Vegas (no, the “official launch” at the Frankfurt motor show didn’t really count because the car was missing a few important bits…such as the entire powertrain).
Then there will be a series of driver announcements. Teams are expected to begin taking delivery of cars to test with in May, and to carry out testing in June and July. In August everything gets packed up in boxes ready for shipping (yes, shipping – to reduce the sport’s carbon footprint) to Beijing in time for the first race in September.
Clarifications of the sporting regulations will likely arrive in the Spring, including details on how the now-infamous Fanboost and the pit stop sprints will work.
Current E will be evolving too, with work on the website due to take place over the next few months. This will help enhance the user experience, help you navigate around the voluminous archives and, well, help make the site look a whole lot better. There’ll be lots more of what you’ve come to expect from us too: indepth features, interviews with drivers and team principals, analysis and gossip. We’d love to hear from you too – please do share your Formula E stories and opinions with us.
With just nine months before the first race, Formula E will be accelerating hard towards a successful launch. To borrow the immortal words of Eddy Grant, 2014 is truly the year “we gona rock down to electric avenue”.
We can’t wait. (And yes, we may take a selfie or two while we’re there.)