This weekend, 2020/21 ABB FIA Formula E World Championship will race around the streets of London in a doubleheader, rounds 12 and 13.
This year’s event will use a crazy indoor/outdoor track that runs through the ExCel Exhibition Centre. The 2.25km track features 22 turns, the most of any track in the calendar.
Having the grid indoors, along with the first sequence of corners, is a unique electric opportunity, given there are no emissions from the vehicles.
While Formula 1 drivers deal with the lighting, temperature, and grip differences through a tunnel at Monaco, having a whole segment of the track indoors, with these different parameters, will create a very different challenge.
Formula E has released a great video explainer for this weekend’s very unique event.
“It’s fantastic to have London back on the calendar for this season. We’ve had a London-shaped hole sitting in our calendar! We’re able to race indoors because we’re an electric racing series; we don’t have internal combustion, or the exhaust noise that other championships have.
“The circuit’s 2.2 kilometres long and 22 corners and we’re taking a track from outside, through a car park up an access ramp and into the South Hall of the centre. We’ve developed some key technology to enable us to do this and it’s not been an easy challenge. Some of the bigger street circuits in the world take months to build it and we simply don’t have the luxury of that time.
“We will pop up a race track over the weekend and get it away so that we’re not impacting the lives of citizens. The aim of the game was always to make sure that when the fans left they would be saying it was the most spectacular thing they’d ever seen.”Race Director Oli McCrudden.
You can watch qualifying of the London E-Prix on YouTube, Facebook, the Formula E website and watch the race on Foxtel Fox Sports 506.
“It looks really cool – it’s very tight and twisty coming in and out of the ExCeL arena, which is unlike any other race that’s happened before.
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.”Mahindra Racing’s Alex Lynn.
Formula E has also published the first on-board video of the track from a shakedown session. After watching this, it’s certainly clear the light changes will be a significant challenge, but cameras do adjust differently to changing light than human eyes.
The video also shows a significant height elevation change, something not obvious from the top-down view of the track.