|2020/21 Formula E World Championship|
FE became a World Championship in 2020/21.
|No. Rounds||15 (15 Races)|
|First Round||2021 Diriyah E-Prix I|
|Last Round||2021 Berlin E-Prix II|
|Entrants||Audi Sport; BMW; DS; Jaguar; Mahindra; Mercedes; NIO; Nissan; Penske; Porsche|
|Champion||Nyck de Vries 99 Pt(s)|
|2 Win(s), 1 Pole(s) 2 Fastest Lap(s)|
|Second||Edoardo Mortara 92 Pt(s)|
|1 Win(s), 0 Pole(s) 0 Fastest Lap(s)|
|Third||Jake Dennis 91 Pt(s)|
|2 Win(s), 1 Pole(s), 0 Fastest Lap(s)|
|Champion||Mercedes-EQ Formula E Team 183 Pt(s)|
|3 Win(s), 4 Pole(s) 4 Fastest Lap(s)|
|Second||Jaguar Racing 177 Pt(s)|
|2 Win(s), 1 Pole(s) 3 Fastest Lap(s)|
|Third||DS Techeetah 170 Pt(s)|
|2 Win(s), 3 Pole(s) 0 Fastest Lap(s)|
The 2020/21 Formula E Season, formally known as the 2020/21 ABB FIA Formula E World Championship, was the seventh edition of the ABB FIA Formula E Championship, an all-electric racing series. The seventh FE season was the first edition of the series to be classified as an FIA "World Championship", and feature the same mix of manufacturers, including Mercedes-Benz, Porsche and BMW, from the 2019/20 season.
The season was also set to see an update for the series' base car, the Spark SRT05e, which would be primarily focused on aesthetic changes to the bodywork. However, the implementation of the new "EVO" package was delayed as a result of the 2020 Covid-19 Pandemic, while a two year powertrain homologation was enforced to reduced costs in the wake of the Pandemic.
The off-season between the 2019/20 and 2020/21 seasons would be dominated by news that two manufacturers would leave the Championship at the end of the season. The first manufacturer to announce their impending withdrawal were Audi, who revealed on the 30 November 2020 that they would replace their FE programme with a return to the World Endurance Championship and the Dakar Rally. Their decision was followed on 2 December 2020 by that of BMW, who revealed they would also leave FE at the end of season seven having 'exhausted the opportunities' that the could exploit from the Series.
While the loss of two manufacturers was widely speculated to have weakened FE drastically, the series saw it as an opportunity to entice new entrants, particularly as there was a twelve-team limit to the grid. This optimism came after McLaren Racing announced that they had signed a deal with Formula E to retain an option to join the series as a manufacturer for the 2022/23 season, when the series was to introduce its new Generation 3 ruleset. McLaren would be permitted to join after their sister company, McLaren Applied Technologies, lost the contract which they had shared with Atieva to supply FE with batteries for the Spark SRT05e since 2018/19.
Elsewhere, Envision Virgin Racing announced a partnership with the UK Government ahead of the new season, continuing FE's relationship with the British establishment to promote the use of electric vehicles. The partnership would see Virgin run with the UK Government's 'Together for Our Planet' branding, after the British squad had been certified as carbon neutral, and become the second FE team after Mahindra Racing to be awarded FIA Three-Star Environmental Accreditation.
Mahindra would follow up their Environmental Accreditation award with news that they had become the first FE team, and the first entrant in an FIA licensed World Championship, to be certified as being carbon neutral since its inception. The achievement was certified by the ALLCOT Group, after Mahindra joined the UNFCCC Sports for Climate Action Framework earlier in the winter break.
The 2020/21 calendar was steadily assembled amid the 2020 Covid-19 Pandemic, which had seen the 2019/20 season take an enforced mid-season hiatus between March and July 2020. The impact of that delay that the provisional calendar for 2020/21, released on 19 June 2020, would be heavily condensed, with all of its races staged between January and July 2021. The calendar would also see significant changes in the order of the rounds, with Diriyah losing its spot as the opening round.
The provisional calendar released on 19 June 2020 revealed that the 2020/21 season would start at the Parque O'Higgins Circuit in Santiago, Chile, on 17 January 2021, the first time that Chile had hosted an opening FIA World Championship race. The series would then head to Mexico City and the Autódromo Hermanos Rodríguez on 13 February, before arriving in Diriyah, Saudi Arabia, for a double header on 26 - 27 February. The Rome E-Prix was then to be staged on the 10 April 2021, followed by a trip to Paris, France on 24 April 2021.
The Monaco E-Prix returned to the calendar on 8 May 2021, with the series evaluating whether to use the full layout for the first time. After that a lone TBC spot was listed on 5 June 2021, before the next confirmed round in Berlin, Germany was scheduled for 19 June. The series would then head to the United States and New York City on 10 July 2021, before the ExCeL E-Prix Circuit in London, UK, would host the final two races of the season on 24 - 25 July 2021.
On 24 November 2020 it was announced that the double-header in Riyadh would be staged under floodlights powered by a renewable energy source, with the start time pushed back to 20:00 local time so that the race would start at dusk. The renewable energy was to be sourced from burning low-carbon vegetable oil to power two light loops, one a series of low-consumption LEDs to light the main portion of the track, while another loop of conventional lights would be used to illuminate the wider area.
An update to the calendar was announced on 21 October 2020, which revealed a change to the start of the season, as well as two postponements. The first saw the Mexico City race postponed until later in the season, with a second round at Santiago replacing it on the calendar, making the opening round a double header. The second change saw the race at Sanya also postponed until a later date, although there would be no replacement for the trip to China announced initially.
Unfortunately the rise of Covid-19 cases over the winter of 2020 would result in the opening rounds in Santiago being postponed on 22 December 2020, with the Series planning to reimplement them towards the end of March instead. The Santiago E-Prix was later reintroduced into the calendar on 28 January 2021, with the two races at the Parque O'Higgins Circuit re-listed on 5 and 6 June 2021. That same calendar update would also remove the Paris and Seoul E-Prix from the schedule, with the former replaced by the inaugural Valencia E-Prix at the Circuit Ricardo Tormo, while the latter was swapped for the returning Marrakesh E-Prix.
Further revisions to the calendar were announced on 26 March 2021, with the Rome and Valencia E-Prix expanded to become double header events as fears of a third wave in the Covid-19 Pandemic battle against the hope of the worldwide vaccine roll-out. The addition of those two races came amid reports that the Marrakesh E-Prix was set to be dropped from the calendar, while the second half of the calendar, which was set to include the rescheduled Santiago, Berlin, New York and London E-Prix, was still awaiting confirmation.
On 22 April 2021 FE released what it hoped would be the final revision to its 2020/21 calendar, which saw widescale changes to the various other editions of the calendar since the Provisional one had been released back in June 2020. The Marrakesh and Santiago E-Prix were dropped, while the trip to Mexico was restored, albeit with a change in venue from Mexico City to the purpose built Autódromo Miguel E. Abed, which was to host a two headed Puebla E-Prix meeting on 19-20 June. The Series would then head to New York City E-Prix as planned on 10-11 July, before heading back across the Atlantic for a double header in London on 24-25 July.
The full calendar for the 2020/21 ABB FIA Formula E World Championship is outlined below:
|2020/21 FIA Formula E World Championship|
|1||2021 ABB Formula E Diriyah E-Prix I||Diriyah, Saudi Arabia||Ad Diriyah Street Circuit||26 February 2021||Report|
|2||2021 ABB Formula E Diriyah E-Prix II||Diriyah, Saudi Arabia||Ad Diriyah Street Circuit||27 February 2021||Report|
|3||2021 ABB Formula E Rome E-Prix I||Rome, Italy||Circuito Cittadino dell’EUR||10 April 2021||Report|
|4||2021 ABB Formula E Rome E-Prix II||Rome, Italy||Circuito Cittadino dell’EUR||11 April 2021||Report|
|5||2021 DHL Valencia E-Prix I||Valencia, Spain||Circuit Ricardo Tormo||24 April 2021||Report|
|6||2021 DHL Valencia E-Prix II||Valencia, Spain||Circuit Ricardo Tormo||25 April 2021||Report|
|7H||2021 ABB Formula E Monaco E-Prix||Monte Carlo, Monaco||Circuit de Monaco||8 May 2021||Report|
|8H||2021 CBMM Niobium Puebla E-Prix I||Puebla, Mexico||Autódromo Miguel E. Abed||19 June 2021||Report|
|9H||2021 CBMM Niobium Puebla E-Prix II||Puebla, Mexico||Autódromo Miguel E. Abed||20 June 2021||Report|
|10||2021 ABB New York City E-Prix I||New York City, USA||Brooklyn Street Circuit||10 July 2021||Report|
|11||2021 ABB New York City E-Prix II||New York City, USA||Brooklyn Street Circuit||11 July 2021||Report|
|12H||2021 Heineken London E-Prix I||London, UK||ExCeL E-Prix Circuit||24 July 2021||Report|
|13H||2021 Heineken London E-Prix II||London, UK||ExCeL E-Prix Circuit||25 July 2021||Report|
|14||2021 BMW i Berlin E-Prix I||Berlin, Germany||Tempelhofring||14 August 2021||Report|
|15||2021 BMW i Berlin E-Prix II||Berlin, Germany||Tempelhofring R||15 August 2021||Report|
|CAN||2021 FIA Formula E Marrakesh E-Prix||Marrakesh, Morocco||Circuit Moulay El Hassan||22 May 2021|
|CAN||2021 FIA Formula E Mexico City E-Prix||Mexico City, Mexico||Autódromo Hermanos Rodríguez||13 February 2021|
|CAN||2021 FIA Formula E Sanya E-Prix||Sanya, China||Haitang Bay Circuit||13 March 2021|
|CAN||2021 FIA Formula E Paris E-Prix||Paris, France||Circuit des Invalides||24 April 2021|
|CAN||2021 FIA Formula E Santiago E-Prix I||Santiago, Chile||Parque O'Higgins Circuit||5 June 2021|
|CAN||2021 FIA Formula E Santiago E-Prix II||Santiago, Chile||Parque O'Higgins Circuit||6 June 2021|
|CAN||2021 FIA Formula E Seoul E-Prix||Seoul, South Korea||Seoul Street Circuit||23 May 2021|
- H Indicates that the round was subject to circuit homologation.
For 2020/21 the FE field would also return to the familiar Circuit Ricardo Tormo in Valencia, Spain, for its annual pre-season group test, which was planned to run between 28 November to 2 December 2020. Of those days, four would be given over to testing, while the 30 November would serve as a media day between the two pairs of two six-hour test days. After that, the FE cars and equipment was to be shipped to Santiago over the Festive period in order to reach Santiago in time for the season opener on 17 January 2021.
The official announcement of the testing schedule would be made on 13 November 2020, with a modification made to the original run plan. Indeed, the testing weekend was reduced by a single day, meaning there would only be three days of running at the Valencian circuit. Furthermore, the Circuit de Valencia would not have an artificial chicane added to the start/finish straight for the first time since FE had visited the circuit.
The full list of collective tests staged as part of the 2020/21 FIA Formula E World Championship is outlined below:
|2020/21 FIA Formula E Tests|
|I||2020 Valencia Test||Valencia, Spain||Circuit Ricardo Tormo||28 November - 1 December 2020||Report|
The full 2020/21 FIA Formula E World Championship entry list will be outlined below:
Race One: Diriyah E-Prix I (26 February 2021)
The 2020/21 season would open with a double header at the Ad Diriyah Street Circuit in Diriyah, Saudi Arabia on 26 February 2021, after the Santiago E-Prix was postponed until later in the season.
Qualifying for the opening round of the season would see Nyck de Vries sweep to his maiden FE pole position, the Dutchman topping the timesheets in both the group stage and Super Pole. The #17 Mercedes would be joined on the front row by the #99 Porsche of Pascal Wehrlein, while René Rast and Edoardo Mortara shared the second row. Alex Lynn and Mitch Evans also made it to Super Pole for the opening round, while defending Champion António Félix da Costa would start the season down in eighteenth place.
After night fell in Diriyah the race got underway, with de Vries sweeping into the lead unopposed as Wehrlein fended off Rast to hold second. Behind the field would get through the chicane without issue and largely in grid order, with the only move of note coming when Evans lunged past Lynn for fifth. With that de Vries set about building a lead, although Wehrlein and Rast would keep within touching distance during the early stages.
Once Wehrlein's pace wavered Rast was able to take up the mantle, blitzing past the #99 Porsche before charging away to hunt de Vries for the lead. Wehrlein, meanwhile, would fall into the sights of Evans, although it was Mortara who passed the Porsche for third first, the Swiss racer carving past Evans and Wehrlein in one fell swoop approaching the chicane. That came moments before the Safety Car was scrambled for the first time, as Lynn put Sam Bird into the barriers to end both drivers' evenings at turn one.
De Vries aced the restart to break clear when the race resumed, only to be dragged back into the sights of a now second placed Mortara by another SC, this time courtesy of a heavy accident for Maximilian Günther. The race restarted for a second time with five minutes to go, with de Vries once again sprinting clear to claim an unassailable lead, with the Dutchman duly securing his maiden victory by four seconds. Mortara, meanwhile, would fight a rear-guard action to deny first Rast and then Evans second place, with the New Zealander sneaking onto the podium ahead of the German, while Wehrlein was a disappointed fifth on his debut for Porsche.
Race Two: Diriyah E-Prix II (27 February 2021)
One day after the opening race of the campaign the class of 2020/21 would regather at the Diriyah E-Prix circuit for the second race of the season, which would again be held under the floodlights on 27 February 2021.
Qualifying for the second Diriyah race would be dominated by news that all four Mercedes powered entries would be unable to qualify on safety grounds, after a software glitch sent Mortara heavily into the barriers in practice. The Swiss racer would go to hospital for checks but was released after no injuries were found, with Mercedes instructed to implement a remedial software update to all four cars. The absence of Mortara, de Vries, Stoffel Vandoorne and Norman Nato would hence open the door for other drivers to challenge for pole, resulting in a rather surprise result in Super Pole.
Robin Frijns would ultimately win the shootout to secure pole position for the first time in his FE career, defeating Sérgio Sette Câmara in the year-old Dragon/Penske. Bird would star the race from third ahead of Oliver Turvey in the unfancied NIO, while Tom Blomqvist and Nico Müller turned heads by getting the second respective NIO and Dragon entries into fifth and sixth.
All four Mercedes cars were permitted to start the second race of the season from the back of the grid, although Mortara would not take part as his car was too heavily damaged to be repaired for the race. At the front, meanwhile, Frijns would convert pole into an early lead, while Bird made early progress by dancing the #10 Jaguar past Sette Câmara to secure second. With that the lead duo were away, with Frijns holding onto the lead ahead of Bird, while Sette Câmara and co. fell back into the pack.
The Frijns/Bird fight would continue through to the middle phase of the race, with Attack Mode seeing them exchange places twice before the fight settled again. Behind, da Costa and Jean-Éric Vergne would steadily catch the duo after clearing the NIOs and Dragons, only for the two DS Techeetah teammates to hit each other in a clumsy set of manoeuvres, ending their hopes of victory. Bird, with the pressure off behind him, would duly seize the initiative, using his second AM boost to scythe past Frijns to secure the lead.
That move proved to be a timely one, for the race would be ended by a quick-fire run of FCY, SC and then a red flag courtesy of two unrelated but simultaneous accidents at the turn eighteen/nineteen chicane. The first saw Günther clumsily smack Blomqvist out of the points, the #88 NIO spinning down outside of the points while fending off several drivers for eighth. That came moments before Evans and Lynn hit each other on the entry to the chicane, result in Lynn driving over the back of the #20 Jaguar before his car flipped upside down and skated down the escape road. Evans rushed to aid his fellow racer, with Lynn later extracted by the medical team and taken to hospital for checks.
The race results were officially declared on lap 29, with Bird proclaimed as the winner ahead of Frijns, while da Costa secured third. Lynn, meanwhile, would be discharged from hospital the day after without injury, while there were some worrying explosions among the post-race firework display. These explosions were later revealed to be missile interceptions made by the Saudi government, after Yemeni Houthi rebels fired their weaponry at Diriyah in a bid to target Saudi figures at the FE event.
Race Three: Rome E-Prix I (10 April 2021)
Race three of the campaign would see the FE field head to Rome, Italy, and the Circuito Cittadino dell’EUR on 10 April 2021, with the Roman circuit having been modified and extended for its third E-Prix.
Drizzle would affect qualifying for the first Rome E-Prix of the campaign, with Vandoorne ultimately emerging on pole position for Mercedes. His gain was Oliver Rowland's loss, for the British racer had looked certain to claim pole for himself, only to crash at the final corner having been several tenths up on the Belgian racer. Rowland would hence line-up in third behind André Lotterer, with Lucas di Grassi, Vergne and Günther having also made it to the shootout.
Rain would fall steadily between qualifying and the race, with the new tarmac making the circuit so slippery in places that Race Control opted to start the race behind the new MINI Electric Pacesetter Safety Car. After one lap the race began in full anger, with Lotterer instantly attacking Vandoorne into turn seven, only for the two to collide and slide towards the outside wall. Both would fall down the field as they rejoined as Rowland sneaked past to secure the lead, only for the #22 Nissan e.Dams to be sent into the pits to serve a penalty for power overuse.
di Grassi hence led the race in the opening stages from Vergne, with the Frenchman crawling all over the back of the #11 Audi now that he was armed with the new DS Techeetah powertrain. Attack Mode would ultimately settle their fight, Vergne getting ahead by taking his second boost earlier than the Brazilian, while behind Bird moved into third with a stunning move on Frijns. Evans, meanwhile, would find his way past Frijns for third, having also elbowed his way past de Vries and a recovering Vandoorne, before the race was ended behind the SC.
The catalyst for the SC would be di Grassi, who lost drive while hounding Vergne for the lead exiting turn four after a driveshaft failed. He would coast through turns five and six, resulting in several drivers taking avoiding action and Vandoorne hitting a bump that pitched him into a spin towards the wall. The #5 Mercedes was then hit by the sister car of de Vries, sending both cars out of the race and out, with debris sent scattering across the track all the way to turn seven.
The race would hence finish behind the Safety Car, with Vergne the winner ahead of Bird and Evans, a result which elevated Bird into the lead of the Championship.
Race Four: Rome E-Prix II (11 April 2021)
The fourth race of the campaign would also be held in Rome, with the EUR circuit hosting its fourth E-Prix on 11 April 2021, after the Covid-19 Pandemic forced the calendar to change for a second time on 28 January 2021.
Rain would play its hand again for qualifying for the second race in Rome, with changing conditions ensuring that two rookies ended up on the front row. Nick Cassidy ultimately emerged on pole, ahead of Nato by a third of a second, while Pascal Wehrlein and Stoffel Vandoorne shared the second row. Maximilian Günther and Alexander Sims also made it to Super Pole but were well off the pace, while Championship leader Bird found himself down in eleventh.
For the second race in succession the race would start behind the Safety Car due to the conditions, although this time many drivers would question the decision given the fact that the circuit was drier than it had been on Saturday. That, however, would be of little solace to Cassidy, who assumed the lead when the race began on lap two, only for a software glitch to send him spinning down an escape road at turn three. the New Zealander duly rejoined in the midfield between Bird and Evans, with Nato instead assuming the lead ahead of Wehrlein and Vandoorne.
Nato held the lead for a couple of laps before Wehrlein and Vandoorne elbowed their way past, with the #99 Porsche having to defend from the #5 Mercedes throughout the early laps. Attack Mode would then see Vandoorne secure the lead, with Wehrlein's hopes to respond with the boost ended by a FCY moments after he armed his AM boost. The cause was a collision between di Grassi and Sébastien Buemi, which saw the pair make contact on the entry for turn seven as they fought for eighth place.
At the restart Wehrlein was caught sleeping, with Sims instantly darting around the #99 Porsche to secure second, albeit some five seconds behind Vandoorne. The race looked to be over from that point until a late Safety Car was required to clear up an accident for Rast, who had broken his suspension at the final corner before crashing heavily at turn one, setting up a last lap sprint for victory. That fight would ultimately be won by Vandoorne, who had to use FanBoost to keep Sims at bay, while Wehrlein secured third after Nato was disqualified for running out of energy.
Race Five: Valencia E-Prix I (24 April 2021)
After a revision to the original schedule the FIA Formula E class of 2020/21 would head to the Circuit Ricardo Tormo for the first ever Valencia E-Prix on 24 April 2021, using a modified version of FE's normal pre-season test venue.
Qualifying for the first ever battle of Valencia for FE would see Stoffel Vandoorne claim pole position, despite the fact that the Belgian youth would qualify in group one. He would, however, be thrown out of qualifying due to an error with his car's technical passport, which saw the #5 Mercedes use an undeclared tyre during the session, handing pole to António Félix da Costa. Behind da Costa would have been Nyck de Vries, although the #17 Mercedes was relegated to seventh due to a pre-qualifying penalty, leaving Maximilian Günther on the front row alongside da Costa.
Rain before the race meant that the Circuit Ricardo Tormo was soaked, meaning the officials would start the race behind the Safety Car for a third successive race. After one lap the race would fully get underway, with da Costa leaping into the lead, while Günther slithered into second ahead of Alex Lynn and Oliver Rowland. It was not long, however, before the MINI Electric Pacesetter was back out on the circuit, for André Lotterer would clumsily knock Sébastien Buemi out at turn nine.
After a three minute intervention the race resumed, with da Costa sprinting clear, while Günther became a rolling road block, with Lynn and Rowland stuck behind him. All three of those would be passed by de Vries as the Dutchman eased up the order, before Günther slid out of the race after being bumped back down the order by Lynn, Alexander Sims and Rowland in short order. The #28 BMW-Andretti would end up beached in the gravel, triggering a third SC intervention after fifteen minutes.
When the race resumed Attack Mode came into play, although that was not enough for de Vries to pass da Costa, who instead focused on conserving energy. However, there would be a fourth SC period to cover the removal of Sérgio Sette Câmara from turn nine after contact with Mitch Evans, before a fifth SC was called upon to remove Lotterer from the gravel at turn one. The latter SC intervention would end with a minute left on the clock, although with over 20 kWh of energy reductions, the majority of the field would start the penultimate tour with a severe energy deficit.
da Costa would complete the penultimate lap at full race speed, only to realise that the chequered flag was not being flown, despite the fact he only had 1% battery left. He dramatically slowed allowing de Vries, still with 4% energy in hand, to sweep past and claim victory, with numerous other drivers slowing to a crawl to make it to the chequered flag. da Costa would become one of five drivers to be disqualified from running out of energy, while Nico Müller and Vandoorne would complete the podium in the late-race shuffle.
Race Six: Valencia E-Prix II (25 April 2021)
After a third revision to the FE calendar for 2020/21 a second race at Valencia was added at the Circuit Ricardo Tormo, which was to be staged on 25 April 2021, with DHL also becoming title sponsors for both events. The race would also be the 75th E-Prix to be held as part of the FIA Formula E Championship.
Rain had remained in Valencia ahead of qualifying for the second Valencia E-Prix, although come the end of the session the circuit had a distinct dry line, meaning all six drivers from group four would make it into the shootout. Jake Dennis was the main beneficiary, running last in Super Pole to claim pole position ahead of Lotterer in the #36 Porsche, before the German veteran was relegated back to fifth due to a penalty carried over from the first Valencia race. Indeed, such were the conditions in Super Pole that the top six from the group stage would qualify in the order in which they had got into Super Pole, with Lynn, Tom Blomqvist, Oliver Turvey and Norman Nato completing the sextet.
The sun would finally break out from the clouds after qualifying, meaning the Valencian circuit would finally be completely dry for the first time since FP2 on Saturday morning. The near-perfect racing conditions hence led to pessimistic calls that the race would be dictated by energy consumption, with no-one wanting to lead the race and give a slipstream advantage to those behind. As a result there was little surprise when Dennis was able to ease into the lead without being attacked from Lynn behind, while the two NIOs swapped places with Turvey lunging past Blomqvist for third.
The race quickly settled into a stalemate with Lynn tucked in right behind Dennis, with everyone else deciding to hold position in a long crocodile behind the #27 BMW out front. Indeed, it was only when Sette Câmara lunged at Buemi that a space opened up, although the Brazilian youth would catch back up to the back of da Costa in ninth at the back of the lead group. Instead, it was the intervention of Attack Mode that would finally shuffle the order, although Dennis would remain in the lead throughout, while Lynn had to battle back from behind Turvey to reclaim second.
The second round of AM would leave Dennis with a small lead over Nato, who received a penalty for spinning Lynn around at turn nine, while behind René Rast charged up to third, taking Lotterer with him, before sliding back down after using too much energy. On the penultimate tour BMW radioed Dennis to tell him to slow into the chicane, for the Brit was set to cross the line with a second left on the clock, meaning the race would go on for an extra lap. Dennis duly slowed, allowing the rest of the top seven to close up, before completing the final lap at full speed to secure his maiden FE victory and podium ahead of Lotterer and a recovering Lynn.
Race Seven: Monaco E-Prix (8 May 2021)
The first ever qualifying battle around the full Circuit de Monaco (barring a minor tweak to the Nouvelle Chicane) would be won by da Costa in the #13 DS Techeetah, the Portuguese ace beating Robin Frijns by just 0.012s. Indeed, the fight for pole position would be insanely tight, with Mitch Evans missing out by just 0.051s in third, and Jean-Éric Vergne missing the mark by 0.059s. Furthermore, just a second would cover the top twenty-two drivers in the group stage of qualifying, the outliers being de Vries, who knocked a switch on his run and lost power, and Sette Câmara who spun out on his run at the final corner.
At the start of the Monaco E-Prix it was da Costa who jumped into the lead, as behind Evans tried to lunge down the inside of Frijns but had to settle for third. It would be a surprisingly tame start to the race, until Pascal Wehrlein, who had made a mess of his getaway, was struck in the rear entering the hairpin, and would hence go literally climbing over the back of Sims' #29 Mahindra. Wehrlein continued but with damage, while Sims was out with heavy damage to the left side of his car, although the Brit would manage to limp his car to safety.
With no early Safety Car the race would evolve naturally, with da Costa initially able to establish a lead, before Frijns came lunging past at the start of lap four to secure the lead. Those two would continue to run nose-to-tail until da Costa armed AM, dropping him back behind Evans and Vergne who were fighting over third at the time. That fight would end up with contact at the chicane, which saw Evans cut across the run-off after a lunge from Vergne, with da Costa able to charge past the pair of them unhindered, with Günther following him through.
That contact would hand the lead back to da Costa when Frijns armed his AM, although the #4 Virgin would manage to catch and pass the DS Techeetah with the boost after da Costa's AM ended. Frijns would opt to instantly arm AM for the second time after his first use finished, firing him back past da Costa, who would wait a few laps longer to take AM himself, while Evans and Vergne ended up back ahead of Günther. Evans would then use AM to pull off one of the moves of the season, first driving right around the outside of Frijns into Sainte Devote for second, before jinking around da Costa through Beau Rivage for the lead.
A late SC intervention for an accident for Rast would setup a six minute sprint to the flag, with Evans holding 1% less energy than da Costa and Frijns behind. da Costa would finally lunge back past for the lead into the chicane on the final tour to secure victory, while Evans resisted Frijns through to the run to the chequered flag on the start/finish straight, when the #20 Jaguar hit 0%. Frijns duly darted past to claim second at the line, beating the New Zealander by 0.024s, while Vergne just fell shy of the Jaguar and had to settle for fourth.
Rules and Regulations
There would be no major changes to the technical or sporting rule books ahead of the seventh FE season, after plans to introduce an upgrade to the Spark SRT05e dropped due to the 2020 Covid-19 Pandemic.
The 2020/21 season was expected to see a major aesthetic update to the Series' base Generation 2 chassis, the Spark SRT05e, after suggestions from teams to modify how the chassis behaved. These thoughts were focused on modifying the front of the car, as the robust nature of the original SRT05e car meant that there was an increasing amount of contact between drivers without the compromise of damaging the car. The new update, dubbed the Spark SRT05e EVO update, introduced a smaller front wing, dubbed as being "self punishing", removed the body work over the front wheels and introduced a shark fin down the spine of the chassis behind the cockpit.
However, after releasing renders and liveries for the Spark SRT05e Evo the FIA and FE opted to delay the Evo update, after the Covid-19 Pandemic caused major delays to the 2019/20 season. The update was then officially cancelled after the 2019/20 season was completed as part of cost-cutting measures, with the series instead switching focus to the Generation 3 ruleset, set to be implemented in 2022/23. Indeed, the manufacturer deadline for teams and manufacturers to submit designs for homologation for the Gen 3 rules was set to pass in January 2021, although this was extended to June 2021 in September 2020.
There would, however, be a modification made to the specification of the Spark SRT05e, with a new 80kg mandatory minimum weight allocation implemented to accommodate the driver and their equipment. This change was made to better balance the weight tolerances for taller drivers compared to shorter drivers, making it compulsory that all teams allow a minimum of 80kg for their driver and their seat insert. This would help to prevent taller or heavier drivers adopting low calorie diets or training regimes that could potentially affect their health, and ensure that teams could not play with ballast as much to alter their pace.
There would be no changes made to the sporting rulebook ahead of the seventh FE season, despite the fact that the Championship would become a World Championship for the first time.
There would, however, be a change to the sporting rulebook midway through the season, after the disastrous 2021 Valencia E-Prix I had seen five drivers disqualified and three unclassified due to running out of energy before the end of the race. The issue in that race had been the fact that five Safety Car periods had seen a combined total of 21 kWh of energy removed from drivers, which left the majority of the field with less that 3% energy to complete the final two laps. To combat this, the FIA and FE signed off on an updated ruleset for the SC period ahead of the 2021 Monaco E-Prix, which would see no energy deduction carried out if an SC period started or entered into the final five minutes of the race.
Outlined below is a full breakdown of the point scoring system for the 2020/21 ABB FIA Formula E World Championship:
|2020/21 ABB FIA Formula E World Championship Points Table|
|Group Fastest||Pole Position||Fastest Lap*|
- * In order to be eligible for the bonus point for fastest lap, a driver must finish in the top ten of the race.
FIA Super Licence Points
Outlined below is a full breakdown of the how FIA Super Licence points were distributed for the 2020/21 FIA Formula E Championship, based on final Championship position:
|2020/21 ABB FIA Formula E World Championship Super Licence Points|
- * The FE Champion automatically qualifies for a full Super Licence.
A minimum of 40 Super Licence points, scored in the previous three seasons, are required for a driver to apply for an FIA Super Licence in order to compete in Formula One. A driver must also be over the age of 18, hold an International Grade A competition licence and a valid road car licence, complete an FIA theory test on F1 sporting regulations, and have completed two full (80% or more) seasons of an FIA accredited Championship.
In order to compete in the FIA Formula E Championship a driver must hold an e-Licence, which they can obtain by holding 20 FIA Super Licence points, and attend a FIA training session on electrical safety. Any driver that holds or has held an FIA Super Licence is automatically eligible for an e-Licence.
2020/21 ABB FIA Formula E World Championship for Drivers
The full 2020/21 FIA Formula E World Championship for Drivers standings are to be outlined below:
|2020/21 ABB FIA Formula E World Championship for Drivers|
2020/21 ABB FIA Formula E World Championship for Teams
The full 2020/21 FIA Formula E World Championship for Teams standings are to be outlined below:
|2020/21 ABB FIA Formula E World Championship for Teams|
Videos and Images:
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- 'Reigning champion da Costa takes Julius Baer Pole Position for the Monaco E-Prix', fiaformulae.com, (FIA Formula E, 08/05/2021), https://www.fiaformulae.com/en/news/2021/may/monaco-e-prix-qualifying-report, (Accessed 08/05/2021)
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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|