Opinion: Formula E’s return to London was surreal but successful Car News

For anyone who thinks Formula E lacks noise, think again. I just winked out of the Excel fairground after watching the London E-Prix, my ears are ringing.

That’s not because of the engine noise, of course: they’re electric cars, and while they’re not quiet, you can have a conversation while they whistle nearby. Instead, it was music: loud, receptive dance music that was played at a high volume throughout the 45-minute run. I feel like I’m stepping out of a nightclub more than watching a world championship car race.

Having said that, I certainly got to see a race. And despite all the challenges and compromises inherent in organizing a race on a ridiculously tight, twisty course that ran through and through an exhibition center, Formula E certainly provided an entertaining, if at times surreal, spectacle on its return. in London after a five-year hiatus.

Due to the lack of engine noise, Formula E was able to run races in some very unusual locations, but the London e-Prix course might just be the most surreal to date, with 22 racing out of 1, 4 thousand. The pits and main straights were located inside one of Excel’s showrooms, with the pilots tackling a series of sharp turns inside, before setting off to the outside on a narrow ramp. The course then circled around the outside of the halls, before a steep ramp led to a final set of turns inside.

The transition between the indoor and outdoor sections presented a major challenge, especially when the morning practice rain fell on the outer section of the track. To make it easier for the drivers to see it, the indoor section of the circuit featured overhead lighting similar to that used for an outdoor night race, and for contrast, the indoor spectator areas and pits were barely lit. Nissan motorsport boss Tomaso Volpe compared the work at the event to attending a motor show: no natural light and a lot of deafening background noise.

Still, the unusual venue definitely put on a good show. While some motorsport purists still sniff Formula E, there’s no doubt that the mix of power management, attack mode boost system and tight championship circuits make for entertaining races – and that was true with the first London race.

The grid was revamped somewhat, and while Alex Lynn did a good job leading early in his Mahindra, BMW Andretti’s Jake Dennis patiently waited for his chance before grabbing the lead. Once in front, the Nuneaton pilot broke free and strode towards glory.

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This notice was published: 2021-07-24 17:53:11

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