The new zero emissions world championship Formula E has completed two full event simulations at Donington Park as preparations for the series’ first race in Beijing on 13 September ramp up.
Organisers built a temporary pitlane and pitboxes at the Leicestershire circuit to mirror the set up which will be required at street circuits in locations such as London, Miami and Monte Carlo during the course of the season.
During the second simulation, the 10 teams ran all four of their cars for the first time with the two non-qualifying sessions (practice), qualifying and endurance test (race) all completed as per the expected schedule on race day.
In doing so, drivers were given the opportunity to try out the championship’s unique mid-race car swap during the pit stops and a full standing start.
Organisers say they encountered a number of problems, but CEO of Formula E Alejandro Agag said he was generally pleased with how things went.
“Putting on a major sporting event in the heart of cities around the world is a massive undertaking and requires careful preparation,” said Agag.
“We want the Formula E Beijing ePrix to a fantastic spectacle, which is why we’re leaving nothing to chance by rigorously testing all the systems beforehand. Overall we’re very pleased with how things went.”
The race day timetable of the event – which all takes place on one day – was also announced. There will be two non-qualifying sessions in the morning, lasting 45 minutes and 30 minutes respectively.
Qualifying will follow with drivers being split into four groups of five with the order selected at random. The race will last approximately 60 minutes, with the number of laps decided on the day.
The final pre-season test takes place on 19 August at Donington Park, with free admission to the public.
There are a host of ex-F1 drivers in the field including Jaime Alguersuari, Sebastien Buemi, Jarno Trulli, Karun Chandhok, Takuma Sato and Nick Heidfeld. Meanwhile, four times world champion Alain Prost is co-owner of the e.dams Renault team with his son Nicolas and Buemi driving his cars.
Formula E also announced the latest in a number of initiatives to increase interaction with the championship’s fans. Gamers can now experience the virtual thrill of driving the Spark-Renault SRT_01E Formula E car in Forza Motorsport 5, which is available on Xbox One.
It’s available as a free download and marks the first time in video game history that a fully-electric single-seater has been featured as a playable car on a home entertainment system.
You will be able to race the car around iconic tracks around the world including the streets of Long Beach, which will host a race on 4 April 2015.
Other initiatives include allowing fans to vote for their favourite driver to receive a ‘speed burst’ during the real race and at selected Formula E races, such as the Long Beach ePrix, free admission will be offered.
FIA Formula E Championship 2014/15
September 13 – Beijing, China
November 22 – Putrajaya, Malaysia
December 13 – Punta del Este, Uruguay
January 10 – Buenos Aires, Argentina
February 14 – TBA
March 14 – Miami, USA
April 4 – Long Beach, USA
May 9 – Monaco, Monte Carlo
May 30 – Berlin, Germany
June 27 – London, UK