Formula E sets new acceleration benchmark in motorsport

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Formula E sets new acceleration benchmark in motorsport

Reem Al Aboud, the pioneering Saudi Arabian female racing driver, has set a new FIA single-seater acceleration benchmark - showcasing Formula E's GENBETA race car and highlighting the series' commitment to innovation and diversity in the lead-up to International Women's Day.

Reem Al Aboud Formula E record International Womens Day 8

Driving the GENBETA electric racing car, Al Aboud achieved a 0-100km/h (0-60mph) time of 2.49 seconds, outpacing the 2.6-second FIA single-seater benchmark set by current Formula 1 machinery.

READ MORE: Formula E x FIA Girls on Track

The achievement illustrates the advanced capabilities of Formula E’s GENBETA program, which features an 'unlocked' GEN3 race car enhanced by championship partners, but also underscores Formula E’s mission to break barriers for women in motorsport.

Reem Al Aboud, racing driver, said: "Being a part of this record-breaking moment is a dream come true. It's not just about the speed; it's about breaking barriers and showcasing the immense potential of women in motorsports. Formula E has given me the platform to make a statement, and I'm honoured to be a part of this journey towards gender equality in racing." 

Jeff Dodds, CEO, Formula E, said: "The benchmark achieved by Reem is a testament to what we stand for at Formula E: Innovation, equality, and competition. Her success is not just a win for Formula E, but a leap forward for inclusivity in racing, and we all join her in celebrating this milestone, especially ahead of International Women's Day.”

Reem Al Aboud’s relationship with Formula E dates back to 2018 when she became the first and youngest Saudi woman to sample a Formula E race car when she drove Nissan's GEN2, the same year women were first granted the right to drive in the Kingdom.

READ MORE: Formula E's car and technology

The GENBETA car, an innovation and development programme created by Formula E and the FIA using the all-electric GEN3 race car with 400kW of power charged by ABB and modifications by championship partners SABIC and Hankook  represents the pinnacle of electric racing technology. Generative AI – powered by Google Cloud – provided real time telemetry performance data allowing Reem to set the new acceleration benchmark and push the boundaries of electric motorsport.

In a further display of empowerment, young Saudi women from local schools shared messages of inspiration for Reem, which were captured on the car’s livery, fostering an atmosphere of motivation and support. This initiative coincided with the expansion of the FIA Girls on Track programme, a large-scale female empowerment initiative focusing on careers and education in motorsport, underscoring Formula E’s commitment to encouraging young girls to pursue their motorsport dreams.

The expansion of the FIA Girls on Track programme to all 11 race weekends this season, will provide over 2,000 girls with the chance to engage in workshops, meet inspirational women from the Formula E paddock, and attend career talks at local universities. Formula E’s dedication to diversity is further highlighted by the newly announced NXT Gen Cup, which will feature both male and female drivers. 

GENBETA: Pushing boundaries

The Guinness World Record-winning GENBETA features a range of modifications to effectively ‘unlock’ the specifications of the GEN3 race car. Introduced for Season 9, the GEN3 is the fastest, lightest, most powerful and efficient electric race car ever built. With a top speed of more than 322km/h (200mph), the GEN3 is used by the 11 teams and 22 drivers in the ABB FIA Formula E World Championship.

Reem Al Aboud Formula E record International Womens Day 12

The modifications to the GEN3 as part of the GENBETA project include:

  • Enhanced battery power output of 400kW, up from 350kW in the GEN3, through the activation of the front powertrain kit in traction, delivering all-wheel drive for the first time in a Formula E car. The battery was charged by ABB, the title partner and official charging partner of the Championship.
  • New, softer iON Race tyre compound allowing faster warm-up and better peak grip, developed by Hankook Tire, official tyre supplier of Formula E.
  • 3D printed front wing endplates, wheel fins and a wind deflector with circular, more sustainable thermoplastic solutions developed by SABIC, principal partner of the ABB FIA Formula E World Championship, to optimise aerodynamics for enhanced straight line speed of the GENBETA

WATCH: The story of GENBETA's world record run

In addition to technology innovations on the GENBETA car, Google Cloud provided generative artificial intelligence (AI) for analysis of the drivers’ runs. Using their leading platform, Vertex AI, allowing drivers to interpret real-time telemetry data to generate speed, power and grip recommendations. This gave them the ability to interact and converse with an interface to help fine tune their approach across their three attempts.