06 Jun 18
What started as nothing more than an idea, scribbled on the back of a napkin in 2011, quickly grew into the world's first all-electric international single-seater city street racing series. Today, it's known around the world as the ABB FIA Formula E Championship and, in just a few months, we'll be embarking on Season 5 - the biggest and best season yet.
With a new car, new race format, new cities, new power modes and, of course, new teams and drivers - you'd best buckle up - it's going to be one hell of a ride. Here are the top five changes for Season 5.
The Gen2 car
While the championship might be only five years old, the technology racing around the circuit is ever-changing. Season 5 will see 22 Gen2 cars racing around the track in anger for the very first time. The Batmobile-esque all-electric racer has double the energy storage capacity of the Gen1 car, meaning it can complete a whole race, so no more mid-race car swaps. With 250kW of power, the Gen2 will accelerate from 0-100km/h in 2.8-seconds and go on to a top speed of 280km/h. Greater speeds, more action on track and with just one car per driver - there's everything to lose.
No more lap limits - we're moving to timed races. With each round running to a strict limit of 45-minutes plus one lap to reach the chequered flag, we're mixing things up to make it even more interesting. Well, what did you expect? It's all about the energy management.
Season 5 of the championship pairs some familiar favourites with new iconic cities, featuring a total of 13 races in 12 cities across five continents. Starting in Ad Diriyah, with the debut of Formula E in the Middle East on December 15, the series heads back to Marrakesh before moving to Mexico City and Hong Kong. For the newly titled voestalpine European races, we're back on the streets of Rome, Paris, Berlin and Zurich, in addition to returning to Monaco for a third time on May 11 - appearing on the calendar on a bi-annual basis. Finishing up with a double-header season finale in New York, the race is set to take place on July 13 and 14, where a new champion will be crowned. See below for a full calendar listing.
New power modes
In a world first for motorsport, drivers will be able to access a higher power mode in addition to FANBOOST by passing through an activation zone marked out and visible on the circuit for fans at the track and those watching on TV. When a driver passes through the activation zone, they will be able to access 225kW of power - as opposed to the standard 200kW available during the race. Signalling the power hike is the job of the new illuminated FIA halo head protection device, which will show different colours for each of the two power modes. The power mode will only be accessible for a given time depending on each track, along with the number of times a driver can access it.
More teams and drivers
After the announcement that HWA will be the 11th team to join the grid, there will be a total of 22 cars on the start line of the first race of Season 5. With BMW - currently technical partner of Andretti - becoming a full manufacturer team, the German marque will join the likes of Audi, DS, Jaguar, NIO, Nissan (which takes the place of sister marque Renault) and Venturi as manufacturers in the series. With Venturi Formula E quick to announce the arrival of veteran driver Felipe Massa to the line-up, expect more driver changes and announcements in the months leading up to the first race. It's a competitive world out there.
Click here to learn more about Season 5 of the ABB FIA Formula E Championship.