Changes to the track around the Olympic Park in Beijing have been hailed as a marked improvement on the previous version used in the inaugural season.
The chicane, previously Turns 3, 4 and 5, has been removed with the second chicane taking a tighter profile than last year. Following running in both practice and qualifying, drivers believe that the modified layout will offer increased chances of overtaking.
DS Virgin Racing driver Sam Bird, said: “I think it’s opened up a potential new overtaking position into turn three and the next chicane is tighter but it is what it is, it’s the same for everybody. It’s a fun track to drive and I think the organisers here have worked tirelessly and done an excellent job. With the amount of laps we have to do (26 laps), we will have to save energy for most of the lap anyway. It’s going to be very difficult.”
Jerome D’Ambrosio of Dragon Racing says he is pleased with the changes as drivers are less likely to take advantage of cutting the chicane. He said: “I think the changes are definitely better this year, the left-hander at the end of the back straight is a nicer corner approaching at high speed. The tighter chicane makes it more fair as last year we had a lot of issues with people cutting more or less and gaining a lot of time. Also I think there will be overtaking almost everywhere on the track as there will be a lot of power saving and coasting.”
The opening round of the 2015-2016 FIA Formula E Championship gets underway in Beijing at 16:00 local time.