With more bumps, crumps, overtakes and shunts than you can shake a battery at, get up to speed on the season so far with our handy race-by-race cheat sheet
Formula E Championship: Sanya E-Prix, Saturday 23 March, 6.30am, BT Sport 1 HD (CH 527)
With its December start, it almost feels like the fifth Formula E season has only just got under way. And yet, when the chequered flag falls on Saturday’s E-Prix in the Chinese city of Sanya, the season will have reached its midpoint!
As such, what better time to reflect on what has been another action-packed season of jaw-dropping overtakes, airborne cars and a championship lead that has bounced around more than a hot potato in a trampoline park.
Four different race winners in the opening four races has led to a championship battle that, with 25 points afforded for a win, just about any of the top five could feasibly win come the season finale in New York.
So before the lights turn green and the atmosphere turns positively electric (see what we did there?) at the new Sanya Street Circuit, get clued up on the standout moments from the championship so far with our handy guide. You’ll be talking battery efficiency with the best of them in no time.
Race 1: Ad Diriyah E-Prix
As the cars lined up on the grid in December, a new era of Formula E began. Faster and significantly more efficient cars (that, thanks to improved batteries, can now last an entire race distance) went wheel to wheel for the first time and delivered one of the most exciting opening races in the championship’s relatively short history. Ultimately, BMW’s António Félix da Costa claimed his team’s maiden Formula E win in their first race.
Race 2: Marrakesh E-Prix
If there’s one thing fans love, it’s an intense on-track battle between teammates. As the two BMWs took the lead, such a situation presented itself, with Da Costa and teammate Alexander Sims coming together as Sims made a daring lunge for the lead, colliding with Da Costa and ending his race. The team’s chances of taking a momentous one-two finish and back-to-back wins went up in smoke, with Mahinda’s Jerome d’Ambrosio eventually claiming the chequered flag.
Race 3: Santiago E-Prix
With 20 finely tuned and blisteringly quick racing machines going wheel to wheel on street circuits as narrow as a pencil, the odd crunch or two – or three… or eight – are practically a given. As was the case in Santiago. Gentle eases into a wall; taps sending cars into a spin; rear-end crunches and race-ruining unforced errors abounded in Chile, with Brit Sam Bird emerging unscathed to win his eighth Formula E ePrix and take the championship lead.
Race 4: Mexico City E-Prix
After Nelson Piquet Jr’s Jaguar took to the skies earlier on, Mexico’s ePrix finished in just about as thrilling a fashion as motorsport can offer. On the final lap, three of the top four had barely enough battery power to make it to the line. Leader Pascal Wehrlein defended furiously; closing doors and cutting corners to stay ahead of the chasing Lucas di Grassi. But as they rounded the final corner, Wehrlein’s car finally ran out of juice, allowing Di Grassi to creep through.
Race 5: Hong Kong E-Prix
Formula E’s 50th race proved to be the most retirement-strewn of them all, with eight cars failing to make the finish in wet, slippery conditions. Britain’s Sam Bird once again managed to take the chequered flag and returned to the top of the championship. His race-winning overtake on then-leader André Lotterer led to a puncture in the German driver’s tyre and his subsequent retirement. But Bird was brought crashing back down to the ground moments later – a five-second time penalty saw him demoted to sixth, handing Venturi’s Edoardo Mortara a maiden Formula E win.
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