Di Grassi laps Donington in Formula E car

Lucas di Grassi laps Donington Park in a Formula E car. Video and details here

If you've ever wanted to know what it's like to get behind the wheel of a Formula E electric single-seater racing car, you now have an answer thanks to Lucas di Grassi.

The answer is windy - very, very windy. It's hard to give a definitive verdict on the aural qualities of Formula E before the series kicks off in Beijing this September, but it's clear the drivers will have to get used to the silence of electric racing, as well as the spectators. For fans already concerned about the lack of noise in Formula One, Formula E may be facing an uphill struggle.

Subscribe to evo magazine

evo is 21 and to celebrate, we're returning to 1998 prices! Subscribe now to SAVE 39% on the shop price and get evo for its original cover price of £3.00 an issue, plus get a FREE gift worth £25!

Visually though, the series is off to a good start. With a camera strapped to his visor, di Grassi's windswept lap is as close as most will get to driving one of this year's Formula E vehicles. It's a long way from point and squirt - di Grassi spends his lap fighting for grip on the series' road-style treaded tyres.

The Brazilian endurance driver partners German racer Daniel Abt in the Audi Sport ABT Formula E team. Despite the German carmaker's involvement, ABT's car is identical to other vehicles in the series for its inaugural year. While Formula E gets off the ground, every team will use the same Spark-Renault SRT 01E chassis. Each team is developing its own unique car on the sidelines, ready to compete in subsequent seasons should Formula E grow in popularity.

Advertisement
Advertisement - Article continues below

The early pace in the recent Donington test session was set by di Grassi and ABT, recording the fastest time in the first two days of testing. Former F1 driver Sebastien Buemi, driving for the e.dams Renault team, proved fastest in the following two sessions. ‘It was my first time driving the car with full power and I’m really pleased with the performance’, said di Grassi after the second day of testing.

Several drivers noted the difference in performance between qualifying and race settings during the initial test. Formula E rules require that race power is scaled back from the full 200 kilowatts (268bhp) to 133kW (178bhp) to preserve range over each one-hour event - though drivers will be able to use a boost button for a temporary full-power surge when passing.

With qualifying lap times in the 1:31 range, initial pace is just a whisker off the fastest laps set by Formula 3 cars around the full Donington GP circuit, giving spectators a clue as to the kind of racing they can expect when Formula E hits each of the ten street circuits during the season.

Those street circuits, including events in Berlin, Miami and Monaco, should allow spectators to get closer to the action than many single-seater series. Whether they'll like what they hear will remain unanswered until the season draws to a close in London on June 27 2015.

Advertisement

Recommended

Visit/audi/22884/formula-e-cars-driven-on-track-in-audis-1st-and-2nd-gen-electric-racers
Audi

Formula e cars driven on track

13 Jul 2019
Visit/formula-e/21851/formula-e-2018-19-season-preview-racing-is-go-this-weekend
Formula E

Formula E 2018-19 season preview

14 Dec 2018
Advertisement

Most Popular

Visit/mercedes/18211/mercedes-amg-one-hypercar-shown-in-new-teaser-video
Mercedes

Mercedes-AMG One hypercar shown in new teaser video 

AMG’s F1-powered ultimate hypercar has been shown on track in a new clip
6 Dec 2019
Visit/ford/focus-hatchback/202030/2019-ford-focus-ecoboost-review-a-family-favourite-past-its-prime
Ford Focus Hatchback

2019 Ford Focus EcoBoost review

Some might suggest the UK is falling out of love with family hatchbacks, but the Focus EcoBoost is a good reminder of why it remains a compelling pack…
9 Dec 2019
Visit/buying-advice/19675/used-car-deals-of-the-week
used cars

Best used cars for sale this week

We’ve delved into the classifieds and chosen our favourite cars for sale this week
5 Dec 2019
Visit/features/22907/hyundai-i30-fastback-n-versus-the-col-de-turini
Hyundai i30 N hatchback

Hyundai i30 Fastback N versus the Col de Turini

We take the Hyundai i30 Fastback N up the Col de Turini, a 31km stage of the Monte Carlo World Rally Championship
19 Jul 2019