After nearly 300 days and nine rounds of exhilarating racing, including seven different winners, this weekend brings about the defining conclusion to the inaugural 2014/2015 FIA Formula E season.
London’s Battersea Park plays host to the final two rounds of the championship, with Nelson Piquet Jr, Lucas di Grassi and Sebastien Buemi going into the double header as the leading protagonists, all of whom are vying to be crowned the world’s first ever all-electric champion.
There are six drivers still in with a mathematical chance of taking the title, with Nico Prost, Jerome D’Ambrosio and Sam Bird poised and ready to pounce on any mistakes.
What to expect from Races 10 and 11?
Piquet extended his lead at the top of the drivers’ standings to 17 points as he edged out fellow countryman di Grassi with victory last time out at the Moscow ePrix, while Buemi suffered a nightmare race and was dropped to P9 following a penalty for an unsafe release, costing him third place – which in turn was taken by Venturi’s Nick Heidfeld.
On the back of his win, Piquet announced a ‘multi-year’ deal with NEXTEV TCR, and in doing so is only the third driver to have revealed his second year plans, after di Grassi and Daniel Abt were confirmed at Audi Sport ABT.
We can expect plenty more announcements over the course of this weekend however, including Andretti’s partnership with TE Connectivity and its new orange colour scheme – the American outfit have scheduled a press conference for 10.30 on Friday where more details are set to be revealed.
There has also been a mass of driver changes to the field in the build up to London’s championship showdown, with the trio of Simona de Silvestre, Sakon Yamamoto and Oliver Turvey all confirmed at Andretti, Amlin Aguri and NEXTEV TCR respectively.
Virgin Racing’s Jaime Alguersuari has become the latest driver to withdraw from the ePrix weekend, as ElectricAutosport.com revealed yesterday. The Spaniard is unable to compete due to his license being suspended by the FIA on health grounds, after he fainted following the Moscow ePrix. Alguersuari will be replaced by Manor F1 reserve driver Fabio Leimer.
Who needs what to be FE champion?
Bird is the man with the slimmest chances of becoming the inaugural Formula E champion as the Brit requires not only a perfect weekend of two poles, two wins and two fastest laps, but also needs Piquet to not score, di Grassi to take less than 17 points and Buemi to score fewer than 23.
Another unlikely scenario would see D’Ambrosio crowned champion. The Dragon Racing driver would need two wins as well as either a fastest lap or pole position to accompany it, alongside relying on Piquet failing to score and the others to have poor weekends.
Prost sits fourth in the standings and is in the healthiest position to pounce on any trouble, a double win would see the e.dams Renault man leap above Piquet by four points, but Piquet in turn only needs five points to rule Prost out of the running.
Qualifying could bring the end to Bird’s challenge and effectively end D’Ambrosio’s hopes, with all three needing plenty of good fortune to have any chance of winning the title. The odds are stacked in Piquet’s favour, with the Brazilian only needing to beat Buemi and di Grassi on track to effectively take control of the championship, which could be decided on Saturday if Piquet’s nearest rivals finish too far down the order.
Buemi has to beat Piquet on track, whereas di Grassi can afford to be beaten on Saturday, as long as he can stay within touching distance of his Brazilian rival, but If Piquet takes a first pole position of the season he would only need to outscore di Grassi by 10 points.
Location and Track
The 2.9km, 17 turn anti-clockwise Battersea Park street circuit provides yet another unique and stunning location for Formula E’s 20 drivers.
A total of 58 laps will be run through the iconic park over the course of the two rounds, which is made up of a mixture of fast, narrow straights lined by trees, high speed bends and tricky breaking zones into tight chicanes, all of which is adjacent to the River Thames.
The circuit is designed by British architect Simon Gibbons, who has nine years of experience as a circuit planner in F1 and was also responsible for helping design venues for the 2012 Olympic and Paralympic games.
As always ElectricAutosport.com will be bringing you closer to the action with extensive live coverage online and through social media, providing exclusive behind the scenes stories and analysis to ensure that every aspect is catered for to complete your race day experience.
The 2015 London ePrix weekend simply cannot be missed, as 10 months of relentless racing comes to a climax with the crowning of a champion.
Timetable of events: