Since the second season (2015-2016 year) Formula E has become an “open championship”. This allowed teams to develop and build race cars of their own design, in accordance with the regulations of the championship and the technical specifications of the FIA.
Audi Sport ABT Schaeffler
The Audi ABT team is a very interesting motor racing team but in the first season it seemed strange. It was not clear what to expect from him. Why was this team created at all? The three main reasons, in our opinion, were at the very beginning – and now, in 2017, they were fully justified. First, it’s true for young rider Daniel. This is a good pilot, speaking in different categories of motorsport with varying success. German F3 and the title of vice-champion – but this is a relatively weak series. After that, you can get stuck in an expensive GP2 for many years, and there is no guarantee that he will be lucky to go to F1. The guy does not have enough stars from the sky: he drives moderately, while his partner Lucas di Grassi consistently fights for the champion title wins and in every way shines with a bright talent.
In the very smallest Formula ADAC Masters, under Daniel, an entire family team was created with the same name: Abt Sportsline. The guy became a champion. An interesting experience, lesson learned. It is possible that the same experience at the family council was decided to go again, i.e. create a team of one person – Daniel Abt. A similar example, but on a much more serious scale, can be found in the Palmer family. Jonathan Palmer, ex-Formula 1 racer, led the re-created Formula 2 championship for several years where his son Jolyon Palmer played for 2 years. Later, Palmer Jr. fought for the title in GP2, earned it, and quite seriously got into F1 itself. Having spent the first season without much success with only 1 point in the account, Jolyon received a contract extension for another year. What is not an example for the Abtov family?
Secondly: Audi. It’s the richest office with the most serious intentions in the field of electric vehicles. To come to the “closed” mono-series championship this concern is somehow not to face. But in a few years you can think about it very seriously, as participation and constant victories in Le Mans with hybrid prototypes. So we decided to give Audi our name and financial support for the new project. And there, you see, and come to Formula E can be completely on the factory scale. And so it happened: in the second season, the concern Audi announced more serious support for the electrical team. And at the beginning of the third season and at all there was a sensation: instead of participating in the WEC, Audi will come to Formula E as a full-fledged factory team. Thirdly, ABT is not only a race, but a serious tuning studio for various car brands. They perfect the production cars, and they do it very well. Participation in the Formula E Championship and all sorts of marketing and advertising bonuses from this interesting project is a great way to express not only among the most loyal fans of motor sport.
DS Virgin Racing
This fun, a little reckless and completely outsider team almost never remembered in Formula 1. Although in our day the same team, created in 2010 by Richard Branson, performs under the name Marussia and even gains the first points. Sir Branson realized in time that the world of F1 can easily swallow all of its capital, and the return may never appear. But the racing itch this billionaire remained – it seems, Formula E for him is really the perfect championship. For 40 years, the initiative and inquisitiveness of this man has been promoting the Virgin brand in a variety of industries: from the record of the Atlantic intersection on water and the world’s first intersections of the Pacific and Atlantic oceans in a balloon to setting an absolute record of non-stop flight around the globe. After many years of development and testing, in the near future, the first passenger flight of the Virgin Galactic spacecraft will take place outside the atmosphere at speeds 3 times faster than the speed of sound. And now these guys with their crazy, but very practical ideas go to Formula E: the electric car racing championship. And they know exactly how to improve literally everything: motors with batteries, charging speed, and efficiency. Moreover, they are ready and willing to develop these technologies with all the passion inherent in Virgin.
Branson is man of the world but a businessman to the bone. His electro-porting idea is not a waste of several millions. Over the next 25 years, Formula E will be able to contribute to the sales of an additional 77 million electric vehicles. Due to this they save 4 billion barrels of oil and another 25 billion euros for health care costs. What kind of businessman does not want to participate in these statistical calculations and make money on it? All the more – “Dr. Yes” from Virgin!
It’s new team, which will debut in the third season of the championship (2016-2017). The Chinese came instead of the almost bankrupt good old Aguri. The name of the new team is the game of the English words Tech (technology) and cheetah (leopard). As a result, we have something like “Mechanical big and very predatory cat.” Well, if there is a Jaguar and a Dragon, then why not to be a leopard? Although the Techeetah team came in return for Aguri, they have little relationship with Aguri Suzuki but immediately appeared a contract with:
- Renault (and this is already a double champion of Electro Formula) on the supply of power plants;
- Jean-Eric We will return – an excellent racer with a decent experience of performing in Formula E;
- Ma-Qing Hua. Not too fast, but a) Chinese, and b) also with some experience playing in the championship.
About team name
In Chinese, the name Techeetah is written with hieroglyphs 钛 麒. The first of them denotes the metal titanium, the second – some ancient fictional Chinese animal like the European unicorn. Well, the cheetah leopard is also here somewhere. The correct pronunciation of the word Techeetah is “ta-chi-ta”.
Legacy from Super Aguri
Something besides a license to participate in the championship was still received from Super Aguri. First of all, these are brigades of engineers and mechanics of the ex-team of the GP2 and GP3 series – Status Motorsport. The same people served the team of Aguri Suzuki. One of the co-owners of Techeetah told the following on this topic: “At the moment we are trying not to change anything that was brought up in the old team. Let’s say the team leader is still Mark Preston. Technical director will continue to be Leo Thomas. There is no desire to change a well-functioning team, a routine. The experience of practitioners from the Formula E Championship is still more valuable than our own ideas. Moreover, both they and we are quite comfortable working together, as we understood already on the August tests.”
Tru motor racing fans know almost nothing about the Mahindra team because in motor racing, the team did not glow under the pronounced Indian name. And not so faithful race lovers are quite familiar with Mahindra from the performances of this team in motor sport. After all, the true adept of four-wheeled races will not pay attention to two-wheeled races? And not to consider the same seven-time Michael Schumacher and eight-time John Surtis true followers of the car race: after all, these guys dared not just watch a couple of motorcycle races, but also participated in them themselves.
However, we return back to Mahindra. Hindus very energetically took up the newest project. The technology of electric vehicles is the most interesting and promising. Auto racing is an old love of the southern people. Even their riders are there: slow Karthikoyan and smiling Chandhok. Both of them showed up in the pool of the Formula E Racers Club from the very beginning. But if a good and not so slow guy Karun Chandhok already got a place in Mahindre along with longtime comrade Bruno Senna, then say what Narain Kartikeyan hopes for is a difficult task. And it is hardly understandable even to him – the very first Hindu in F1. The guys from Mahindra Racing in the first season of 2011 were able to boast a single victory in the lower class of the prestigious Italian-international FIM Moto3 championship. A year later, literally defeated all rivals in the same class, scoring 6 out of 8 possible victories. In 2012, Mahindra won the Constructors’ Championship in the class of 125 cubes of the World Motorcycle Racing Championship.
About the coming of the legendary auto brand to the electric formula was announced back in September 2015 – a great name, the intentions are very serious, and therefore the organizers of the series strongly welcomed and advertised the new team. It seems not in vain: it turns out glamorous and, perhaps, even quickly. Even before the first race of the Jaguar in the championship, I want to applaud their leadership: the stunningly beautiful colors of cars in the style of Darth Vader – this is not the brightly alypisty Asian woman of any Mahindra. Black and gray livery is futuristic; it is sexy, aggressive and new!
They would have another sponsor just after all, they will laugh at the microwaves on wheels. Panasonic hardly fits with high speeds and races (however, let’s not forget about their title sponsorship of the most talented Toyota team in F1). On the other hand, over Red Bull some 10 years ago also laughed in the paddock: a racing tin can! So we believe Jaguar and their Japanese investors. And try not to smile too much at the sight of the name Panasonic Jaguar Racing. Above, we mentioned the Indian Mahindra team. Interestingly, Jaguar Racing is also no stranger to Indian culture. The Jaguar brand belongs to a different brand – Jaguar Land Rover, a British manufacturer of expensive cars. Land Rover, in turn, since 2008, belongs to the concern Tata Motors – hello, the country of elephants and rajas! It is time to hold the open championship of India on electros racing.
They are Americans from the highest series of the USA – IndyCar. They are pair of forced podiums in 2013, zero in 2012. Actually it’s everything! It would seem that the team is not that weak, but none at all. They were racing in Indykara only a couple of full seasons and almost without success. But this is Penske! But the Americans have a sea of ambitions, a lot of the richest and most famous sponsors, and almost half of the members of the Formula E Pilot Club were behind them. The founder of the team is Jay Penske. The son and heir of Roger with his great team Penske, who won in America everything you can. And in Formula 1, too, won, speaking in the World Cup 3 years under his name. Two teams are also famous and revered in the United States, and indeed in the culture of American motor racing: Andretti and Penske. The first is already in Formula E, the second – even if not directly, but also decided to come to the championship of electrolides.
Let’s be honest: Dragon Racing has no formal relation to the success and fame of Roger Penske and his team. Indirectly, working with cars and generally operating with a new racing team will be exactly Penske specialists. As for the ambitions of Jay Penske: he is relatively far from motor racing. In fact, this is just his hobby. He is one of America’s most successful entrepreneurs, whose business is closely tied to modern technology. Dozens of well-known American sites, such as Mail.com, Fan.com, TVline.com and other well-known publications, in all of them, Jay Penske either had and has a share, or directs their work, or stood at their origins. There is one publisher in his media empire (by the way, the same name – Dragon Books). The whole media empire of Jay Penske is called PMC.
Jay Penske is a famous philanthropist and good guy. The Dragon team, perhaps, did not achieve particularly high-profile success precisely because of the love of the cause of motor racing. From the very beginning, interesting, talented, but often very young pilots work and perform in this team. In which Dragon Racing believes sincerely and completely.
NIO Formula E team
Since April 4, 2015, the team, known from the previous season called China Racing and its yellow-red coloring, has changed both the name and the livery. Electric cars repainted in a gray-yellow color of poisonous shades, and the name was: NextEV. Actually, it would be more correct to call the Chinese auto racing team in this way: NextEV TCR. “Next” means “next”, “future”, EV – Electric Vehicle, “electric vehicle”, TCR = Team China Racing. In an amicable way, the renaming of teams in the middle of the season should not have been allowed by the FIA and the organizers, but that is, that is. A year later, the letters TCR were completely forgotten.
NextEV is essentially a subsidiary of the team. It is engaged in the development and production of components and assemblies for electric vehicles. It is believed that a startup has a great future, and Formula E will help in the promotion of the brand. In the depths of NextEV, from the very first days of joining Formula E, the twin-engine design of the power plant for the next year’s car was developed. The Formula E team originally performed under the name of the whole country, and even which one – China. China Racing – so called NextEV in the debut season. And more about them really did not know anything. They were encrypted from the very beginning, and this is the first team, along with Drayson Racing, who announced participation in the Electrolide Championship. For some time it even seemed like a fake. However, the team itself is quite there, acquired a website in Chinese with transferable news from the official site. And in the preseason run-in of electroforming cars, they participated, even before the start of the first championship. And even then they managed to paint their typewriter in the colors of the Chinese flag. So who are the guys from NextEV?
Rumor has it that this is a very serious team with far-reaching plans that they are not supported by anybody, but by the whole Chinese government. Indirectly, these estimates are confirmed as in the name of the China racing team (it is impossible to call this name any enterprise in Communist China). And the flag of China on the Formula E bolide is an extraordinary phenomenon for this country. China is not the first year promoting itself in the world of motor sport. The Grand Prix in this country is becoming increasingly popular even among ordinary viewers-fans. Two pilots are well known on the world stage – this is Ho-Pin Tung and Ma Qing Hua. Interestingly, Ma Qing Hua was announced at the Formula E Pilot Club, and Ho-Ping even took an informal part in the run-in of the car and shared very sincere and vivid impressions in an interview with the foreign press. Yes and the first race of the series was held not anywhere but in the center of Beijing.
The project called China Racing has already begun in 2004 when this country took part in the A1GP series – the Championship of Nations. This team was supported by top officials from the Ministry of Sports of China. But the NextEV team in Formula E is in no hurry to declare a direct connection with that team, although its leaders are still the same: Steven Lu and Yu Liu. These NextEV leaders are known for their participation in some auto racing championships. In addition to A1GP, the Chinese were chasing in the Formula Superleague and the FIA GT1 series. Pets of the China Racing team are considered more or less famous racers Ma Qing Hua, Kon-Fu Cheng and Ho-Pin Toon.
Audi e-tron FE05: a new Formula E Electrolide is introduced
Shortly after launching the first electric car into mass production, Audi introduced its latest version of a racing car for the electric Formula E. Audi e-tron FE05 was designed in the same “Gen2” design. In addition to identical chassis, all Formula E cars use a lithium battery with the same capacity of 52 kWh. A battery can hold enough charge to run a 45-minute race without interruption. This decision eliminates the need to replace sports cars during the competition, used in the previous four seasons of Formula E. The race rules also dictate the power limits that electrobolides can send to their rear wheels, depending on the situation. In qualifying cars can use up to 250 kilowatts (350 horsepower), but for most of the competition they are limited to 200 kW (268 hp). At the same time, drivers can gain access to 225 kW (306 hp) for a short time at specified locations on the track, called “activation zones”.
According to Audi, the e-tron FE05 can accelerate to 100 km / h in 3.1 seconds and reach a maximum speed of 240 km / h. Although the rules define some limitations of the characteristics of the cars, teams are allowed to create their own electric motors and other components. Audi hopes to gain an advantage by achieving greater efficiency with the help of the original engine design. But Audi will have to share each of its achievements with Virgin Racing, a division of the Virgin Group of Richard Branson, whose pilots will drive the e-tron FE05 along with the team of the German automaker.