|2014 Beijing ePrix|
The 2014 Beijing ePrix circuit around the Olympic Park.
|Date||13 September 2014|
|Official Name||2014 FIA Formula E Evergrande Spring Beijing ePrix|
|Location||Beijing Olympic Green Circuit, Beijing, China|
|Lap length||3.453 km (2.146 mi)|
|Distance||25 laps / 86.325 km (53.640 mi)|
|Pole Sitter||Nicolas Prost|
|Fastest Lap||1:45.101 on lap 21|
|Lucas di Grassi||Franck Montagny||Sam Bird|
|Winner Team||Audi Sport Abt|
|None||2014 Putrajaya ePrix|
The 2014 Beijing ePrix, officially known as the 2014 Evergrande Spring FIA Formula E Beijing ePrix, was the opening round of the 2014/15 FIA Formula E Championship, staged at the Beijing Olympic Green Circuit on the 13 September 2014. The race would be renowned as the first ever ePrix to be staged, and would be fondly remembered for its dramatic conclusion.
Qualifying would see Nicolas Prost become the first ever pole position starter in FE history, the Frenchman clinching FE's first pole by a quarter of a second. Lucas di Grassi completed the front row ahead of his teammate Daniel Abt, while Karun Chandhok and Franck Montagny completed the top five.
Prost would ace the first FE start to streak away with the lead off the grid, with di Grassi and Abt leading the chase from behind. Sam Bird and Montagny, whom had been penalised after qualifying, would make quick progress up the field, while Nelson Piquet Jr. faded early on.
Prost's lead would survive through the pitwindow, with drivers physically swapping cars, although Bird managed to gain a position by staying out an additional lap. Nick Heidfeld, meanwhile, would be the big winner from the car swap, leaping ahead of the two Audi Sport ABT cars to challenge Prost for the lead.
It was to be a tense conclusion to the first race, with Heidfeld inching ever closer to Prost, dragging the rest of the top seven with him as he did so. Ultimately, the German would wait until the final lap to finally make a move, sending a lunge inside Prost as the pair came towards the final corner.
Prost, however, would make a late move to block the German, resulting in a huge accident as the pair hit the brakes for the final corner of the race. Heidfeld's car was pitched into a mid-air roll, landing upside down, with Prost's ruined car skating to a stop alongside. Both scrambled clear uninjured, while di Grassi swept past to claim the first ever ePrix victory ahead of Montagny and Bird.
Beijing was to be the first ePrix to be held, with the field having only completed a full race distance once during the final Donington Test in July. e.dams-Renault and Audi Sport Abt came into the first ePrix weekend as favourites, with Sébastien Buemi having set the fastest time in testing.
Late changes to the entry list meant that several drivers would get their first taste of Formula E in the first ePrix. Among these were Charles Pic, who signed for Andretti Autosport a few days before the ePrix, with Matthew Brabham joining as a reserve driver there. Takuma Sato was another late call up at Amlin Aguri, the Formula F1 star having to stand in for António Félix da Costa (although Sato had run at the final test for the team).
The full entry list for the 2014 Beijing ePrix is displayed below:
The first Formula E free practice session was topped by Lucas di Grassi for the Audi Sport ABT team. Di Grassi went fastest with a 1:41.937, half a second up on Sébastien Buemi's second best time in the E. dams Renault car. Sam Bird in the Virgin Racing car was a further four tenths down on Buemi in third.
Bruno Senna who finished the session in fifteenth looked set to finish on the top of the time sheets, however a mistake at the final corner on his final lap ruined his chances of securing first place.
Jérôme d'Ambrosio was the first driver to set a time with a 1:52.849. This time was immediately bettered by Nick Heidfeld with a 1:42.779. Eight minutes into the session Sébastien Buemi hit the wall at turn 6 bringing his session to a premature end.
Bruno Senna then went fastest with a 1:41.341, the fastest time of the weekend at that point. Senna then on another quick lap was held up by Sam Bird's Virgin Racing car, Senna angrily gesticulating at Bird as he drove past.
With five minutes to go, the home talent Ho-Pin Tung collided with the barrier at turn 18 after out-braking himself into the corner. This brought out the red flags bringing an end to the session.
|2||Sam Bird||Virgin Racing|
|3||Jaime Alguersuari||Virgin Racing|
|5||Karun Chandhok||Mahindra Racing|
|6||Oriol Servià||Dragon Racing|
|7||Jérôme d'Ambrosio||Dragon Racing|
The first group of cars out on track for the qualifying were the two Trulli GP cars of Jarno Trulli and Michela Cerruti, Karun Chandhok of Mahindra Racing, Oriol Servià of Dragon Racing and Stéphane Sarrazin of Venturi Grand Prix.
Chandhok set the first time with a 1:43.531, Servia then went slightly slower with a 1:43.780 whilst then Cerruti then went much slower with a 1:46.170. Whilst Sarrazin was on his flying lap, he suffered a mechanical failure being forced to pull off the circuit and withdraw from qualifying. Whilst Trulli was on his flying lap he went wide at one of the chicanes, hit a bumb and went partially airborne, with the rear of his car clouting the barrier. Trulli was forced to pull off the circuit and withdraw from qualifying as well.
On Chandhok's second lap he was able to improve to a 1:42.461. Servia was unable to better Chandhok's time after a major lock-up on his second flying lap, yet improved to a 1:42.847. Cerruti, however failed to better her time.
Sato was the first driver to set a time with a 1:44.129, Tung then set a time of 1:45.282. Bird then went fastest of the group with a 1:42.936. Both Sato and Tung had made mistakes on their laps, both nearly clipping the barriers. Pic then put in a time of 1:42.461 to go fastest of the group. Sato was unable to improve his time whilst Bird improved to do a 1:42.918. D'Ambrosio was unable to improve on his 1:44.056 whilst Tung spun on his final flying lap.
Pic went fastest of the group, yet none of the drivers were able to surpass Karun Chandhok's time.
Di Grassi set the first flying lap with a 1:42.308, taking provisional pole away from Chandhok. Teammate Abt then set a time of 1:43.043. Buemi then was able to set a lap-time of 1:42.746. Prost then went faster to set the fastest time of the session with a 1:42.200. Legge was an uncompetitive twelfth after her first lap.
Di Grassi only slightly improved his second lap to a 1:42.306, but was unable to beat Prost whilst Abt improved to a 1:42.454. There was problems for the two e. dams Renault cars, Prost ran wide off the circuit and landed in the barrier, causing him to end his session whilst Buemi also tapped the barriers, damaging the rear of his car causing him to stop on track.
Jaime Alguersuari of Virgin Racing, Bruno Senna of Mahindra Racing, Nick Heidfeld of Venturi Grand Prix, Franck Montagny of Andretti Autosport and Nelson Piquet, Jr. of China Racing made up the final qualifying group.
Senna was unable to leave the pits to set a lap due to a mechanical issue that kept his car grounded. Heidfeld was the first driver to set a lap with a 1:42.579. Montagny could only manage a 1:42.530 after running wide at the chicane. Piquet similarily was finding his car a handful and could not set a competitive lap-time. Alguersuari's first time was only good enough for eleventh.
Piquet's second time was a 1:42.785 whilst Alguersuari improved for a 1:42.683. Both Heidfeld and Montagny failed to improve their time on their second run.
The final qualifying result for the 2014 Beijing ePrix are outlined below:
|2014 Beijing ePrix Qualifying Result|
|2nd||11||Lucas di Grassi||Audi Sport ABT||1:42.308||+0.106s||2||G3|
|3rd||66||Daniel Abt||Audi Sport ABT||1:42.454||+0.254s||3||G3|
|4th||5||Karun Chandhok||Mahindra Racing||1:42.461||+0.261s||4||G1|
|5th*||27||Franck Montagny||Andretti Autosport||1:42.530||+0.330s||8||G4|
|6th||23||Nick Heidfeld||Venturi Formula E Team||1:42.579||+0.379s||5||G4|
|7th||3||Jaime Alguersuari||Virgin Racing||1:42.683||+0.483s||6||G4|
|8th||28||Charles Pic||Andretti Autosport||1:42.726||+0.526s||7||G2|
|10th||99||Nelson Piquet Jr.||China Racing||1:42.785||+0.585s||9||G4|
|11th||6||Oriol Servià||Dragon Racing||1:42.847||+0.647s||10||G1|
|12th||2||Sam Bird||Virgin Racing||1:42.918||+0.718s||11||G2|
|13th||7||Jérôme d'Ambrosio||Dragon Racing||1:44.056||+1.856s||12||G2|
|14th||55||Takuma Sato||Amlin Aguri||1:44.129||+1.929s||13||G2|
|15th†||88||Ho-Pin Tung||China Racing||1:45.282||+3.082s||17||G2|
|16th||77||Katherine Legge||Amlin Aguri||1:45.369||+3.169s||14||G3|
|17th†||18||Michela Cerruti||Trulli Formula E Team||1:46.170||+3.970s||16||G1|
|107% Time: 1:52.420|
|NC§||10||Jarno Trulli||Trulli Formula E Team||—||20||G1|
|NC‡||21||Bruno Senna||Mahindra Racing||—||15||G4|
|NC§||30||Stéphane Sarrazin||Venturi Formula E Team||—||19||G1|
- * Montagny pushed back three places for a pitlane infringement.
- † Tung, Cerruti and Buemi all handed ten place penalties for gearbox changes
- ‡ Senna would race at the steward's discretion after failing to set a time.
- § Sarrazin and Trulli served ten place grid penalties for changing their gearboxes, and would race at the stewards' discretion.
Prior to the start of the first ever ePrix, the three driver's to be given the "FanBoost" were identified as Katherine Legge, Lucas di Grassi and Bruno Senna. Penalties were given to numerous drivers, with Franck Montagny demoted three for entering the fast lane before the track had been opened, while Sarrizan, Tung, Buemi and Cerruti all dropped ten places through gearbox changes.
With grid lined up, the 2014 Beijing ePrix, the first of race of it's kind saw the grid stream away virtually in grid order, apart from Ho-Pin Tung, whose car failed to get off the line at the start (he later rejoined a lap later). Montagny's penalty put him below his team mate on the grid, the result of which meant that Charles Pic nearly hit the wall at the second corner as his team mate snuck through on the inside. Their slower speed bunched up the pack, with contact between Bruno Senna and the Amlin Aguri duo of Legge and Sato putting the Brazilian out of the race.
At the front, Nicolas Prost slowly pulled away, with the Audi Sport Abt cars attempting to stay with him at the front. Sam Bird and Montagny, meanwhile, were battling through the field, both slipping past Jaime Alguersuari in the space of two corners, while the groups of cars behind them saw Nelson Piquet drop from tenth to twelfth in the same spot. At the very back of the field, Jarno Trulli pulled off with a technical issue, with Buemi joining him on the list of retirements on lap 14.
Attention turned to the pitstops as the race approached half distance, with the majority of the top ten coming in on lap 13. The only driver to stay out, on what looked to an inspired decision was Bird, who gained one place through his extra lap, and would have a fresher car under him in the latter part of the race. Apart from Bird, the only other change in the top ten was for Nick Heidfeld , whose quick stop put him ahead of the Abt cars, and just outside striking distance of Prost. With the pitstops completed, the race became a waiting game, as gaps across the field closed.
Heidfeld dragged the rest of the top seven behind him as he slowly closed on Prost, with the leading seven split by 8.7 seconds at the start of the final lap. Heidfeld himself was within striking distance, and waited patiently for his opportunity to arise. With the final corner approaching, Heidfeld, who got a good drive out of the previous corner and easily pulled behind Prost, swung to the inside as Prost looked for him in the opposite mirror. With the braking zone fast approaching, Prost moved to the inside, straight into the path of the oncoming Heidfeld whom he had not seen in the mirror. Prost's front wheel was hit, smashing the suspension, while Heidfeld was sent into a slide. Unfortunately for the German, however, his slide carried him into a kerb, which put the car into a roll in the air, meaning he hit the barrier on the outside of the final corner upside down. Both were out of the race, but, more importantly, both walked away unharmed.
Their crash promoted Lucas di Grassi to first, as he claimed the first ever ePrix for Audi Sport Abt, leading home the improving Montagny and team mate Daniel Abt over the line, with Bird a few seconds behind. Abt was demoted shortly after the conclusion of the race (a 57 second time penalty for exceeding the maximum energy use of 28kWh) promoting Bird to the podium. Legge and Alguersuari would also suffer from the energy use penalty, while Prost was handed a ten place grid penalty for the next race in Putrajaya for causing the accident. Takuma Sato was awarded the two available points for fastest lap, despite a disappointing day which left him 17th in the race.
The final classification of the 2014 Beijing ePrix is displayed below, with the fastest lap setter indicated in italics, and the pole sitter shown in bold.
|2014 Beijing ePrix Race Result|
|Pos.||No.||Name||Team||Laps||Race Time||Fastest lap||Pts.|
|1st||11||Lucas di Grassi||Audi Sport ABT||25||52:23.413||1:46.718||25|
|2nd||27||Franck Montagny||Andretti Autosport||25||+2.867s||1:46.640||18|
|3rd||2||Sam Bird||Virgin Racing||25||+6.559s||1:46.563||15|
|4th||28||Charles Pic||Andretti Autosport||25||+19.301s||1:46.730||12|
|5th||5||Karun Chandhok||Mahindra Racing||25||+23.952s||1:45.882||10|
|6th||7||Jérôme d'Ambrosio||Dragon Racing||25||+31.664s||1:47.313||8|
|7th||6||Oriol Servià||Dragon Racing||25||+41.968s||1:47.361||6|
|8th||99||Nelson Piquet Jr.||China Racing||25||+43.896s||1:47.819||4|
|9th||30||Stéphane Sarrazin||Venturi Formula E Team||25||+43.975s||1:47.832||2|
|10th*||66||Daniel Abt||Audi Sport ABT||25||+1:02.507||1:46.551||1|
|11th*||3||Jaime Alguersuari||Virgin Racing||25||+2:00.613||1:47.914|
|13th||23||Nick Heidfeld||Venturi Formula E Team||24||+1 Lap||1:46.214|
|14th||18||Michela Cerruti||Trulli Formula E Team||24||+1 Lap||1:49.469|
|15th*||77||Katherine Legge||Amlin Aguri||24||+1 Lap||1:48.753|
|16th||88||Ho-Pin Tung||China Racing||23||+2 Laps||1:48.793|
|NC‡||55||Takuma Sato||Amlin Aguri||21||+4 Laps||1:45.101||2|
|Ret||10||Jarno Trulli||Trulli Formula E Team||2||Damage||1:52.596|
|Ret||21||Bruno Senna||Mahindra Racing||0||Accident||—|
- Indicates a driver was awarded FanBoost during the race.
- * Abt, Alguersuari and Legge were all given 57 second penalties for exceeding the maximum energy use limit (28 kW/h)
- † Prost was awarded a ten place grid penalty for the 2014 Putrajaya ePrix for causing a collision.
- ‡ Sato was not classified as he had failed to complete 90% of the race distance.
- First ePrix to be held.
- First race for all drivers and teams.
- Maiden pole position for Nicolas Prost.
- First pole for e.Dams as an entrant.
- Lucas di Grassi claimed his first ePrix victory.
- ABT Sportsline secured their maiden win.
- Maiden podium finishes for Franck Montagny and Sam Bird.
- Maiden points finishes for Charles Pic, Karun Chandhok, Jérôme d'Ambrosio, Oriol Servià, Nelson Piquet Jr., Stéphane Sarrazin, Daniel Abt, Prost and Takuma Sato.
- First, and only, fastest lap to be recorded by Sato.
The historic victory for Lucas di Grassi ensured that the Brazilian racer left Beijing in-charge of the Drivers' Championship, holding a seven point gap over Franck Montagny. Sam Bird showed he could be a potential title contender with a strong display to end the day third, while Takuma Sato took the points for fastest lap to leave him in eleventh. Nicolas Prost had made history by claiming pole, but his last-lap drama meant that he was ninth in the table.
Andretti Autosport had started the season as the strongest team mathematically, leaving the Chinese capital with a four point advantage over Audi Sport ABT. Virgin Racing held a one point lead over Dragon Racing in third, with the Venturi Formula E Team and Amlin Aguri tied on points in eighth and ninth. At the back, meanwhile, would be the Trulli Formula E Team, which was the only team not to register a point at the opening round.
Only point scoring drivers and teams are shown.
Videos and Images:
- Buemi damage: http://www.reddit.com/r/FormulaEPorn/comments/2gcfuu/
- Heidfeld Smash: http://f1grandchelem.forumcommunity.net/?t=56814888
- 'Rio returns as Formula E confirms inaugural calendar', fiaformulae.com, (FIA Formula E, 04/12/2013), http://www.fiaformulae.com/en/news/2013/december/rio-returns-as-formula-e-confirms-inaugural-calendar.aspx, (Accessed 09/07/2015)
- 'di Grassi snatches win after dramatic last corner crash', fiaformulae.com, (FIA Formula E, 13/09/2014), http://www.fiaformulae.com/en/news/2014/september/lucas-di-grassi-snatches-win-after-dramatic-last-corner-crash.aspx, (Accessed 25/04/2015)
- Cite error: Invalid
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- 'Charles Pix fills final seat on the Formula E grid', fiaformulae.com, (FIA Formula E, 12/09/2014), http://www.fiaformulae.com/en/news/2014/september/charles-pic-fills-final-seat-on-the-formula-e-grid.aspx (Accessed 25/04/2015)
- 'Takuma Sato to race for Amlin Aguri in Formula E opener', fiaformulae.com, (FIA Formula E, 11/09/2015), http://www.fiaformulae.com/en/news/2014/september/takuma-sato-to-race-for-amlin-aguri-in-formula-e-opener.aspx (Accessed 25/04/2015)
- 'FIA Formula E Round 1 - Beijing: Results Booklet', fiaformulae.alkamelsystems.com, (FIA Formula E, 2014), http://fiaformulae.alkamelsystems.com/Results/00_2014-15/02_Beijing%20Olympic%20Park/62_ROUND%201%20-%20Beijing/ROUND%201%20-%20Beijing_China_BOOKLET.pdf, (Accessed 28/07/2018)
- 'Senna, di Grassi and Legge to receive FanBoost', fiaformulae.com, (FIA Formula E, 13/09/2014), http://www.fiaformulae.com/en/news/2014/september/senna-di-grassi-and-legge-to-receive-fanboost.aspx (Accessed 25/04/2015)