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Everything you need to know about Formula E

From an idea on a napkin to one of the most-watched motorsport events across the globe, Formula E combines sustainability, innovation, and technology to provide fast-paced entertainment.

A refreshing change to the Formula 1 series, Formula E only involves the racing of electric vehicles (EVs) and therefore doesn’t lead to carbon emissions being released. The popularity of the series is only growing, with live viewership at an all-time high in 2022.

It’s clear that Formula E is here to stay, but what exactly is it and how did it emerge in the first place?

What is Formula E and why is it important?

Essentially, Formula E is a motorsport competition exclusively for electric vehicles. It is now recognized as a World Championship by the Federation Internationale de l’Automobile. Other than Formula 1, it is the only single-seater series to have been granted that status. So far, tournaments have been held in major cities like London, Beijing, Rome, and Paris.

Formula E has had a major impact all over the world, generating a significant sales increase in EVs such as the MG4 Electric Car. This is beneficial, given the need to reduce global carbon emissions and the usage of petrol- and diesel-powered vehicles.

When did Formula E first start?

The notion behind Formula E first came about in a restaurant in 2011. Agag and Jean Todt, the FIA president, came up with a plan together and wrote their ideas down on a napkin. The intention: to promote a cleaner future using electric vehicles. The first-ever race was held in Beijing in 2014, with the inaugural season coming to an end in London.

It was Nelson Piquet Jr who took the win by a single point, only slightly ahead of another former F1 driver, Sebastien Buemi.

How does Formula E work?

The Formula 1 season is held in various locations around the world and contested across numerous races. Typically, there are around 10-12 rounds, but this was increased to 15 in the 2020-2021 campaign.

In contrast to F1, all of the practice, qualifying, and E-Prix races. take place on the same day, instead of being spread out over the weekend. Prior to the qualifying round, there are two practice sessions, where the top six contestants will advance to decide who will start at the front of the grid.

Teams are only allowed to use a maximum power output of 350kW during the qualifying stage, and this is reduced to 300kW for the race. Similar to the scoring system used in F1, a single point is awarded to the person who finishes 10th, with 25 points awarded to the winner of the race.

Bonus points are given out for certain criteria, including those who set the fastest laps in the qualifying round and the race itself. There’s also an award for the pole-sitter. Whoever finishes with the most points over the whole season is crowned world champion.

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