Explaining Formula E: All Electric Racing
With the Hyderabad ePrix bringing elite motorsports back to India recently and other top-tier motorsports categories starting their seasons, we’re taking a step back to explain Formula E for an online sports betting world new to all-electric motorsports.
For people who are fans and familiar with motorsports betting online, we’ll explain the nuances beyond power source that differentiates Formula E from Formula 1 and NASCAR, the two most popular categories of motorsports.
The Formula E Grid and Schedule
This is the ninth season of Formula E as a racing category. Formula E calls each season by its number – like a television show – or by year, like in other sports. For Season Nine or Season 2022-23, Formula E uses the Gen3 car, which is lighter and smaller than previous generations.
The Formula E grid comprises 11 teams with two drivers per team. Its auto manufacturers include Maserati, Jaguar, Porsche, and Nissan among the teams in the series, alongside other multiple-category race teams like Andretti Motorsports and McLaren. Here is the Formula E grid and drivers:
|DS Penske||1 – Stoffel Vandoorne | 25 – Jean-Éric Vergne|
|ABT CUPRA Formula E Team||4 – Kelvin van der Lind/Robin Frijns | 51 – Nico Müller|
|NEOM McLaren Formula E Team||5 – Jake Hughes | 58 – René Rast|
|Maserati MSG Racing||7 – Maximilian Günther | 48 – Edoardo Mortara|
|Jaguar TCS Racing||9 – Mitch Evans | 10 – Sam Bird|
|NIO 333 Racing||3 – Sérgio Sette Câmara | 33 – Dan Ticktum|
|Mahindra Racing||8 – Oliver Rowland | 11 – Lucas di Grassi|
|Nissan Formula E Team||17 – Norman Nato | 23 – Sacha Fenestraz|
|Avalanche Andretti Formula E Team||27 – Jake Dennis | 36 – André Lotterer|
|Envision Racing||16 – Sébastien Buemi | 37 – Nick Cassidy|
|TAG Heuer Porsche Formula E Team||13 – Antónion Félix da Costa | 94 – Pascal Wehrlein|
Season Nine’s 2023 Formula E calendar features 16 races (or ePrix) in 11 countries. Five locations will host two races on back-to-back days on the same weekend. You can find the entire Formula E schedule here.
You can watch Formula E on CBS, Formula E’s streaming platform, and on YouTube in countries where there is no Formula E broadcast on conventional TV.
Formula E Similarity and Differences
Whether you are looking for NASCAR, Formula 1, or Formula E odds this week, you need to know what makes these categories unique. Formula E shares some similarities and many differences with Formula 1, its closest motorsports contemporary.
Formula E shares the same point-scoring system as Formula 1, even providing an extra point for the fastest lap in an e-Prix. Formula E differs by giving three points to the pole sitter.
Formula E e-Prix starts from a standing start like Formula 1. While Formula 1 has a specific race distance and fuel load for each Grand Prix, Formula E cars start with 52 kWh of a possible 54 kWh, with race power deployment set at 300 kW. A Formula E e-Prix lasts for 45 minutes plus a final lap. Formula E designs most circuits to have a lap distance between 1.9 and 3.4 km (1.2 to 2.1 miles).
Strategy plays a crucial role in Formula E as power management, much like fuel management in Formula 1, is a significant factor in every race.
Each Formula E car has 350 kW of power available in practice while having 300 kW available for group qualifying and 350 kW for qualifying duels.
There are no pitstops in Formula E. Drivers sustaining damage to the front wing can return to the pitlane for repairs. However, there are plans to institute a pitstop called Attack Charge, essentially a 30-second pit stop, with energy flowing at 600 kWh. When the Attack Charge is implemented, this will provide two Attack mode periods, with the cars operating at 350 kW instead of 300 kW.
This is the most significant difference between Formula 1 and Formula E. Attack Mode is a pre-determined area where drivers can arm their cars and take an alternate but slower racing line through the Attack Mode zone, giving drivers a 50kW energy boost. The amount of power and time provided by the Attack Mode is determined by the FIA over the race weekend.
Race Weekend Structure
Before jumping into a race weekend, we should note that cars can only be charged in-between sessions and during practice. Every driver gets four new sets of 18-inch treaded Hanook all-weather tires per race weekend and six sets for doubleheader weekends.
Although Formula E uses the same circuit as the Monaco Grand Prix in Formula 1, most Formula E circuits are temporary and purpose-built for the race weekend. Most race weekends take place over two days, compared to three in Formula 1.
There are two Free Practice Sessions before qualifying and the race. When there is a doubleheader, the teams get a third Free Practice session before a second qualifier that sets the grid for the second race.
For qualifying, the grid is split into two groups of 11 and ordered based on the Drivers’ standings in the World Championship. Each driver has 300kW and ten minutes to post their fastest qualifying lap time.
From here, the top four drivers in each session compete in a head-to-head knockout tournament for pole position, and the winner and runner-up of the one-on-one tournament start 1-2 on the grid.
More often than not, it’s a short turnaround from qualifying to the race itself. This puts a premium on paying attention to Formula E as each session is happening to give yourself the best position to make informed wagers on Formula E.