Formula E is coming back to London – here’s what you need to know

Race will take place at the ExCeL London, with part of the track being indoors.

Mercedes-EQ Formula E in New York
Mercedes-EQ Formula E in New York

This weekend, Formula E is coming back to the English capital at an all-new street circuit built in the Docklands in East London.

The first two London races in the series took place in Battersea Park in 2015 and 2016, but the championship has not come back to the English capital since then.

With a highly anticipated indoor/outdoor track layout, here’s everything you need to know about the race and the championship itself.

London Formula E track map
(Formula E)

What is Formula E?

Formula E is a single-seater racing championship that uses electric cars. Because the cars don’t emit anything, the series prefers racing on street circuits within cities, bringing racing to the fans and demonstrating the benefits of electric vehicles.

Where is the London race happening?

The race, or e-Prix as Formula E calls it, is based around ExCeL London, an exhibition centre in the Royal Victoria Dock, East London.

It’s a highly anticipated race, because part of the track will be indoors. Yes, you read that correctly.

How is an indoor/outdoor circuit going to work?

So far the series has only released a graphic showing the layout of the circuit, however we can see that the circuit starts inside the arena, with the pit lane and crews also stationed inside.

There are a series of tight turns that lead to the road surface dropping down to ground level, exiting the main building through a tight chicane. The road then snakes around a perimeter road before ultimately climbing back up into the arena before the final two turns.

Mercedes-EQ Formula E in New York
(Mercedes-EQ)

Will it provide fun racing?

It’s difficult to get a sense of scale from the track map, but it does look like there are a few good opportunities to overtake. However, to survive a race, the cars need a lot of heavy braking zones to recharge the batteries, and sometimes this results in quite slow and cumbersome circuits.

We’ll reserve judgement until we see the cars racing, but the middle sector with a double hairpin that leads into a chicane looks like it’ll be frustratingly slow with little opportunity for battling.

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