With the Riyadh Diriyah E-Prix on November 22nd and 23rd, 2019 and thus this weekend, the sixth season of the fully electric Formula E will begin. The event in Saudi Arabia marks the beginning of a journey around the world: the baggage train is organizing 14 events in twelve cities on five continents. The two world brands Mercedes-Benz and Porsche are taking part for the first time, which makes the racing series even more interesting for German fans: after all, Audi and BMW are already there. There it certainly becomes clear for the friends of high-quality modelcars certainly that Minichamps goes to work with great zeal to reproduce last year's vehicles: With the Nissan IM01 by Oliver Rowland and Sebastien Buemi and the Venturi VFE05 by Edoardo Mortara, the Aachener recently delivered more novelties.
Via the link below you can reach almost the complete starter field of the season 5 of the Formula E in scale 1:43, amongst others also with the models of audience favorite Daniel Abt from Kempten or the DS E-Tense FE19. This range will certainly be extended to the cars of Neel Jani and André Lotterer, who start with the Porsche 99X for the Stuttgart in Saudi Arabia. Jani, with the No. 18: "It's great that it finally starts. But we also know that it starts a journey into the unknown, which of course makes the whole thing very exciting. We are well prepared, but you can not simulate the seriousness of the racetrack. We will be very focused on our first Formula E season." Lotterer (No. 36) rates the road circuit in Diriyah as one of the most demanding circuits in the race calendar, due to the many combinations of corners.
The 2.444-kilometer circuit consists of 21 corners and has one of the longest straights and offers the spectators two races for the beginning, one each on Friday and Saturday. On the first day of the race, the ten manufacturers or twelve teams have to complete two free trainings. The first lasts 45 minutes, the second 30 minutes. In qualifying, the drivers are divided into four groups. They must complete their fastest lap in each group within six minutes. The top 6 from all groups qualify for the 20-minute Super Pole. There it is decided who can start from the first, second and third row. The race lasts 45 minutes plus one lap. The program for race 2 on Saturday is almost identical, but there is only a 45-minute training session. Eurosport (German TV channel) will broadcast the qualifying and races of both days live.
Compared to the previous year, however, some rule changes in Formula E have to be taken into account. Each race car will be deducted 1 kWh from the available energy per minute during a break (Safety Car, Full Course Yellow). This puts energy efficiency even more in the foreground. In addition, the race time in the event of a break is stopped, which is to ensure that an E-Prix goes the full distance. Even the so-called Attack mode is slightly changed this season. If the overtaking assistance is activated by driving over three activation strips off the racing line, the driver receives more power for a certain amount of time.
The maximum power of the additional boost after activation will be 235 kW instead of 225 kW. At the same time, Attack Mode must not be used during a Safety Car Phase or a Full Course Yellow. There is also an innovation in scoring: the fastest drivers in each qualifying group receive an extra point. The pole-setter can still look forward to three additional counters. In the race, the points are awarded according to the scheme known from Formula 1, from first to tenth place. There is another extra point for the fastest race lap, but only if the respective driver has finished within the top ten. As mentioned at the beginning, Mercedes-Benz will also be present for the first time: Stoffel Vandoorne (No. 5) and Nyck de Vries (No. 17) will compete with the Mercedes-Benz EQ Silver Arrow 01 for the Mercedes-Benz EQ Formula E team.
The brand is the only manufacturer that operates not only Formula E but also Motorsport in Formula 1. Their approach is that Formula 1 and Formula E are not rivals. One sees at Mercedes-Benz rather that the two racing series fertilize each other. This is how the Formula E program builds on the experience that Mercedes has gained in Formula 1. The perfect example of this is the drive unit of the Formula E vehicle, which was developed just like the Hybrid Power Unit from Formula 1 in Mercedes AMG High Performance Powertrains (HPP). In this area, a lot of knowledge and experience from Formula 1 can be transferred to the Formula E project. Findings in the field of batteries or energy management are valuable for the mass production of future electric cars. We are looking forward to the Formula E and the new modelcars and wish you lots of fun!
Update after the racing weekend
The Formula E has offered exciting races at its debut for the 2019/20 season and the German newcomers Mercedes-Benz and Porsche convinced straight away. On Friday, Sam Bird took the opening win on Virgin, whose team relied on Audi's technique. Second place went to Andre Lotterer in his first race for Porsche in Formula E. Stoffel Vandoorne drove for Mercedes-Benz to third place on the podium. Vandoorne finished fourth behind Lucas di Grassi on race day two. BMW-Andretti celebrated with Alexander Sims and Maximilian Günther a double victory, but Günther received a time penalty after the end of the race because of an unauthorized overtaking maneuver during the safety car phase, which cost him the second place. Alexander Sims thus left Diriyah as championship leader. Second is Vandoorne, third Sam Bird.