Well, well, well – it’s been quite a year for the FIA Formula E Championship, hasn’t it? During 2017, we’ve witnessed fresh Formula E talent take on the established elite, seen a new champion crowned and felt the pain of more than a few smashes and crashes.
But, as we approach a new year, a fresh start and – most importantly – round three of Season Four in Marrakesh, let’s take a moment to look back and remember the top Formula E moments of 2017.
Rosenqvist wins in Berlin
At the 2017 Berlin E-Prix, Mahindra Racing’s (then) rookie driver Felix Rosenqvist arguably set the tone of what was to come with an early victory in Round 2 of the double-header. With only one race behind him before taking the top step of the podium, Rosenqvist went on to finish the championship in third place overall and as the most successful rookie driver of the season. With a win in the 2017 HKT Hong Kong E-Prix already in the bag, something tells us this could be quite a year for the 26-year-old Swede.
Bird wins in New York
For DS Virgin Racing’s Sam Bird, it had been a long wait. Having raced in Formula E since the inaugural season in Beijing, the Championship title has always proved elusive for the British driver. Nonetheless, in the 2017 Qualcomm New York E-Prix, Bird set the pace with a double victory in both rounds of the double-header but despite his efforts, it still wasn’t enough for him to take home the championship title in 2017. Clearly not content with his Season Three silverware, Bird made up for it when he got engaged to his fiancé after the end of the season in November. With six wins and 10 podiums to his name, plus a strong performance in the season opener in Hong Kong, could 2018 be his year?
Di Grassi wins the Championship
No prizes for guessing what Audi Sport Abt Shaeffler driver Lucas di Grassi’s favourite moment of 2017 was. The picture of him celebrating a hard-earned Championship victory in the season finale in Montreal says it all. Having battled against arch-rival and former champ Sebastien Buemi since the inaugural Formula E race in Beijing 2014, an overwhelmed di Grassi claimed the Championship title on the final day of the double-header. "You have no idea," he said. "We had so many sacrifices but everything counts. I'm so happy!"
Jean-Eric Vergne takes Pole backwards
Clinching the Julius Baer Pole Position during Super Pole is challenging enough but managing to do it while crossing the finishline backwards is another story altogether. Take a bow Jean-Eric Vergne (TECHEETAH), who managed just that during Round One of the HKT Hong Kong E-Prix. "I'm pretty proud of it," said Vergne with a smile but despite the advantage, he failed to catch race leader Sam Bird, with JEV finishing the race in second.
Buemi crashes out in Montreal
For former champion and long-standing Renault e.dams driver Sebastien Buemi, it all seemed to come undone towards the end of Season Three, with a spectacular crash in Montreal to cap it all off. With no chance of winning the championship and a wreck of a car, Buemi watched helplessly as rival Lucas di Grassi was crowned champion. Nonetheless, Buemi still holds on to his position as the most successful driver in the series with 12 wins and 17 podiums.
Mortara scuppers a sure victory in Hong Kong
Fresh from the competitive world of German touring car driving, Venturi Formula E rookie driver Edoardo Mortara stormed onto the all-electric racing scene at the 2017 HKT Hong Kong E-Prix. Leading Round Two for the majority of the race, victory looked certain as he approached the final few laps. Feeling overconfident, Mortara blasted into Turn 2 in a bid to clinch the Visa Fastest Lap. Locking up the wheels, he quickly found himself facing the traffic, allowing Daniel Abt and Rosenqvist to pass. "It's difficult to find the words after a race like that," said a regretful Mortara. "I wanted too much and I made a stupid mistake... I should have just gone for the win."