For the ABB FIA Formula E World Championship's return to London, the all-electric racing series has a special surprise in store for all the drivers with a world-first for international motorsport - an indoor/outdoor circuit around the historic Royal Docklands.
Dropping into a city street circuit is mostly routine for the 24 world-class drivers, but thanks to the emissions-free nature of the all-electric machines, the Heineken® London E-Prix will see a unique inside/out circuit, with the field facing a host of new challenges this weekend.
Tackling changing surfaces is par for the course in Formula E, and London will be no different. Leaving the ExCeL, the drivers will have to deal with a multitude of surfaces. Starting indoors with silky-smooth Tarmac offering bags of grip, then immediately on exit they will hit a touch of slippy metal, with some new asphalt offering a bit of purchase for the all-weather Michelins, before a painted section and finally the highly abrasive Tarmac that surrounds the exhibition centre.
That shift from inside to out will also pose a completely new challenge for the drivers as they will face an immediate change in lighting conditions. Seemingly going from an almost night-like state indoors to the bright light of the outside.
There's also a steep incline and decline at the head and close of the lap. The field will drop down at Turn 5 before barreling into Turn 6, then at the end of the lap they will head back up to the exhibition centre at Turn 20 with an energy-zapping climb to end the lap.
This is all before throwing the weather into the mix, with rain on the radar ahead of the weekend an already tricky track can become even more of a daunting prospect going from wet to dry.
"It's very tight and twisty coming in and out of the ExCeL arena, which is unlike any other race that's ever happened before," started Mahindra Racing's Alex Lynn.
The Brit highlighted the differing conditions and the challenges the track will pose this weekend, the Brit added: "There are so many questions; what visor you're going to have with the indoor/outdoor switch and the different lighting conditions; if it's wet outside and then dry inside, then what setup are you going to put on the car? In Formula E you never really know what's going to happen until the lights go out."
Published on 23rd July 2021