by Romano Lupi

MONACO. As its name suggests, Formula E is an electricity-powered spinoff of Formula One racing. Both are run by the Fédération International de l’Automobile (FIA). Since making its global debut in the grounds of the Olympic Park in Beijing in 2014, Formula E has grown into a global entertainment brand with motorsport at its heart. In fact, on 18 September 2014 it was announced that Formula E would be racing on a for the 2014–15 season with the participation of many prominent auto brands makers. Of course, the prominent Venturi Formula E Team, founded by the futuristic Monaco Venturi Automobiles together with famous actor Leonardo DiCaprio in 2014, is a favorite in the Principality of Monaco.

(l-r):  Hedaya, Leonardo DiCaprio, Gildo Pallanca Pastor and Francesco Costa in 2014

Now, with 11 teams and 22 drivers on the grid, the Championship has become a destination for the world’s best motorsport teams and talent. With a total of nine manufacturers on board – the likes of Jaguar, Nissan, BMW, Audi, DS and Mahindra – Formula E serves as a competitive platform for global car manufacturers and mobility providers to test and develop road-relevant technologies. By racing on the streets, the series acts as a catalyst, helping to refine the design of electric vehicles and improve the driving experience for everyday road car users all over the world. Now, building on five seasons of all-electric city street racing, the Championship boasts one of the best sporting calendars in the world, with 13 races in 12 of the world’s most progressive cities covering five continents. Marking a new era of Formula E, the 2018/19 season sees the radical Gen2 car make its debut on the city streets for the very first time. Making Formula E an all-street circuit affair was unquestionably a stroke of genius. Not only would it give the series a strong USP and bring the racing to the people, it would also avoid unhelpful direct laptime comparisons with other series and therefore deny its critics useful ammunition.

From April 13 to June 22, Formula E is back in Europe After crowning six different winners from six different teams on four continents, the ABB FIA Formula E Championship reached the ancient ruins of Rome  on April 13, marking the start of the voestalpine European races during the GEOX Rome E-Prix.   22 cars and drivers battled it out on the unforgiving streets of Italy’s historical heartland.

On April 27, Formula E returned to Les Invalides, Paris for the fourth time in the series history. 22 cars and drivers ripped around charming cobbled streets and breezed past iconic architecture as they battled for the win. But this ain’t no love story. This is Formula E.

In the aftermath of the Paris E-Prix, the ABB FIA Formula E Championship will return to the streets of Monaco for the ninth round in the 2018/19 season of the series. That means sun, sea and more wheel-to-wheel combat than the harborfront can handle. Well, this is Formula E after all. Monaco – get ready for some real city street racing.

Then, for the penultimate round of the voestalpine European races, Formula E heads to the familiar battleground of Berlin. We’re talking 22 new Gen2 cars going wheel-to-wheel at Berlin’s iconic Tempelhof Airport. Get ready, Berlin – Formula E is back with the BMW i Berlin E-Prix

For the final round of the voestalpine European races, we’re finishing up in the quaint city of Bern. Here’s your chance to see all 22 Gen2 cars and drivers rip around the sleepy cobbled streets of Switzerland’s capital. With just two races left of the Championship, it’s make or break in Bern for the Julius Baer Swiss E-Prix

Now, on May 11th 2019 “The Monaco ePrix“, otherwise officially known as the 2018 FIA Formula E Monaco ePrix, returns to the calendar for the third time after a one-year absence. In fact, the Monaco ePrix is a bi-annual automobile shorter version of the original Monaco Grand Prix circuit race championship in Monte Carlo because it takes the slot on the calendar filled by the Historic Grand Prix at Monaco every other year.

With double the energy storage capacity of the Gen1 car, the Gen2 racers can go the whole race distance, making mid-race car swaps a thing of the past but also demonstrating the progress made in all-electric mobility. With 250kW of power, the Gen2 will accelerate from 0-100km/h in 2.8-seconds and go on to a top speed of 280km/h. Greater speeds and increased power means more action on track and, with just one car per driver, there’s everything to lose. Mercedes-Benz’s and Ferrari’s announcements of their intention to enter Formula E are the latest in a string of road car brands who have committed to the all-electric motorsport series, like (in alphabetical order) Audi Sport (11 Wins 38 Podiums and 51 races) BMW i Andretti MotorSport (1 Win, 8 Podiums, 51 Races) DS Techetah FE Team (6 Wins,17 Podiums and 30 Races) Envision Virgin Racing (8 Wins,23 Podiums and 51 Races) Geox Dragon (2 Wins, 9 Podiums and 51 Races) HA Racelab with just 6 Races, 0 Wins, 0 Podiums) Mahindra Racing (4 Wins, 18 Podiums and 51 Races) NIO FE Team (2 Wins, 6 Podiums and 51 Races) Nissane.dams (15Wins, 27 Podiums and 51 Races) Panasonic Jaguar Racing (0 Wins, 1 Podium and 30 Races) and of course Monaco based Venturi Formula E Team (1 Wins, 5 Podiums and 51 Races). As for Renault, it was the first constructor to become involved with Formula E and is ending its participation to concentrate on Formula 1, with the constructor having its own Formula 1 team since 2016. In Season 5, the constructor–recognizable by its diamond logo–is passing the torch to Nissan, a partner in the Alliance. Renault and Nissan will work together to ensure a smooth transition and capitalize on the expertise acquired by Renault’s commitment over the last four years. Through the team Renault e.dams, jointly run by Alain Prost and Jean-Paul Driot, Renault stamped its mark on the Formula, becoming the most highly-performing constructor in the Formula E championship, winning the constructors’ title three times and the drivers’ title with Sébastien Buemi.

With a history in the ABB FIA Formula E Championship dating back to the very first race, the Monaco-based team Venturi also holds the electric land-speed record, set with the VBB-3 ‘bullet car’ in 2016. Founded by the Venturi Automobiles owner Gildo Pallanca Pastor, the team has competed in the all-electric series since the inaugural season in 2014. The team is yet to secure victory but came devastatingly close in the second race of the 2017/18 season, when race leader Edoardo Mortara secured second place after a spin cost him the win in the final few laps. The team finished the most recent season seventh overall – a two-place improvement on its performance in the 2016/17 season. Off the track, the team is the force behind the record-breaking VBB-3 ‘bullet car,’ which set a new world record of 342 miles per hour on the salt flats in Utah, USA in 2016. With the record in hand, the ‘bullet car’ is still the world’s fastest electric vehicle. From its base in Monaco, Venturi designs, develops and manufactures a range of electric vehicles, which benefit from the Formula E team’s efforts in the Championship. Ahead of the 2018/19 season, the team drafted in former racing driver Susie Wolff as Team Principal and ex-Formula One driver Felipe Massa.

The Brazilian driver joins Formula E veteran Edoardo Mortara to complete the team’s driver line up. With a professional motorsport career dating back to 1998, Felipe Massa is one of the most experienced drivers on the grid. New to the ABB FIA Formula E Championship, Massa announced he was joining Venturi in May 2018, ahead of the 2018/19 season. With 269 Grand Prix starts and 11 Formula One wins to his name, the Brazilian is one of the most experienced and decorated drivers on the grid. Massa earned much of his single-seater racing experience while driving for Sauber, Ferrari and Williams Formula One teams, before announcing his three-year signing with Venturi Formula E Team. Born in Sao Paulo in 1981, Massa started his driving career at the age of six on a 50cc motorbike given to him by his father. By 1989, the young driver started to win championships behind the wheel of a kart, forming the foundations of a career in motorsport. Progressing through the ranks in single seaters, it wasn’t long before the Brazilian found himself in Europe with the Formula Renault series, where he won both the Italian and the European Formula Renault championships in 2000. Two years later, Massa signed with Sauber Formula One team, marking the beginning of his 15-year career in the series, going on to race for Ferrari and, more recently, Williams. For the 2018/19 season, Massa is reunited with fellow former Williams development driver Susie Wolff in her debut season as Team Principal for Venturi.

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