Organisers of the FIA Formula E Championship have today revealed the location and circuit layout of the Beijing Formula E Grand Prix – exactly six months ahead of the opening round of the new global electric race series.
Taking place on Saturday, 13th September 2014, the inaugural Formula E race has been set around the grounds of China’s iconic Olympic Stadium, more commonly known as the Bird’s Nest and venue for the 2008 Olympic Games. At 3.44km in length and featuring 20 turns, the anti-clockwise temporary circuit has been custom made by designer Rodrigo Nunes, working in close cooperation with the FIA, Formula E, the Republic of China Motor Sport Federation (FASC), the Olympic Park Committee, the Beijing Mayor, the Chinese Government and event organiser Team China Racing.
The circuit, which remains subject to final FIA Homologation, boasts an impressive cityscape backdrop taking in both the Beijing National Aquatics Centre and the Olympic Stadium itself. It will see the 20 Formula E drivers tackle a mix of tight left-hand turns - offering late braking and overtaking opportunities - together with twisty chicanes and two main straights. In addition, the track features a unique ‘U-shaped’ pit lane with spectator areas located inside giving fans an incredible close-up view of the action.
The Beijing Formula E GP circuit is the first of 10 city-centre races on the inaugural 2014/2015 Formula E calendar to be revealed. Formula E is a new FIA Championship using fully-electric single-seater race cars capable of speeds in excess of 225km/h. Ten teams, each with two drivers, will go head-to-head to create a unique and exciting racing series designed to appeal to a new generation of motorsport fans, whilst accelerating the electric vehicle market and promoting sustainability.
Alejandro Agag, CEO of Formula E, said: “Today’s unveiling of the Beijing circuit marks a very special moment in the evolution of the FIA’s Formula E Championship. From the series’ official launch back in August 2012, we have since confirmed our 10 host cities, 10 international teams, leading partners, global TV broadcasters and signed drivers. Now people can visualise where all the aforementioned will come together to put on the world’s first fully-electric race, which we’re sure is going to be an amazing spectacle. Getting to this stage has taken an enormous effort from everyone involved and I’d like to personally thank them for helping us turn the FIA’s vision into a reality. The track looks fantastic and we’re looking forward to going racing come September.”
Mr JuQing Tian, Executive Director of the Beijing Olympic Park Management Committee, said: “We are pleased to welcome the FIA Formula E Championship to our beautiful Beijing Olympic Park on 13th September 2014. The race has been classified as one of the top five Beijing Municipal Sport Events. As the venue management department and race supporter, we will try our best to provide local support and assist the Formula E race operation. I would like to take this opportunity to remind all motorsport fans about the 2008 Beijing Olympic Games glory and proudly present the development of sports and culture industry in the post-Olympic times. All these have given full expression to the sincerity and determination of the Beijing government and people to protect the environment. Finally, I would like to wish the event a great success and many more years in the city of Beijing.”
Lucas di Grassi, one of the signed drivers for the Audi Sport ABT Formula E Team, commented: “The Beijing track is an amazing facility. For the drivers, it will be a tremendous challenge to learn the limits of this track quickly, as well as to understand the best overtaking opportunities. The most obvious places are likely to be the first and last corners. The circuit will also require lots of traction and braking stability, while the energy recuperation at braking zones will help to stabilise the car. The pit lane is also unique and requires some special practice to get right.”
Formula E races will be held over a single day in order to minimise disruption to each host city with the practice session, qualifying and 60-minute race taking place on Saturday followed by a live music concert.
Further details, including ticket prices, will be available via the official Formula E website and via the forthcoming official Beijing Formula E GP website and social media channels.
To find out more about the Formula E Beijing ePrix and to view the track click here.