10 Formula E team cars delivered, 4 drivers confirmed for 2014
FIA Formula E Championship is now closer than ever before with the first ever race in Beijing, China, on September 13th 2014. Back in January, an initial series of development tests were conducted across varied circuits to check the car’s architecture and systems. The 1st batch of electric Spark-Renault SRT_01E racing cars have now been delivered to the championship’s 10 registered teams at Donington, England, on May 15.
Said Patrice Ratti (General Manager, Renault Sport Technologies), “We are delighted to have worked alongside Spark ahead of the delivery of the first 10 Spark-Renaults to the Formula E teams. It was no mean feat because this is the world’s first small-scale production-produced single-seater electric racing car to deliver such a high level of performance. To have succeeded is another illustration of the passion that fires the teams of experts who work at Renault Sport, as well as of their grasp of advanced electric vehicle technologies.”
Frédéric Vasseur (President, Spark Racing Technologies), “The development, fine-tuning and production of such an innovative racing car as the Spark-Renault SRT_01E in such a short lapse of time was a challenge that we are particularly proud to have risen to. The cooperation we enjoyed with our various partners was remarkable and the input from the teams at Renault Sport was especially decisive in enabling us to develop a car that is reliable, safe and competitive. We are delighted to have reaped the fruit of our collaboration with Renault.”
Its inaugural season will see 10 teams with 2 drivers each compete in the 2014/2015 FIA Formula E Championship. Teams select their drivers. This season each team will run four Spark-Renault SRT_01E Formula E cars, two per driver. Cars/teams are based at a purpose built central workshop at Donington Park in the UK to reduce overall running costs. From next season, Formula E will be an ‘open championship’ wherein teams will design and develop their own cars as per technical specifications set by FIA. At present, 4 of 20 drivers have been announced with Lucas di Grassi, and Daniel Abt for the Audi Sport Abt Formula E Team, and Sam Bird and Jaime Alguersuari for Virgin Racing. Other teams include Drayson Racing, China Racing, Andretti Autosport, Dragon Racing, e.dams, Super Aguri, Mahindra Racing and Venturi Grand Prix.
Andretti Formula E has formed a strategic alliance with the Electric Drive Transportation Association (EDTA). “The opportunity for EDTA and the GoElectricDrive Foundation to join forces with one of the most prestigious and successful organizations in racing history is an important milestone for the electric drive industry, and for the future of sustainable transportation across the United States,” said EDTA President Brian Wynne. “The Andretti Formula E Team’s adoption and support of electrified automotive technologies illuminates the performance capabilities of electric drive for consumers, and will deliver the message of sustainability and energy security through the thrill of racing.”
“I’m thrilled to have this relationship with EDTA,” said Michael Andretti, racing legend and team owner of Andretti Formula E. “As an association of leaders in the electric drive industry, it provides a great platform to work with EDTA leadership and EDTA members on initiates advancing our Formula E program while supporting the goals of EDTA and GoElectricDrive.”
Renault presented the keys of a Renault ZOE to Alejandro Agag, Chairman and General Manager of Formula E Holdings. Alejandro Agag said, “Today marks a very significant milestone in the genesis of the FIA Formula E Championship. In September 2013 we launched this incredible fully-electric 150mph car and after more than 3,000km of rigorous testing we’re delighted to be now handing them over to our 10 teams. My thanks go to Frédéric Vasseur and his team at Spark Racing Technology for making this happen and all our car partners – McLaren, Williams, Dallara, Renault and Michelin – involved in its development.
“Today we also officially welcome our teams into their new bespoke facilities, built to the latest environmental and sustainable construction standards. The Donington Park team, led by Kevin Wheatcroft and Christopher Tate, together with the North West Leicestershire Council, the Leicestershire Local Enterprise Partnership and the Growing Places Fund should all be immensely proud of what they have achieved in such a short space of time. We’re delighted with our new operational headquarters and very pleased to be a part of burgeoning British motorsport industry.”
Kevin Wheatcroft, Chairman of Donington Park Racing Ltd added: “I would like to pass on my congratulations to the working group from Formula E, the construction companies and my staff here at Donington Park, who have made all this happen in just 14 weeks since construction started. It’s a proud day for everyone associated with Donington Park, now back at the heart of the British motorsport industry. We look forward to welcoming 150 highly trained specialist engineers who will be working here on site within the Formula E setup. We are also looking forward to all the other developments and improvements that are taking place; it’s certainly a very exciting time ahead for Donington Park.”
Alain Prost, co-director of French team E-Dams, and ambassador for Renault was at Donington for this landmark delivery. last weekend at the ninth Grand Prix Historique de Monaco saw Renault ambassador Alain Prost get behind the wheel of the Renault F1 Turbo (RE40) he raced in the Formula 1 World Championship in 1983 when he claimed four victories and second place in the end-of-year Drivers’ standings.
Last weekend at Grand Prix Historique de Monaco Alain Prost took to the wheel of his Renault F1 Turbo (RE40 750hp Renault V6 Turbo engine) for a few parade laps in which he came close to securing his first F1 world crown in 1983. Jean-Pierre Jabouille, the first driver of Renault’s famous Turbo era in 1977 and Renault’s first F1 success in 1979 was present too behind the Renault F1 Turbo RS 01 single-seater, which he drove in 1977 and 1978.
Series promoters of the FIA Formula E Championship, Formula E Holdings thisweek concluded its first round of financing with investors putting in 50 million euros. Qualcomm Incorporated, through its venture capital arm Qualcomm Ventures, and Andorran-based private equity fund Amura Capital participated and commit to the series alongside existing investor Causeway Media Partners – owners of the Boston Celtics NBA basketball team and join current shareholders Enrique Bañuelos and Alejandro Agag, CEO of Formula E Holdings.
3 more shareholders will be announced soon, and all will hold a seat on the Formula E board of directors. Formula E Holdings is a privately funded consortium with exclusive licence from FIA to promote its new fully-electric racing series. The inaugural race is scheduled on September 13 in Beijing’s iconic Olympic ‘Bird’s Nest’ Stadium.
Steve Pazol, GM of Wireless Charging for Qualcomm, which is also a Founding and Technology Partner to Formula E, said, “We are very excited to deepen our relationship with Formula E. We look forward to demonstrating our technology throughout the race series, including our Qualcomm Halo wireless charging on the Qualcomm Safety Car, and wireless data connectivity and other technologies on the race cars themselves. Formula E is the perfect way to demonstrate the leading edge of technology of this next generation of environmentally responsible transportation.”
Ivan Comerma, CIO of Amura Capital, said, “As a private equity fund, this investment makes sense in a diversified portfolio of best-class and unique opportunities for our clients. It is a project that shares many of the same values of our company, going that one step further by investing in the environment and sustainability with large doses of innovation. All of this is done without forgetting about the main keys to our investment offers: exclusive and profitable products for our clients.”
Alejandro Agag added, “I would like to welcome the new investors that have joined us in this exciting venture. I want to thank them for their belief in this project, which will see the first ever low carbon cars racing in cities all around the world. Our new investors also show their commitment to sustainability, and add great experience and solidity to the FIA Formula E Championship. What started out as an idea, is now becoming a reality. With the first cars delivered to the teams in just over a week, and works beginning around the Olympic Park in Beijing, Formula E is moving closer to its goal to show fans around the world the true potential of electric cars.”