Season nine of the ABB FIA Formula E World Championship kicks off this weekend for the 2023 Hankook Mexico City E-Prix.
The beginning of a new era for the world’s premier all-electric racing series with new teams, drivers, regulations and the introduction of the revolutionary Gen3 – the world’s most sustainable racing car.
The series will also debut in some of the world’s most iconic cities, including Cape Town, Sao Paulo, Portland and Hyderabad, with races throughout the season live on Channel 4 and Eurosport.
Here are all the key talking points ahead of the curtain call this weekend:
New faces in the ring
Season 9 will see the introduction of a host of new faces and teams to the paddock, but few are more significant than the arrival of the legendary marques Maserati and McLaren cars to the grid.
Maserati will compete in a single-seater championship for the first time in six decades. In fact, the last time one of their single seats was seen on track was in the hands of Maria Teresa de Phillips – the first woman to qualify for a Formula 1 Grand Prix – in 1958. They would take charge of the defunct ROKiT Venturi Racing team. Such as Maserati MSG Racing and its drivers Edoardo Mortara and Maximilian Guenther.
On the other hand, McLaren stands as one of the most successful brands in motor racing history, with twenty Formula 1 World Championship titles, 180 Grands Prix, and three Indianapolis 500 victories during its illustrious history. All eyes will be on whether former Mercedes boss Ian James can lead the British team into an electric future and add to the motorsport dynasty.
Meanwhile, ABT Sportsline is making a welcome return to Formula E as a customer team, operating under the Mahindra powertrain. Despite the eighth season being discontinued, ABT ranks among the most successful teams in Formula E history, with 47 podium finishes and 1,380 points to their name.
Moving on to the drivers, Jake Hughes has arrived from Formula 2 to join Rene Rast in the Neom McLaren. Meanwhile, Nico Muller (ABT CUPRA), Norman Natto and Sacha Venestraz (both from Nissan) have joined Rast as names returning to Formula E.
Antonio Félix da Costa (TAG Heuer Porsche), Sebastien Buemi (Envision Racing) and Stoffel Vandoorne (DS Penske) are the former champions joining new teams for season nine as part of a series of off-season driver changes.
Hailing the ‘world’s most sustainable racing car’
Excitement is building as the highly anticipated Gen3 is set to make its competitive debut at Autodromo Hermanos Rodríguez on Saturday.
The car is the pinnacle of high-performance electric mobility and is the world’s first carbon-neutral racing car in the world’s first net zero sport. The Gen3 will also be the fastest Formula E cars to date, with a top speed of 320 km/h, which means even more dramatic wheel-to-wheel action in 2023.
It has been called “the world’s most sustainable racing car”, as over 40% of the energy used in a race is produced by regenerative braking and all tires and parts are recycled after the race.
Evolution of sports regulations
There are several changes to the sporting regulations for the ninth season, the most important of which is the introduction of a set number of laps instead of the traditional 45-minute timed race.
Another major change to the format will be the revolutionary fast charging introduced at select races later this season, which includes the world’s most advanced EV battery pack to deliver a power boost over a 30-second period and is a de facto pit stop. The addition of fast charging highlights Formula E’s role in providing the technological foundation for current and future electric road vehicles.
The evolution of the sports regulations continues with the removal of FANBOOST and the overhaul of Attack Mode, which has been revamped into a new system called Attack Load Validation (ACV), which promises to add even more drama in Season 9.
E format separated
Away from the track, Formula E recently announced the return of ‘Unplugged’ – a behind-the-scenes series that brings viewers closer to the drivers and teams participating in the ABB FIA Formula E World Championship like never before.
Season Two takes an in-depth look at some of the most intriguing stories behind the Formula E circuit leading up to Season Eight, which was the most comprehensive Net Carbon Zero championship to date, with sixteen races in the heart of ten iconic global cities, including New York, Jakarta and London. Mexico City and Rome.
UK viewers will be able to watch Unplugged live on terrestrial TV on Channel 4 at 08:00 BST on Sunday 15 January, with all six episodes available to download from All4.
Mexico City begins an exciting new calendar
Mexico City will host the first race of the new Formula E season for the first time in its history, in what will be the seventh E-Prix at the famous Autodromo Hermanos Rodriguez circuit.
The race has one of the most exciting atmospheres on the Formula E calendar, and with the city known for its motor racing-loving fan base, home TV viewers can expect a vibrant spectacle with 40,000 fans in attendance.
TAG Heuer Porsche driver Pascal Wehrlein took victory last season after a series of unhappy races at the German circuit, including in 2019 when his car stopped just meters from the finish line to deny him his first race victory. Formula E. Lucas di Grassi is the only double E-Prix winner on track and will be looking to score a hat-trick on Saturday with his new team Mahindra Racing.
What is arguably Formula E’s most exciting calendar yet begins, with debut races in Hyderabad (India), Cape Town (South Africa), Portland (USA) and São Paulo (Brazil), all before the season ends with one race. . – Two heads at ExCeL London in the 2023 Hankook London E-Prix.
:: The ABB FIA Formula E World Championship returns this Saturday January 14th for the 2023 Hankook Mexico City E-Prix, with racing all season live on Channel 4 and Eurosport
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