The first Formula E championship race provided electrifying thrills aplenty on the streets of Beijing. Winding around the Olympic Bird’s Nest stadium, the course formed a stimulating city-center circuit, with a succession of straights, chicanes and 90° bends. The weather was perfect and the stands were packed.
Starting from pole position, Nicolas Prost (e.dams Renault) led from the beginning, and dominated most of the 25-lap race, but his run ended with a spectacular crash on the final lap (with, amazingly, no serious injuries). Lucas di Grassi (Audi Sport ABT) took the win, followed by Franck Montagny (Andretti) in second place and Sam Bird (Virgin Racing) in third. Takuma Sato (Amlin Aguri) logged the fastest lap, at 1:45.101. 35 of the 40 cars crossed the finish line without problems.
“What an exciting first Formula E race!” said Patrice Ratti, Managing Director of Renault Sport Technologies. “This is a real achievement for all the partners who have worked on this project. Despite the test sessions held in recent weeks, there was still a degree of uncertainty involved, linked to the start of the competition proper. By holding the practice sessions, qualifying and the race all on the same day, it has been an intense few hours for the teams, drivers and organisers. I think Renault Sport can be very pleased with how things went today, as there were no major technical problems on the forty single-seaters.”
For the inaugural season, all teams are driving the Spark-Renault SRT_01E racer, which has a carbon fiber/aluminum monocoque chassis made by Dallara, electric powertrain from McLaren Electronics Systems, and batteries from Williams Advanced Engineering. Each driver used two cars during the event.
Maximum power is available only during practice and qualifying sessions. During races, power-saving mode (150 kW or 202.5 bhp) is used, with the FanBoost system allowing maximum power of 180 kW for a limited time of five seconds. Acceleration is 0-62 mph in three seconds, and maximum speed is 150 mph.