Formula E debuted in 2014 with the goal of enjoying motorsport while still caring about the environment. The series is 100% electric and every year shows new technologies that begin to be applied in street cars. In 2021, the category was promoted to world championship and currently has 11 teams and 22 drivers. Brazil has two category champions: Nelson Piquet Jr. (2014-15 season) and Lucas Di Grassi (2016-17season).
The great news of the 2022-23 season are the Gen3 cars, which will deliver about 50kW more power to the drivers during the races and 100kW more during the qualifying sessions. The chassis and batteries are the same for all teams, making the talent of the drivers as well as the strategies of the teams be the great protagonists of the championship. In addition, this car can deliver up to 322 km/h of top speed.
The season that began in Mexico on the second Saturday of January will feature 4 new circuits, Hyderabad (India), Cape Town (South Africa), São Paulo (Brazil) and Portland (United States): the passage through São Paulo will be on March 25, 2023. The E-Prix presentation was made in October of last year and was attended by Lucas Di Grassi and Sérgio Sette Câmara. It was announced during the event the sale of the 1st batch of tickets with prices starting at R$ 300.00. The official layout was released a few days ago and will have the extension of approximately 2.8 km and the start will be in the Anhembi Sambadrome.
New teams and line-ups
Other new features from 2023 are the 4 new teams. DS Techeetah became DS Penske, Venturi became Maserati, Mercedes became McLaren and Dragon became ABT. Still in the innovations of the category, we had changes in Attack Mode that can now be activated twice per race, totaling 4 minutes of extra power, which can be divided into 2 and then another 2 or 3 and 1 (or vice versa).
The category also announced that later in the season will be introduced the Attack Charge, which will consist of a mandatory 30-second pit stop for battery recharge. This stop will give drivers about 600kW more power and will release two more Attack Mode activations.
In addition to all this, the Brazilians will also face new teams: Di Grassi goes from Venturi to Mahindra and Sette Câmara from Dragon to NIO333. Lucas opined on it before the start of the season. “It is very difficult to know now how our team will be in terms of competitiveness. I expect the season to be tough. My goal at Mahindra is more long-term, to rebuild the team,” the Brazilian summarized. Sérgio also commented: “We will have great challenges, especially in the early rounds, but I believe we will have a year of growth. Our goal will be to fight to be regularly in the points”.
Di Grassi’s statements
Lucas further explained a little better some important details for the season: “The car is like 10cm smaller, is narrower and had the wheelbase reduced. All this makes the Gen3 more agile and faster, exceeding 300km/h”, said Di Grassi. “But the two main deciding factors for the teams will be how much each will understand how the new tires and power management work with the new battery. The tires of this season are very resistant and I bet we could race all year with the same set.
On the other hand, they left the cars with much less grip – so they will be much more skittish. The energy management is done by a software manufactured by the team, is unique to it. And as one of the philosophies of Formula E is to advance in the evolution of the autonomy of electric cars, races are made for everyone to always walk at the limit of consumption. In my view, they are both critical points of the equation”.
The season has already started with 3 electrifying rounds: 1 in Mexico and 2 in Saudi Arabia. German Pascal Wehrlein leads the championship with 68 points having won two races in Diriyah and a P2 in the championship debut. Among the teams, the leader is Andretti Autosport with 76 points. The next stage will be held on 11 February at the Indian circuit. Free practices will be broadcasted on the YouTube channel of the category and, in Brazil, the qualifying and race by the Bandeirantes group.