One generation, four seasons and four different champions. Gen2 has seen legends created and champions crowned in Formula E.
Gen2 made its radical introduction in Season 5, reshaping the all-electric series, bringing more thrills and ever more competitive racing to the major cities of the world.
Bursting onto the scene at the opening round of Season 5 in November 2019, the Gen2 car made an immediate impression on the racing. Taking away the rudimentary car swaps brought about by necessity and tech infancy in Gen1, Gen2 came with a leap in power, capacity and speed, alongside new innovations such as ATTACK MODE for strategic intrigue, and this was all contained with 45 minutes of all-out action.
With the new Gen3 era commencing next season, we're charting the champions that lifted the trophy high in the Formula E's second generation.
The dawn of the new generation of Formula E brought with it 'The Streak' as we witnessed variety of winners with eight different victors in the first eight rounds. This unpredictability brought a spice to the championship, and reigning champion Jean-Eric Vergne was among these winners and the one to break the streak.
After opening his title defence with a second placed finish in Diriyah and following that up with fifth in Marrakesh, a trio of zero point scores followed for the Frenchman - and looking like it was going to be a rough ride to retain his champion status. But in Round 6, the Frenchman rebounded from sleepless nights after struggling to come to terms with the Gen2 car to take a decisive victory in Sanya.
Then the DS TECHEETAH driver turned a corner in the black and gold machine, breaking the streak with a dream win in Monaco and following that with a podium in Berlin and then another victory in Bern - reinstating himself as the man to beat in Formula E.
Two rounds later and he would be lifting the championship trophy, making it another fairytale in New York. Two seasons, two championship wins; JEV became the first and only driver in Formula E history to win back-to-back titles and is still the series' only two-time champion.
Since those two titles, the Frenchman has been a mainstay of Formula E and always one to watch in the championship hunt, being a main protagonist in each season since, racking up wins, podiums and poles - the latter breaking the record for the most Julius Baer Pole Positions in Formula E.
Vergne had a new teammate in the shape of Antonio Felix da Costa for Season 6; the Portuguese driver bringing his tenacious driving style to DS TECHEETAH.
The relationship got off to a rocky start in the opening round in Diriyah, but the progress started in the second race as he picked up his first points for the team. His passion and taste for success was clear in Santiago, with da Costa fiery over team radio insisting 'we can win this' before having to settle for an eventual second - a result he would repeat the following race in Mexico City.
The stars aligned in Marrakesh as da Costa rocketed from pole position with Maximilian Guenther in hot pursuit. The German gave it his all but was unable to overcome the pace of the Portuguese driver, as da Costa crossed the line a mammoth 11 seconds ahead of second place. That was to the be last race before the season was temporarily halted due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
With racing eventually resuming in Berlin for an incredible six races in nine days across three different layouts to close out the season, da Costa was unstoppable even after the break as he romped away with back-to-back victories and wrapping until his debut championship with two races to spare.
Highlights for da Costa since his championship success can be centred around that heroic victory in Formula E's first race around the full Monaco circuit. A race long battle ended with da Costa placing a replay worthy move around the outside of Robin Frijns braking into the Nouvelle Chicane.
2021 kicked off a momentous season as Formula E's first as an FIA World Championship, the series coming along way in just seven years from a simple ideal written on a napkin by founder Alejandro Agag and former FIA president Jean Todt. For the drivers all that mattered to them was who who be crowned Formula E's first-ever World Champion.
Nyck de Vries and Mercedes-EQ set their intentions immediately with a victory under the lights in Diriyah, another first for all-electric racing as the series' first night race. A statement that they were in Formula E for the big prize in just the second full season.
De Vries' campaign for the title was much like the rest of the field, with each round being a race of attrition. The Dutchman picked up a win in the inaugural Valencia E-Prix. Then there were a pair of seconds in London setting up a big opportunity in the final rounds at Mercedes' home race in Berlin.
Coming into the final double-header, Season 6 looked like anyone's championship with an unbelievable 18 drivers in mathematical contention for the Driver's World Championship. With no points on the board in the penultimate race, de Vries headed into the final round with an ever narrower lead.
As Jack Nicholls' belted out his immortal line, 'and we go green', there was immediate drama on the start line as two of the Dutchman's immediate rivals are struck out of the race with Edoardo Mortara crashing into the back of Mitch Evans' stricken Jaguar. With the race restarted, it was only a few laps before the next contender dropped out as rookie Jake Dennis also suffered technical trouble, and found the wall.
The remainder of the race was a case of de Vries staying out of trouble as he crossed the line to secure both the World Drivers' and help Mercedes-EQ to the Teams' title.
While his title defence didn't go his way this season, de Vries still hit the headlines with some great drives, winning the opening race again and scoring an emotional victory in Berlin - his performances helping steer Mercedes to another Teams' crown.
So much has been said about Stoffel Vandoorne and his success this season, adding his name to the list of champions. Throughout the 16 rounds, the Belgian's consistency has been unrivalled as he set a new record for the most podiums in a season with eight trips to the rostrum.
Published on 22nd September 2022
5 min read