Formula E, the global racing series for electric open wheel race cars, kicks off its third season of competition October 9 in Hong Kong. The cars for this series are all identical, as the series seeks to put the emphasis on its electric drivetrain technology rather than individual car design.
This season, the cars will feature a new two tiered front wing that gives them a more aggressive look. The new wing will also be visible to the driver from the cockpit, making it easier to judge where the front corners of the car are during the cut and thrust of competition. The change marks an effort by race organizers to make Formula E stand apart from its fossil-fuel-powered Formula One cousin. Even seemingly small design changes count.
“I like the look of the new front wing. It looks a little bit more futuristic, and from inside the car you can see the top part of the wing, so visually for the driver there is also a small change,”said Formula E champion Sebastien Buemi, who races for the Renault e.Dams team. “We want Formula E to look different and be different, and the new wing is a good way of showing that. I don’t think it will make too big of an impact on aero which isn’t in the ethos of this championship—but it’s a good way to show visual development heading to Hong Kong for the start of season three.”
The first public appearance for the update cars will happen on August 23 when the 10 teams in the series begin 6 days of pre-season testing at Donington Park in England.
Formula E has proven very popular with racing fans. Unlike Formula One racing, which usually takes place on dedicated race tracks far away from city centers, Formula E races exclusively on temporary street circuits laid out in the center of the host cities. That brings fans downtown to watch the competition, something local merchants appreciate. The series presently has offers from more than a dozen world cities who would like to host a round of the competition.
Formula E may not have quite the cachet of traditional grand prix racing yet, but it surging in the television ratings while Formula One is watching its ratings fall year after year. Formula E is clearly the future of open wheel motorsports as the public embraces the coming era of green, earth friendly transportation.
Source: Fortune Image credit: Formula E