Teams and drivers tasted the 2.56 kilometre temporary Formula E race track in Putrajaya on Friday, starting with a track walk in the morning and followed by a shakedown session in the afternoon. There were also noteworthy developments.
FIA officially approved the track after inspection and handed out a certification, meaning that the 20 participating drivers were able to perform a shakedown session. The red flags were waived twice within 30 minutes, but in the end it was false alarm. Not only the drivers checked if the cars’ systems worked, also the equipment of the organisers and the marshals were tested.
If you want to have a look at the track before the TV broadcast starts on Saturday, have a look at our track walk here.
Many drivers liked the track. It has much more character in comparison with Beijing. “It is bumpy, especially in the braking zones. But it has elevation, interesting corners and I think there are three to four places were you can overtake,” Ho-Pin Tung predicts. “There are opportunities after the straights going into the chicane after start and finish and followed by the entrance of turn 3. The final corner is very wide and we will see overtaking there, as well as the hairpin. It might be difficult, but some drivers will try.”
Good news for locals. If they can’t make it to the track, Formula E will be televised at RTM a Malaysian free-to-air public broadcaster. In addition to live race coverage, the agreement will see RTM air delayed footage from the morning’s qualifying session. RTM will review all the Formula E action together with pre-race build-up, podium celebrations and driver interviews.
For those who are watching, new camera positions will be used. Vislink has fitted onboard cameras to the nose cone and rear rain light of each car. These mounting locations are exclusive to the Formula E series and provide broadcasters previously unseen camera angles. Due to their unique location, these two on-board cameras will ensure consistent and high footage regardless of the weather, even if the race takes place in monsoon conditions.
Attracting a young crowd is important to Formula E. These children are tomorrow’s customers of the automobile industry, which is currently electrifying it’s fleet. “Here in Putrajaya tomorrow we expect thousands of young children. We have been working with the local authorities and schools to distribute free tickets in this area and Kuala Lumpur because we want young people to be fans of Formula E”, CEO Alejandro Agag said during a press conference. “When those kids grow up and buy a car, that car will be electric. We are the championship for the young fans and of course we respect and don’t like to comment on other series commercial or fan strategies.”
Saturday, November 22, 2014:
07:45 – 9:00 Non-qualifying practice1
10:00 – 10:10 Qualifying session group 1
10:15 – 10:25 Qualifying session group 2
10:30 – 10:40 Qualifying session group 3
10:45 – 10:55 Qualifying session group 4
11:50 – 12:30 Driver autograph session in the eVillage
12:30 – 12:50 Driver parade on track
13:30 FanBoost announcement
14:00 Race starts (31 laps, no formation lap)
15:00 – 15:10 Podium ceremony
15:10 Official press conference with top-three drivers
Watch Formula E on TV if that is available in your country or have a look at the live streaming at the official website. Do take our LIVE page as a second screen with timing and blogging, also from behind the scenes.