|2015/16 Formula E Season|
The 2015/16 Champion Sébastien Buemi
|First Round||2015 Beijing ePrix|
|Last Round||2016 London ePrix II|
|Entrants||ABT Schaeffler; DS Virgin; Mahindra; NextEV; Spark; Renault; Venturi|
|Champion||Sébastien Buemi 155 Pt(s)|
|3 Win(s), 3 Pole(s) 5 Fastest Lap(s)|
|Second||Lucas di Grassi 153 Pt(s)|
|3 Win(s), 0 Pole(s) 0 Fastest Lap(s)|
|Third||Nicolas Prost 115 Pt(s)|
|2 Win(s), 1 Pole(s), 1 Fastest Lap(s)|
|Champion||Renault e.Dams 270 Pt(s)|
|5 Win(s), 4 Pole(s) 6 Fastest Lap(s)|
|Second||ABT Schaeffler Audi Sport 221 Pt(s)|
|3 Win(s), 0 Pole(s) 0 Fastest Lap(s)|
|Third||DS Virgin Racing 144 Pt(s)|
|1 Win(s), 4 Pole(s) 0 Fastest Lap(s)|
The 2015/16 FIA Formula E Championship was the second season of the FIA Formula E Championship, staged over the autumn and winter of 2015, and into the spring and early summer of 2016. Testing was scheduled from the 10th to the 25th of August 2015 at Donington Park, with eight manufacturers producing parts for ten teams.
The calendar for the new season was expected to contain twelve rounds or host cities, but ultimately followed the 2014/15 calendar, with the addition of Paris in place of Monaco. Monaco was later raised as a potential replacement when Moscow was dropped after an organisation dispute, but that ultimately fell through to produce a ten race season.
Having dominated pre-season, the favourites were Sébastien Buemi and Nicolas Prost of the Renault e.Dams car, after they produced over 350 laps during pre-season testing. They duly won the opening round, Buemi also earning fastest lap and pole position to become the first man to score maximum points at an ePrix, although Prost would fail to score. The Swiss racer would go on to claim victory at the 2015 Punta del Este ePrix and the 2016 Berlin ePrix to head into the season finale with a chance at the title.
Indeed, the only man who could deny the Swiss racer the title ahead of the finale would be Lucas di Grassi of the ABT Schaeffler Audi Sport outfit, with the Brazilian finishing on the podium at every round until the finale. He also claimed three victories, those being the Putrajaya, Long Beach and Paris races, while also being disqualified from the 2016 Mexico City ePrix having won that race too.
The season would go down to the final race of the season in London, where Buemi took pole to mean it was level in the Championship before the start of the finale. It would be a dramatic end, as di Grassi misjudged his braking on the opening lap, slammed into the back of Buemi and seemingly put both of them out. Yet, both escaped the scene to battle for the title on fastest lap, and with the strongest car, Buemi duly pushed his Renault to the title, beating di Grassi by two points, or just half a second on the track.
Away from the epic title battle, the season featured a lot of drama both on and off the track. The Trulli Formula E Team were a prime example, a poor pre-season ultimately seeing them miss the opening rounds before having to end their involvement in the Championship altogether. It was quickly announced that British manufacturer Jaguar would replace them for season three, adding more prestige to the Championship in only its second season. On circuit, Sam Bird had his season ruined by two mistakes while leading, ultimately missing out on third overall to Prost when the Frenchman scored his two victories at the season finale. Jérôme d'Ambrosio was the fifth and final driver to claim a race victory in 2015/16.
- 1 Background
- 2 Calendar
- 3 Regulations
- 4 Season Report
- 4.1 Pre-season
- 4.2 Race One: Beijing ePrix (24 October 2015)
- 4.3 Race Two: Putrajaya ePrix (7 November 2015)
- 4.4 Race Three: Punta del Este ePrix (19 December 2015)
- 4.5 Race Four: Buenos Aires ePrix (6 February 2016)
- 4.6 Race Five: Mexico City ePrix (12 March 2016)
- 4.7 Race Six: Long Beach ePrix (2 April 2016)
- 4.8 Race Seven: Paris ePrix (23 April 2016)
- 4.9 Race Eight: Berlin ePrix (21 May 2016)
- 4.10 Race Nine: London ePrix I (2 July 2016)
- 4.11 Race Ten: London ePrix II (3 July 2016)
- 4.12 Cancellations: Moscow ePrix (4 June 2016)
- 5 Entrants
- 6 Standings
- 7 References
The 2015/16 FIA Formula E Championship calendar was revealed on 10 July 2015, at the World Motor Sport Council meeting in Mexico City. Featuring eight of the host cities from 2014/15, Paris and Mexico City became the newest additions to the Championship, as Miami and Monaco are dropped.
The eleven race schedule was later reduced to ten on 6 May 2016, when it was announced that the Moscow ePrix was to be dropped. Difficulties over ensuring road closures in the city had been ongoing since February, and a little over a month before the race talks collapsed, removing Moscow from the 2015/16 calendar. Attempts were made to try an ensure a ninth round in Monaco, but they faltered due to time constraints in setting up the circuit.
The full 2015/16 calendar is shown below:
|2015/16 FIA Formula E Championship Calendar|
|1||2015 SWUSP Beijing ePrix||Beijing, China||Beijing Olympic Green Circuit||24 October 2015||Report|
|2||2015 YCM Putrajaya ePrix||Putrajaya, Malaysia||Putrajaya Street Circuit||7 November 2015||Report|
|3||2015 FIA Formula E Punta del Este ePrix||Punta del Este, Uruguay||Playa Brava Beach Circuit||19 December 2015||Report|
|4||2016 FIA Formula E Buenos Aires ePrix||Buenos Aires, Argentina||Puerto Madero Circuit||6 February 2016||Report|
|5||2016 FIA Formula E Mexico City ePrix||Mexico City, Mexico||Autódromo Hermanos Rodríguez||12 March 2016||Report|
|6||2016 FIA Formula E Long Beach ePrix||Long Beach, USA||Long Beach Street Circuit||2 April 2016||Report|
|7||2016 Visa Paris ePrix||Paris, France||Circuit des Invalides||23 April 2016||Report|
|8||2016 BMW i Berlin ePrix||Berlin, Germany||Karl-Marx-Allee Circuit||21 May 2016||Report|
|9||2016 Visa London ePrix I||London, UK||Battersea Park Street Circuit||2 July 2016||Report|
|10||2016 Visa London ePrix I||London, UK||Battersea Park Street Circuit||3 July 2015||Report|
|2015/16 FIA Formula E Tests|
|I||2015 Donington Test||Donington Park||Donington Park||10-25 August 2015||Report|
|II||2015 Punta del Este Test||Punta del Este, Uruguay||Playa Brava Beach Circuit||20 December 2015||Report|
|CAN*||2016 FIA Formula E Moscow ePrix||Moscow, Russia||Moscow Street Circuit||4 June 2016||Report|
- * The 2016 Moscow ePrix was cancelled after difficulties in organising road closures in the city.
The second season of Formula E will be the first to include limited development of the cars, transforming the championship into an open series for the first time. The regulation changes are shown below:
2015/16 will see eight manufacturers join the series and produce parts for the teams. These manufacturers are limited to modifying the powertrain, or, more precisely, the electric motor, gearbox, inverter and cooling system. To lower costs, these manufacturers will all use the current Spark-Renault SRT_01E as both a basis and a shell for their products, in order to prevent a costly aero war.
Focus after the season will be expanded to batteries in order to extend their life, although Williams Advanced Engineering are expected to remain as a partner. Homologation of the new cars began on the 23rd of February 2015, with no other changes expected to either the cars or technical partners. Around six weeks before the start of the new season, the FIA announced that the maximum power available during ePrix would be upped to 170kw (228bhp), after Williams Advanced Engineering completed development on their batteries.
The points system is expected to remain as it had been for the 2014/15 Season, with points awarded from 1st to 10th using the FIA's standard points system. Additional points are also awarded to the pole setter and the fastest lap setter at each ePrix.
|2015/16 FIA Formula E Championship Points Table|
|Pole Position||Fastest Lap|
Each driver will be allocated ten tyres at each race meeting (for both of their cars) which must last for the entire race meeting. It was also expected that only the best ten of a driver's eleven results would count to the Championship, but the withdrawal of Moscow saw this rule dropped.
Below is a race report for every race of the season, including information about qualifying.
Before the conclusion of the 2014/15 Season, Spark Racing Technologies announced that they would be modifying the Spark-Renault SRT_01E's brake and suspension systems for the new season. Testing in Magny-Cours by Spark, with World Touring Car challenger Gregoire Demoustier was conducted before the 2015 Monaco ePrix, and allowed Spark to identify the areas it wished to improve before the new season.
The 2015 Donington Test was the only public test before the start of the season, and the last of any kind as the cars were shipped to Beijing the day after. Renault e.dams arguably left Donington Park in the best state, as Nicolas Prost and Sébastien Buemi topped three of the six days, and completed 353 laps of the circuit in total. They did not have it all their own way, however, as ABT Schaeffler Audi Sport topped two of the remaining days, and managed to break the lap record twice, with Lucas di Grassi setting the first sub 90 second lap of Donington Park in a Formula E car. Those two would start the season as favourites, as two teams, in stark contrast struggled.
The biggest strugglers in the Donington Test were Trulli, whose new Motomatica built machine only managed seven laps, and none at racing speed. Also struggling were Andretti, who decided to delay the competitive debut of their car until Season Three, having only managed 16 laps over five days. They ran their car to Season One spec on the final day of the test, completing 68 laps while assessing Robin Frijns for their second seat, and opted to compete using the Spark-Renault SRT_01E for the second season as a result.
Race One: Beijing ePrix (24 October 2015)
The first race of the new season saw a return to Beijing, China, with the field gathering for the first time since the Donington Tests on the 24 October 2015. The FIA organised a shakedown session on the Friday before the race to make sure that the cars were race worthy and to test modifications made to the circuit, including the removal of the first chicane.
Beijing witnessed the first ever use of the new "Super Pole" Shoot Out, with Sébastien Buemi defeating team mate Nicolas Prost, Nick Heidfeld, Lucas di Grassi and Jean-Eric Vergne. An impressive lap by Beumi in both the group and the shoot out saw him smash the qualifying record at the circuit by almost five seconds, as Prost ensure a Renault e.Dams one-two on the grid by taking second.
Buemi also made history in the race, as he set fastest lap on his way to victory from pole to become the first man to claim maximum points (30) in an ePrix. Virtually unchallenged throughout, the Swiss pulled clear of the field early on, leaving the rest to fight for second, a position that ultimately fell to di Grassi. The German had been in a race long fight with compatriot Heidfeld and Frenchman Prost, before a poor stop dropped Heidfeld, and a mechanical issue for Prost eliminated him from the race. Third went the way of veteran Heidfeld, who fended off a double headed Dragon challenge over the final laps.
Major incidents in the race included Simona de Silvestro running wide and causing the first ever Full Course Yellow in Formula E history, as well as an accident after the stops. António Félix da Costa was battling with débutante Jacques Villeneuve outside of the top ten when the Portuguese driver made a mistake on the brakes and slammed into the back of the Canadian. Da Costa immediately apologised as he climbed out of his car, with Villeneuve losing time but rejoining the race.
Race Two: Putrajaya ePrix (7 November 2015)
The series headed to the Malaysian city of Putrajaya for the second round of the season, held two weeks after the Beijing round. The race was also expected to provide the first direct comparison between the Season One and Season Two technology, after modifications to the Beijing circuit aided cars to go four seconds faster. There were no such changes expected to be made in Malaysia's financial capital.
For the second race in succession Sébastien Buemi dominated qualifying to be the fastest in both the groups and the Super Pole shootout. Joining him on the front row would be Stéphane Sarrazin for Venturi, the Frenchman setting the pace early on in the shootout. Loïc Duval and António Félix da Costa would share the second row, while Nicolas Prost completed the Super Pole shootout, ahead of Lucas di Grassi, the best of the rest.
Buemi's impressive form was carried into the race as the Swiss driver pulled ahead in the early stages of the race. Loïc Duval went with him after a good start, with da Costa running in third until a move by Prost after the first few minutes, before things began to unravel for the Renault e.Dams ahead of the stops. Overheating had been a threat to all the teams ahead of the weekend, yet it was race leader Buemi who was to be hit hardest as his Renault ground to a halt two laps before the stops. He would limp his car back to the pits and almost lose a lap, while Prost was called in two laps early to prevent any potential problems.
With the two e.Dams out of contention, the battle for the lead was on, with da Costa emerging from the stops in second behind Prost. He, however, would fall to di Grassi before they caught the conservative Frenchman, with the Brazilian making short work of the two moves to lead the race. Prost's plummet carried him down to tenth, as da Costa had an issue that dropped him down to seventh as Jérôme d'Ambrosio, Sam Bird and Robin Frijns drew in the leaders. Late race drama saw suspension failures for the two Dragon Racing cars amid a four car scrap for second, leaving Bird and Frijns on the podium behind di Grassi.
Race Three: Punta del Este ePrix (19 December 2015)
The series returned to the Uruguayan city of Punta del Este in mid-December for the third round of the season, using a partially redesigned circuit from 2014. The FIA also organised another test session for the Sunday after the race, which would allow the teams to optimise their performance for the rest of the season.
Sébastien Buemi looked set for a third consecutive pole of the season before a mistake in the Super Pole shootout saw him throw away his lap and start from fifth. A slightly less significant, but still costly mistake left Lucas di Grassi in fourth behind Sam Bird, meaning that there would be an all Dragon Racing front row for the first time. Loïc Duval went out second and bested Bird's early time to top the session, before a stunning lap from Jérôme d'Ambrosio put the Belgian on pole ahead of his French team mate.
Dust was an important factor at the start, costing the even side of the grid at least one position each off the line, as Buemi rose into fourth. Repeat performances from the Swiss driver saw him take Duval and Bird using the same move into turn four before a long scrap with d'Ambrosio unfurled for the lead. Less rapid gains were also being made by di Grassi, as he also made his way past Bird, but would be stuck behind both Dragons into the pits, Buemi pulling off a stunning move on d'Ambrosio for the lead using an ailing Bruno Senna to his advantage.
The second half of the race would be defined as a stalemate, as Bird pulled off having jumped ahead of Duval at the stops with an electrical failure. The race would also end under yellow flags after a huge crash on the penultimate lap for Nelson Piquet Jr. into the final chicane. The Brazilian was battling with Jean-Eric Vergne, and had damaged his suspension earlier in the lap after touching the wall, which failed into the braking zone for the chicane. His NEXTEV TCR was thrown into a shattering spin across the chicane, slamming into the opposite wall at high speed although, thankfully, the defending Champion was able to walk away unharmed.
After picking their way through the debris, Buemi claimed his second win of the season ahead of di Grassi and d'Ambrosio.
Race Four: Buenos Aires ePrix (6 February 2016)
Buenos Aires would host the first race of 2016, with the Championship using an unmodified circuit from 2015. The race would also see a debut for Mike Conway at Venturi, while Salvador Duran returned to Team Aguri in place of Nathanaël Berthon.
There was a shock result in qualifying for Buenos Aires, as Sam Bird claimed pole position for DS Virgin Racing as Sébastien Buemi made another mistake. This time Buemi threw away his lap in the group stages, meaning he would start from the very back of the field, although his major rival Lucas di Grassi failed to make the Super Pole shootout as well. Nicolas Prost would start from second, with António Félix da Costa starting ahead of the two Venturis who completed the shootout.
Bird sprinted away at the start to take the lead, as Buemi threw caution to the wind to rise from eighteenth to fifteenth at the first corner. The attention would focus on the Swiss racers progress as he continued his climb over the next few laps, before getting stuck as he broke into the top ten. There would be heart break at the front, however, as da Costa claimed second from Prost, before rolling to a stop just half a lap from the stops with a software failure. His car would be recovered under safety car conditions once everyone had completed their stops.
The stops and safety car worked to the advantage of Buemi, as the field was regrouped behind Bird. The Brit once again sprinted clear, but the attention was on the Swiss racer as he commenced the second part of his stunning ascent from the back. Prost moved aside with ease while a couple of tactical moves on Sarrazin and di Grassi meant that Buemi only had Bird left in his sights. Yet, the Brit had an energy advantage, and after one attempt by the Renault driver was able to guess where the Swiss driver would attempt to take him. Several lunges from Buemi failed, and meant that Bird won for the first time in 2015/16, ahead of Buemi and di Grassi as the Championship became a threeway tussle.
Race Five: Mexico City ePrix (12 March 2016)
A new venue to the Formula E calendar, Mexico City hosted its first ePrix on the 12 March 2016, replacing the Miami ePrix from 2015. The race would use a modified version of the purpose built Autódromo Hermanos Rodríguez in the heart of the city.
Another qualifying session and another mistake by Sébastien Buemi saw him throw away another potential pole position, the Swiss driver locking up into the second chicane in the Shootout and ruining his lap. In contrast, an incredible lap for Jérôme d'Ambrosio saw him claim pole ahead of Nicolas Prost, with the Belgian the only driver in the quintet not using a Renault or Schaeffler built car. Between Prost in second and Buemi in fifth were the two ABT Schaeffler cars, with Lucas di Grassi ahead of team mate Daniel Abt.
A strong start for d'Ambrosio saw him lead the race into the first corner, as the rest of the field had to scramble around for the very limited amount of space into the first chicane. One of the most tactical first halfs of an ePrix then unfolded, with Buemi stuck behind Prost, di Grassi and Abt, with everyone making minor mistakes before the stops. Elsewhere, contact between Loïc Duval and Jean-Eric Vergne saw the latter tumble down the order, while António Félix da Costa picked up a succession of penalties for a number of incidents.
The second half of the race saw di Grassi snatch the lead of the race using FanBoost, leaving d'Ambrosio and Buemi to fight it out for second. Their squabble came to accusations and contact as the end of the race approached, with d'Ambrosio holding on to finish second ahead of the Swiss driver as di Grassi swept home to take the lead in the Championship. Yet, the Brazilian's joy was short lived, as he was disqualified from the race for being underweight, meaning d'Ambrosio was declared the winner, ahead of Buemi and Prost.
Race Six: Long Beach ePrix (2 April 2016)
António Félix da Costa looked to have caused one of the shocks of the season as he swept to pole position for Team Aguri, despite using the older Spark-Renault SRT_01E. That was, until his lap time was taken away, his car having failed post-qualifying scrutineering due to under-pressurised tyres and meaning he would have to start from the back of the field. Sam Bird was therefore awarded pole position, while Championship contender Lucas di Grassi would start on the front row, six places ahead of Championship leader Sébastien Buemi.
Off the line an even start throughout the field saw Bird lead into the first corner, trailed by di Grassi and Stéphane Sarrazin, while António Félix da Costa began his fight from the back. Further down, Buemi was also making tracks, but a clumsy move to try to take sixth from Robin Frijns saw him smack into the back of the Andretti machine, putting both into their second cars too early, meaning they would have to conserve energy to the extreme to get to the end. There would then be a change at the front just before the rest of the field made their stops, as di Grassi launched an attack on Bird into turn five, snatching the lead before they swept into the pits.
The second half of the race was also filled with action, with Bird stalking di Grassi using better corner speeds to keep to the back of the slippery ABT Schaeffler machine. That was until the Brit locked his front wheels up into turn five, sliding into the outside wall. Fortunately the DS Virgin Racing machine was not damaged by the contact with the tyre barrier, although Bird dropped to seventh. Buemi dropped out of the top ten with a drive through just before Nelson Piquet Jr. ended his race in the barrier on the outside of the first chicane. Piquet's car was dragged away under safety car conditions, although with just two laps to go there were no major changes to the order, with di Grassi claiming his third career win, and the lead in the Championship.
Race Seven: Paris ePrix (23 April 2016)
Formula E made its first visit to the capital city of France on the 23 April, with the 7th Arrondissement section of Paris, specifically the roads around the Hotel national les Invalides, hosting the first ePrix on French soil.
One of the coldest sessions in Formula E's short history meant that building tyre temperatures up was a challenge given the small amount of time each driver had in qualifying. This was a particular problem for Sébastien Buemi, who once again struggled in qualifying compared to his rivals and so would start down in eighth as Championship leader Lucas di Grassi claimed second. Denying the Brazilian the three points for pole, however, would be Sam Bird, as he claimed his second pole in succession, with the heavy DS Virgin Racing cars building temperatures better than their rivals, as proved by Jean-Eric Vergne taking third in what was literally his home race.
A rare poor start for Bird allowed di Grassi to snatch the lead of the début Paris ePrix into the first corner, with the Brit also having to surrender second to his Parisian team mate through turn two. Further down the order Buemi was caught behind Oliver Turvey, with the first quarter of the race focusing on Turvey, Buemi, Robin Frijns and António Félix da Costa, the latter pair exchanging blows as Frijns snatched eighth away from the Portuguese. Débutante Ma Qing Hua was also in action, as he pulled spectacular, and successful, moves on Simona de Silvestro and Mike Conway in short order at the back of the field.
Shortly before the stops Vergne, Bird, Prost and Buemi ran nose to tail, Bird trying, and failing, to take his team mate before the stops, while Prost and Buemi swapped places. After the stops, di Grassi was out of sight at the front of the field, and after a few laps Bird and Vergne were battling again, with Bird just unable to get by. After trying another move through turn eight Bird lost momentum, allowing Buemi to sweep up to the back of his car, before getting a run on the Brit down the main straight. Bird opted to go defensive, but on the crown of the road managed to lock his front wheels and slide into an escape road, dropping him down to sixth. The race would ultimately end behind the BMW Qualcomm i8 safety car, after a heavy crash for Ma in the closing stages.
Race Eight: Berlin ePrix (21 May 2016)
To be announced.
Race Nine: London ePrix I (2 July 2016)
To be announced.
Race Ten: London ePrix II (3 July 2016)
To be announced.
Cancellations: Moscow ePrix (4 June 2016)
Moscow had originally been placed on the calendar as the ninth round of the season, set to be held on the 4 June. Yet, as early as February rumours in the Formula E paddock suggested that the race was in doubt as officials tried to negotiate with the city's officials to ensure that the roads for the circuit could be closed. Ultimately, the talks broke down in early May, and the Moscow ePrix was dropped from the calendar a little more than a month before it was scheduled to host its race. Alejandro Agag led negotiations with Monaco to try to establish a ninth round, but time constraints on the construction of the circuit on the Mediterranean coast meant that the calendar had to be reduced to ten rounds.
2015/16 featured ten entrants, eight of which were announced as having manufacturer backing for the first time. These teams have the choice to use manufacturer parts or use the venerable Spark-Renault format for their cars, although the Spark chassis would remain as the base for every entry. The team entry list was announced on the 2nd of July, 2015, with drivers duly appointed throughout the summer, before changes were made during the season.
The full 2015/16 FIA Formula E Championship entry list is outlined below:
- * The Trulli Formula E Team announced their withdrawal from the Championship on 15 December 2015, having failed to start the first two ePrix of the season.
- † Duran left Team Aguri during the 2015 Donington Test, joining Trulli before their demise. He then rejoined his former team on the 28th of January, replacing Nathanaël Berthon.
There were two Championships on offer during the 2015/16 FIA Formula E Championship season, one for drivers and the other for entrants.
2015/16 FIA Formula E Championship for Drivers
The 2015/16 Driver's Championship standings is shown below:
|2015/16 FIA Formula E Championship for Drivers Standings|
2015/16 FIA Formula E Championship for Teams
The 2015/16 Team's Championship standings is shown below:
|2015/16 FIA Formula E Championship for Teams Standings|
|8th||Team Aguri||da Costa||Ret||6th||6th||Ret||NC||Ret||8th||CAN||6th||11th||32|
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- 'Da Costa stripped of pole position', fiaformulae.com, (FIA Formula E, 02/04/2016), http://fiaformulae.com/en/news/2016/april/da-costa-stripped-of-pole-position/, (Accessed 03/04/2016)
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- Cite error: Invalid
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- Cite error: Invalid
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|ABB FIA Formula E Championship Seasons|
|2014/15 • 2015/16 • 2016/17 • 2017/18 • 2018/19 • 2019/20 • 2020/21 • 2021/22 • 2022/23|
|Nelson Piquet Jr. • Sébastien Buemi • Lucas di Grassi • Jean-Éric Vergne • António Félix da Costa • Nyck de Vries|
|Renault e.Dams • Audi Sport ABT Schaeffler • DS Techeetah • Mercedes-EQ Formula E Team|