Formula E season three was amaze-balls! This season will go down in history as the pivotal season for the budding motorsport series. It was an eventful season for me with the NYCePrix and being a Super Fan. Here are some other reasons why too!
The ePrix Locations!
The races rival no other series in where they are located. The majority of the races take place on public streets in the heart of metropolitan areas. Two of the best examples of Formula E street courses in the middle of major cities are the New York ePrix and the Montreal ePrix.
This was the first season that these iconic cities were on the calendar, but they once again showed that Formula E can get races into places where other series like Formula 1 and NASCAR and WEC could not even dream of going. Having races in the urban areas really helps to bring the event to the people.
The Racing Action!
This season saw a new FE World Champion with Lucas Di Grassi of ABT Schaeffler Audi Formula E team. He narrowly beat out 2-time FE World Champion Sebastian Buemi of Renault e.Dams Formula E team in the last race of the double header weekend in Montreal. All season long there was wheel to wheel racing with actual passes and a few dramatic crashes (everything turned out ok with drivers). One of the best examples is Di Grassi coming from last place in Mexico City to win the race. Not to mention the massive attrition of cars at the Paris ePrix. Here’s some more great crashes and overtakes from Formula E season 3.
eSports are on the verge of blowing up as broadcasters like Twitch pop up and major brands begin to get involved with reaching the next generation racer and racing fan. Formula E has done a brilliant job of incorporating the next generation of racing. Beginning at Long Beach season 2, powerful racing simulators were set up in the eVillage. Fans got the opportunity to “run the track” in a sim of the course for that race weekend. Then the gaming got even better and an e-race was put together at CES in Las Vegas in January. There, in Vegas, actual Formula E drivers (Rosenquist, Bird, Di Grassi, etc.) raced against the best-of-the-best top 10 racing sim drivers. The sim drivers went through an esport racing competition to narrow the crowd of entries and the 10 finalist got the opportunity to compete in the VISA Vegas eRace. Bono Huis, an elite sim racer, won the overall race with Felix Rosenqvist, an actual (irl) Formula E driver (Mahindra Racing), finishing a close second. Then, the remainder of the season, sim racing was incorporated into each race eVillage on the schedule. And, as a bonus, Formula E partnered with Real Racing 3 to bring in game app coverage of aspects of the FE race weekend. An added bonus was that fans were able to run FE cars on some street courses via the game. This is one of my personal “love” aspects of this season.
Introduction of the Super Fan!
This is an amazing fan experience introduced at the Berlin ePrix double header weekend. The new Super Fan (hopefully) tradition was continued at the NYCePrix. One fan was chosen at each race event and given the VIP Formula E behind the scenes treatment. With the crescendo fan moment being on the podium and giving away a trophy to one of the top 3 finishers. This immersion in the Formula E culture is great for making fans feel a part of the event, and feel like the racing stars we follow. I was fortunate enough to be chosen as the New York City ePrix Super fan and it will certainly go down as a once in a life time experience for me.
Innovation Around Sustainable Mobility!
Every season the battery technology involved with the cars in improved. The race distances the cars can go have increased. Currently, drivers change cars mid-race because of battery power. However, soon that need will be eliminated and no car change will be required. This is not to mention the fuel that runs the generators that charge all the Formula E car batteries is glycerin. That is a bio-fuel that can actually be consumed by humans.
I got a chance to taste it. My impression was that it is similar in consistency and taste to Karo syrup. Then there is Michelin. The Michelin tires that are on every FE race car are 18 inch, grooved tires similar to what is seen on an average road car. Michelin claims that innovations developed at the beginning of the FE season are likely to be implemented in street tire production by the end of the FE season. There are lots of innovations in Formula E that directly transfer and benefit people in the real world.
Formula E will look back and say that season 3 was the pivotal time for the series. Major manufacturers have jumped on board along with innovative and awe inspiring race experiences. Constant innovation in race technology with batteries and tires coupled with excellent fan experiences like the Super Fan are sure to bring longevity to this budding series. Look for more amazing things to come from Formula E in season 4!
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