London hasn’t hosted a season finale since 2016, and with hometown hero Jake Dennis the odds on favourite to become champion, expectations are high for a very special atmosphere at the ExCeL Arena.
But how will this weekend match up to previous season finales in Formula E? The battle for the Drivers’ title has gone down to the last race of the season six times, with only Jean-Eric Vergne and Antonio Felix da Costa claiming their titles with races to spare.
Season 1: One point is enough for Piquet Jr.!
Brazil’s Nelson Piquet Jr. claimed the inaugural Formula E championship in 2015 at Battersea Park, London by just one point ahead of Sebastien Buemi. Piquet won two races in Season 1, but his most important points came in the last race, as he held off the Season 2 champion by the slimmest of margins.
The Brazilian went into the final clash leading Buemi by five points, but things looked bleak after he could only qualify 16th, ten places behind his nearest rival. A dramatic race ensued, which saw clever energy-saving tactics from Piquet pay-off as he manoeuvred up the grid during the race.
Piquet eventually finished seventh, two places behind Buemi who missed out on fourth - and the additional two points he needed to become champion, by just three tenths of a second.
Season 2: Redemption for Buemi in dramatic fashion!
Sebastien Buemi atoned for his heartbreak a year later as he took the Season 2 championship home to Switzerland after another unforgettable finale in London. Buemi won the title by a mere two points ahead of Lucas di Grassi, and the Swiss star earned the advantage in the most thrilling way possible.
After the title contenders collided with each other at the very start of the race, it was clear neither Buemi nor di Grassi were going to finish in the top ten. This meant that the only way to score points - and seal the title, was to claim the fastest lap of the race, then worth two points in Formula E.
Both drivers gave it their absolute all, but it was the one-lap specialist Buemi who eventually prevailed, as he sealed the championship in hugely emotional scenes.
Season 3: Di Grassi’s Montreal masterclass!
Lucas di Grassi headed into the Season 3 double-header finale in Montreal ten points behind championship leader Sebastien Buemi, who had missed the previous two races in New York City due to a calendar clash with the FIA World Endurance Championship.
Buemi returned in Montreal, but saw his hopes of defending his championship all but disappear in the penultimate race of the season as di Grassi won the race - and 25 vital points, while Buemi, who finished fourth, was disqualified post-race after his car was found to be underweight.
While Buemi was undergoing an infamous rant on several bewildered drivers, di Grassi was celebrating a pivotal win that pushed him into the final race of the season with an eighteen point advantage.
The championship was all but sealed for di Grassi when he out-qualified Buemi by ten places, and the Brazilian eventually finished seventh in the E-Prix, four points ahead of Buemi who failed to score points in both Montreal races.
After the nightmare ending to Season 2, and trailing Buemi by ten points heading into Canada, di Grassi eventually won his title by a massive 24 points.
Season 4: Viva la France in New York City
The season-finale stayed in North America for Season 4, and it was a party in the USA for Jean-Eric Vergne who won the last championship of the GEN1 era in Brooklyn.
Vergne entered the final two races of the season 23 points ahead of nearest rival Sam Bird, but with his title rival a specialist around the streets of Brooklyn, the title was not guaranteed.
This proved especially prescient after a disastrous qualifying session for JEV who was disqualified after overpowering during his flying lap. Bird failed to capitalise however, with a disappointing 14th place in qualifying not putting the pressure on Vergne.
Indeed, it took the Frenchman just seventeen laps to pass Bird, before eventually finishing in fifth place. Though it was Lucas di Grassi who took the overall race win ahead of teammate Daniel Abt, all eyes were on Vergne, who clinched his maiden Formula E championship on Bastille Day, France’s national holiday.
The next day, hours after France clinched their second football World Cup, Vergne completed a dream weekend by winning the final race of the season.
Season 5: So nice, he had to do it twice!
After becoming the final GEN1 Formula E champion in Season 4, Jean-Eric Vergne dazzled again in Season 5 by winning the first title of the GEN2 era.
Vergne led the championship by 32 points heading into Brooklyn, leaving any potential rivals praying for two zero point races from the Frenchman to have any chance.
It all seemed so serene initially for Vergne who had won the previous race in Bern. Brooklyn proved different however, but after qualifying 10th, with two laps left he was up to ninth and on course to claim a second championship, before a collision with Felipe Massa saw him eventually finish 15th and out of the points.
The race win went to Sebastien Buemi - his 13th, and last in Formula E to this date, leaving it all to play for the next afternoon.
Though JEV’s lead had been cut to 22 points, he would still win the title if he finished sixth or higher, and after qualifying 12th, one place behind nearest rival Lucas di Grassi, drove a typically smart race to claim the points he needed to become champion once again in New York City.
Season 6: Nine days in Berlin
The COVID-affected 2019/20 campaign saw a heroic effort undertaken to keep the season alive after multiple races were postponed and eventually cancelled due to the pandemic.
An innovative solution was found to finish the season after five rounds had been completed prior to the global outbreak of coronavirus. A nine day, six race epic odyssey was scheduled for Berlin, with three different set-ups of the Tempelhof circuit hosting the Season 6 finale.
Five different drivers claimed victory in Berlin, but it was the main who won the first two races that eventually clinched the championship with two rounds left. Antonio Felix da Costa, in his first season with DS TECHEETAH had suffered years in the wilderness in previous Formula E seasons, but finally put it all together in 2020 as he won three races and earned six podiums en route to his Formula E championship.
Season 7: The first World Champion
The marker was set for Season 7 in the final race of the previous campaign, when Mercedes duo Stoffel Vandoorne and Nyck de Vries finished first and second in Berlin. Success for the team continued into 2021, as Nyck de Vries became the first Formula E World Champion, becoming the first Dutchman to achieve an FIA single-seater world championship, months before Max Verstapped earned his first F1 championship.
With four races left of the season, de Vries was tenth in the standings, but after two second places in London, the Mercedes driver somehow found himself leading the Season 7 championship by six points heading into the double-header finale in Berlin.
Such was the unpredictability of the season, de Vries scored just four points in the last two races of the season, but still became the first Formula E World Champion by seven points after his title rivals all struggled in Berlin, most notable in the penultimate round when Edoardo Mortara crashed into a prone Mitch Evans at the start, while Jake Dennis hit the wall several laps later.
Season 8: A perfect goodbye for Mercedes
After three mixed seasons in Formula E which included two race wins but also plenty of disappointment, the consistency signs finally aligned for Stoffel Vandoorne in 2022 as the Belgian became the second Formula E World Champion, and the second in a row for the outgoing Mercedes EQ team.
Vandoorne was Mr Consistent, scoring points in 15 of 16 races, including both season-finale races in Seoul, South Korea. The Mercedes man headed to Asia with a 36 point advantage over nearest contender Mitch Evans, who took the victory in the first Seoul race to take the title battle to the final round.
A second place and an eighth podium of the season was more than enough for Vandoorne to claim gold, with his 213 points the highest ever tally in the history of the sport.
With a maximum of 58 points to earn in this season's Season 9 finale, will Jake Dennis break that record? The Brit needs just 19 points to surpass Vandoorne’s tally, and having scored a Formula E record nine podiums already this season, the Avalanche Andretti driver will be looking to earn multiple accolades this weekend in London.