The Beijing 2015 race was stuffed full of action from start to finish.
Modifications to the track included deleting one chicane, reshaping others and using new types of kerbs, all of which contributed to a more flowing event with plenty of wheel-to-wheel dicing. More efficient powertrains, meanwhile, meant that the battle for track positions could continue all the way to the finish line without anyone running out of juice, despite the race actually being a lap longer than last year.
Reliability was the key word of the day and, while Piquet was clearly out of sorts with his NextEV TCR, there didn’t appear to be any of the thermal, energy or power management issues we saw throughout the 2014-15 season.
Sebastien Buemi provided a masterclass in Formula E race management, squeezing every last drop from his battery cells, opening up an extraordinary gap to those behind and staying clear of the unforgiving concrete walls. The Swiss driver was clearly determined to bag points early this season and did so in spectacular fashion, becoming the first Formula E driver to capture points for pole, fastest lap and the race win in the same event.
Still, his performance doesn’t necessarily mean that Renault e.dams will run away with every race in season two. Different circuit configurations may suit different powertrain characteristics and teams are able to tweak their software and chassis settings throughout the season. Some teams clearly have work to do to unlock the potential of their systems, such as DS Virgin Racing and NextEV; the data captured in Beijing will be vital to improving performance next time out.
Current E had a team on the ground for the first race of 2015-16 as we did all through the first season; here are some of our snaps from Beijing 2015 race.