"The future of our planet depends on whether we can make it as fast as possible to popularize thrifty and clean vehicles. That's why I like being part of an eco-friendly racing team. "The motivation for Hollywood star and environmental activist Leonardo DiCaprio, co-owner of one of ten formula D teams Being obvious is obvious. And it goes along with what the five-time Formula 1 World Champion Alain Prost associates with his new, green racing world: "Formula E is the ideal platform for automakers to demonstrate new technologies to a large audience. Especially if the self-development starts from the second season. "
The first 2014 / 15 season of the all-new all-electric racing series, launched by FIA president and former Ferrari team boss Jean Todt last year, is currently underway. The idea: The electric cars should demonstrate what electromobility is capable of. The method: First, unit cars with drive technology from Renault, Williams and McLaren at the start. The problem lies in the vote, which allows changes to up to 9.000 parameters. Gradually, the uniform technology will change, as Alain Prost reveals: "We are already thinking intensively about the fifth season today. Until then everyone will have their own technique. The development of Formula E is progressing extremely fast. Race and production technology are mutually reinforcing. "The Formula E method means that the races will only take place on city courses in major cities such as Beijing, London, Buenos Aires, Long Beach and Berlin. Cheers: "We deliberately race where serial electric cars have their greatest strengths. This is especially valuable in California, where you have to deal extremely hard with smog in metropolitan areas. "
Winner of the race on the street circuit in Long Beach: Nelson Piquet Jr., son of the triple Formula 1 World Champion Nelson Piquet. Thus, he scored the highest score for the first time exactly where his father won his first Grand Prix before 35 years ago: the race of the electric Formula E on the Californian street circuit. Counting is exactly the same as in the formula 1; So the first ten drivers get points between 25 and 1. The 2,13 km shortened long distance traditionally race around 650 PS strong, roaring loud Indycar racer just about to concrete fastenings. With the Formula E ePrix, 200 kW / 272 PS are powerful, whisper-quiet power monopostos with up to 230 km / h.
One of 20 Formula E pilots is Nelson Piquet jr. The friend Hard Wheel on bike tackles at over 200 km / h also has a sense of alternative drives. This also connects him to his famous father, who owns a purely electric BMW i3. But most of all, Piquet jr. the BMW i8, a hybrid sports car with electric and combustion engine. "I want to make my father still tasty, then we both have a lot of fun with it," says the Formula E driver from Brazil on the clean 362 PS athletes with only 2,1 l / 100 km standard consumption. This was an ideal prerequisite for the Formula E makers as well as the BMW brand to use it as a safety car for electric racers.
BMW has specifically entered into the connection with the Formula E and, since its start of series production, has been offering a compact, all-electric i8 as a medical car in addition to the fast i3. BMW customer specialist Jörg Reimann: "As pioneers in electromobility, we know that you have to go new ways, while remaining true to its core values."
The electric racing series has its own sound. The driving sound of Strom-Boliden is reminiscent of remote-controlled model racing cars. But even convinced gasoline junkies will gradually get used to it, believes Formula E marketing chief Jaume Sallares: "I used to be such a petrolhead too. But both electric cars and electric production cars overwhelm you with a performance that you would never have expected. "Figures underpin this emotional description of Sallares: After less than three seconds, the Formula E cars race at 100 km / h. Safety and medical cars are also astounding in their paper form: with 570 Nm of torque, the BMW i8 plug-in hybrid heats up significantly more thrust on the wheels than a Ferrari 458. And the all-electric Medical Car i3 has almost as much power as a Porsche Boxster with 250 Nm.
Not only in terms of technology, but also in the regulations, Formula E consciously goes its own way. In addition to the city courses this includes the so-called "fan boost": supporters of the sports series can vote on the Internet about which pilot in the race gets a temporary power boost of at least 30 kW. This extra power is designed to bring the public's favorites closer to their favorites. And there is plenty of variety: since the Monaco ePrix, the Swiss Sebastian Buemi, formerly in Formula 1 for Toro Rosso, is the first two-time winner of Formula E. All the races before had had first-time winners. Nick Heidfeld, formerly for BMW in the Formula 1 active, does not belong to it so far. At least he has chances to land as far as possible at the home race in Berlin thanks to "Fan Boost".
About 20.000 Motorsport fans flocked to the all-new motorsport spectacle in Long Beach. Even in Berlin, the flow of spectators to the former Tempelhof airport could be great, as the Formula E drivers race through the 17 curves of the new 2,47 km course - although with unusual sound and completely exhaust-free, but thanks to rubber abrasion only almost odorless.
Author: Ralf Sagittarius / SP-X