Archive for the ‘Formula E’ Category

Vergne claims pole for Formula E debut

Saturday, December 13th, 2014

12.13.14 (via RACER.com) – Former Toro Rosso Formula 1 racer Jean-Eric Vergne will start his first Formula E race from pole position after setting the quickest time in Punta del Este qualifying.

Despite running in the first session, which is usually slowest due to the track cleaning up through the four-session qualifying process, Vergne set an unbeatable 1m15.408s lap, brushing a wall along the way in his Andretti Autosport-run car. The performance was a brilliant effort given that he had never driven the Spark-Renault until this weekend.

 

In the second session, Sebastien Buemi looked the man most likely to topple his fellow ex-Toro Rosso racer, and set the fastest first sector but locked up at Turn 17. His DAMS teammate Nico Prost then topped Buemi on his last lap by 0.12 seconds. But neither DAMS car will start from the front row, as Nelson Piquet Jr. annexed second on the grid with a storming final sector in his China Racing machine. His lap was only 0.122sec off Vergne's pole time.

 

The shock of the third session was Malaysia winner Sam Bird crashing out on his first flying lap at Turn 17. His Virgin car nosed into the TechPro barrier, and took no further part in the session.

 

Jerome d'Ambrosio also crashed, his right-rear clipping the wall at the exit of Turn 1, and he too failed to set a time.

 

Bird's teammate Jaime Alguersuari will start fifth, having topped practice in the morning, with championship leader Lucas di Grassi next up for Abt, just 0.05sec slower. Jarno Trulli and Bruno Senna will share row four, ahead of Nick Heidfeld and Daniel Abt.

 

As expected, due to the low grip levels of the beachside street circuit, there were plenty of spins and collisions with the walls. Antonio Felix da Costa brushed the fence at the quick chicane, but not before he'd set the 13th-fastest time. Stephane Sarrazin will start next to him, but spun at Turn 1.

 

Matthew Brabham hit the wall in the second session, damaging his Andretti Autosport car on his first flying lap and joining the three-strong list of drivers who failed to record a time.

 

The race runs this afternoon, and airs tonight on FOX Sports 1 at 9:00 p.m. Eastern.

 

 

 

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Brabham back in Andretti Formula E lineup for Uruguay

Friday, December 12th, 2014

12.12.14 (via RACER.com) – Matthew Brabham will return to the Formula E championship this weekend in Uruguay, replacing Franck Montagny at the Andretti Autosport team.

 

Brabham, the grandson of three-time Formula 1 world champion Sir Jack Brabham, made his debut in the series in Putrajaya in Malaysia last month when he stood in for Frenchman Charles Pic.

 

Andretti said on Friday that regular driver Montagny would be unable to race in Punta del Este this weekend, with the Frenchman citing health reasons, meaning reserve Brabham will get his second outing.

 

The American-born 20-year-old spent 2014 with Andretti's Indy Lights team. He will race alongside ex-Toro Rosso F1 driver Jean-Eric Vergne, who is making his Formula E debut this weekend.

 

 

 

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Jean-Eric Vergne to compete with Andretti Formula-E

Monday, December 8th, 2014

12.8.2014 – The Andretti Formula-E Team will place Frenchman Jean-Éric Vergne behind the wheel of the No. 28 electric-powered machine for Round Three of Formula E competition in Punta del Este.

“It’s not often that you get to race at this time of the year,” said Vergne. “I am really looking forward to this opportunity, especially given its location in a place like Punta del Este. Although I have no experience in this new series, I am excited about the prospect of racing in Formula E, and racing for such a prestigious team as Andretti. As always, the main objective of the weekend is to stay out front and finish the year on a high note. The weekend will be a little like a journey into the unknown, but it is a journey that I am thoroughly looking forward to!”  

The 24-year-old Vergne has three seasons of FIA Formula 1™ World Championship experience and has participated in seven championships throughout his career, recording 40 victories and 68 podiums. The 2010 British Formula 3 Champion will join fellow countryman Franck Montagny to complete the Andretti Formula-E two-car lineup for the American team led by Michael Andretti.

“We’re really happy to put JEV (Jean-Éric Vergne) in the car for Punta del Este,” said Andretti. “He has great talent and we think he’ll pair well with our team for competitive results. I also think having interest and participation from respected F1 drivers shows great strength and the true potential for Formula E as a series and World Championship.”

The Punta del Este ePrix will mark the Formula E debut for Vergne, who competed full-time on the Formula 1 circuit with Scuderia Toro Rosso where he ranked 13th in the 2014 F1 Drivers’ standings. The previous two rounds in the inaugural all-electric racing series saw the team’s full-season championship driver Montagny, as well as Charles Pic and reserve driver Matthew Brabham in competition for Andretti.

Catch all of the on-track action Saturday, from practice to the 35-lap race, with live timing and scoring via http://www.fiaformulae.com/en/live.aspx or follow along on Twitter with @AndrettiFE.

Fans can cast their vote for Vergne or teammate Montagny in the Formula E #FanBoost by visiting http://fanboost.fiaformulae.com.

 

 

“I learned the track from a piece of paper!”

Monday, December 1st, 2014

12.1.2014 (via fiaformulae.com) – Matthew Brabham received an 11th-hour call up to race for the Andretti Formula E team in Malaysia. Despite only landing in Kuala Lumpur on Friday morning, he was able to start the Putrajaya ePrix from ninth on the grid. In the incident-packed race he came home 13th. Here are his thoughts on the event.
 
You received a late call-up, how were you able to prepare for not only driving the cars, but also the conditions given the heat and humidity in Malaysia?
 
“It’s been a challenge for sure. It was a last-minute call-up and it took me 14 hours to get to Dubai and then seven hours to Malaysia. When we arrived I didn’t have time to walk the track so just went straight out for the Friday evening practice. It’s definitely a tough track to learn as well. It was a lot more challenging than Beijing and it was a lot more fun as well. I enjoyed it, but it was definitely tough. When I first went out in that first session I didn’t really know what way some of the corners went, but once I’d figured it out it was alright.”
 
So you hadn’t even driven the track in the simulator?
 
“No, not at all. I was given the track layout on a piece of paper on the plane and that’s all I was armed with!”
 
Having tested the car at Donington, what did it feel like to finally drive the car in its proper surroundings?
 
“It was great. Being a tight track the car felt a lot quicker because the walls were going by quicker. It’s definitely a good street-track car. It was able to make all the tight turns relatively easily, it handled quite well, it had good grip on a track with no rubber on it. I was impressed.”
 
How did you feel you performed?
 
“You always feel that you could have done better. I think if I hadn’t done a mistake on the first lap and hit that guy [Heidfeld] in the hairpin – sorry to them, it’s just my mistake, I got a little too ambitious – I could have easily made the pass, had I just broke a little bit earlier, but unfortunately I overshot the pass and that really kind of screwed up our race. I think we had really good pace and there was so much carnage out there and things going on I felt that if I’d just stayed where I was I would have been right out the front and it would have been possible to get on the podium, but it didn’t work out that way. But I learnt a lot and I’m taking a lot of experience away from this. There’s a lot to be learned and I’m very grateful to be out on track with these guys and I’m grateful for the opportunity from Andretti.”
 
Will you be racing again?
 
“I hope so. I’d love to come back. It’s a great series and it’s got some great drivers it in and I’d love to be in it for a while and do some more races but nothing is set in stone yet…we’ll see what happens when we get closer to the race, but I’d love to be back.”
 
 
 
 
 
 

Brabham to make Formula E Race Debut

Friday, November 21st, 2014

11.21.2014 (via SpeedCafe.com) – Matthew Brabham will make his FIA Formula E race debut with Andretti Autosport as a replacement for Charles Pic at Malaysia this weekend.
 
The 20-year-old has been promoted from his role as reserve driver at the American outfit and will now become the youngest driver on the 20 car grid for the second round of the all electric championship at Putrajaya.
 
Brabham has already experienced the revolutionary Spark-Renault SRT_01E Formula E car having taken part in two tests at Donington Park earlier this year.
The Indy Lights racer also joined up with the Andretti Autosport team at the opening round of the championship in Beijing, where Andretti drivers Franck Montagny and Pic finished second and fourth respectively.
 
“It’s going to be an exciting weekend to race in Malaysia, it’s come about fairly quickly, but I’m ready for the challenge,” said Brabham.
 
“The Andretti Formula E team worked hard on preparing these unique cars for tight street circuits and that paid dividends in China. I’ve been communicating closely with the engineers since then to come up with new ideas and strategies for the future races – so hopefully we can move forward again.
 
“Formula E caught my eye from the beginning – the technology is intriguing and to get the chance to finally race after doing some early testing is really cool.
 
“The talent and experience in the field is tremendous – it’s the best that you’re likely to see outside a Formula 1 World Championship race. As an up and coming driver, it’s very rare that you get an opportunity to race drivers with such experience.
 
“I’m the youngest in the field, which is a real honour, but that doesn’t mean anything when the lights go out – I’m there to do a job for Andretti Formula E and position myself as best I can.”
 
 
 
 
 
 

Brabham calls debut of Formula E series a ‘great success’

Tuesday, September 16th, 2014

9.16.14 (via Motorsport.com) – Matthew Brabham, reserve driver for the Andretti Autosport Formula-E team for the first round of the FIA’s all electric Series held in China, is enthused about the forward progress of the Championship.

Following a successful test session in the electric-powered Dallara chassis last month in England, the 20-year-old was drafted into the squad to assist drivers, Franck Montagny (in photo above) and Charles Pic at the circuit which circulated the Beijing Olympic precinct.

It was a tremendous success for the Andretti Formula E team and its two French drivers. Montagny finished second and Pic came home fourth in the dramatic event, that saw the two leaders – Nico Prost and Nick Heidfeld collide on the final corner, Heidfeld rolling into the barriers.

Brabham’s key area was to work with the team and drivers on the strategy to maximise the battery power on the electric cars.

He walked away from China believing that Formula E has a fantastic future and with a majority of the field featuring international drivers with modern Formula 1, IndyCar and sportscar experience it bodes well.

“The whole setup is extremely professional, it is very much to the spec of Formula 1 in terms of the paddock layout, the pit area and how the event runs,” said Brabham upon returning to his US base.

“I was a little concerned about the racing product being diminished by the power saving and the different strategies that teams would employ, however the race was entertaining, there was a lot of passing and you couldn’t ask for anything more – coming down to a last lap, last corner pass for the win.”

The Prost/Heidfeld crash was the major talking point after the race.

“It was a huge crash, massive. I think that once everyone realised that Nick was OK from the crash they were quite relieved and were impressed at the strength of the vehicles to withstand something that big.

"In any form of racing, you can't ask for much more than to have the lead come down to the last corner on the final lap and with it being so dramatic, it should generate huge pickup around the world."

Brabham believes the Andretti Formula-E team was one of the best prepared heading to China and were able to take advantage of that preparation.

“The engineers and team members at Andretti Autosport were really on it right from the very beginning when I first went to the test in England,” he explained. “A lot of the other teams were working to get their heads around the systems and the cars, but the Andretti guys knew what to do from the start.

 

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Andretti Autosport happy to be on top

Sunday, September 14th, 2014

9.14.14 (via ElectricAutosport.com) – Andretti Autosport Formula-E Team leaves Beijing in high spirits and top of the inaugural FIA Formula E Championship following a successful first ePrix in China, with a second-place podium finish for Franck Montagny and a fourth place from fellow countryman Charles Pic.

The one-day event, comprising of two practice sessions, split qualifying and a 25 lap race around the city street circuit made for an exhilarating spectacle in the world’s first all-electric racing series.

Michael Andretti, Team Owner at the American-based squad praised the series on its exciting debut: “Congratulations to Alejandro [Agag] on an event that was an overwhelming success. I’m very proud to be able to be a part of this exciting new series and to help shape the future of motorsport. Franck [Montagny] and Charles [Pic] did a great job and I’m happy to come away from the event leading the team championship.”

Things did not all go quite to plan however. After initially qualifying fifth, Montagny was handed a three place grid penalty for repeatedly crossing the white line on pit exit, demoting him to start the race from eighth place on the grid. This only spurred the 36 year old on to produce a fine start that saw both Andretti’s alongside one another as they narrowly avoided contact, before Montagny executed a brave move around Pic to claim position. From here he never looked back setting the early pace with another overtake, this time on Karun Chandhok for fifth.

A quick car change allowed him to jump Daniel Abt In the pits, before being gifted a place on the podium when Nico Prost and Nick Heidfeld came to blows on the last lap. Montagny was left delighted with the team’s showing and 18 points in the drivers’ championship:

“I would like to say thank you to the organisers of the Formula E series, because it really was a fantastic day. I have driven many different cars in many different series and I have to say that this is one of my best times in a car! The team has done a fantastic job, at testing and here in Beijing. Andretti Formula-E is an American team, based in Donington, UK, so it is not easy to start a team in a different country and everyone did very well. My teammate and I work well together and I had really, really good fun.”

 

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Exclusive guide to Formula E: Andretti Autosport’s Kyle Moyer analyzes series ahead of inaugural race

Friday, September 12th, 2014

9.12.14 (via Autoweek.com) – Formula E’s much-anticipated season begins Saturday in Beijing — you can watch it live on Saturday, Sept. 13 at 3:30 a.m. ET exclusively on Fox Sports 1 and Fox Sports Go, with a replay airing Sunday, Sept. 14  at 1 p.m. ET — and there is much to discuss and dissect. There will be 10 teams with two cars each on the grid, with Andretti Autosport considered the early favorite given its experience with street racing, especially in the Verizon IndyCar Series.
 
Andretti Autosport general manager Kyle Moyer sat down with us this week to discuss some of the new, all-electric race-car series’ key points.
 
Autoweek: There are so many unknowns about Formula E, but it appears it will hit the ground running this week in China. What’s your take on it?
 
Kyle Moyer: I give it to Formula E because every target has been made. They said the first car would be delivered here, the second car here, the first test here, the first race simulations here, when we’ll load up here, everything. From all the series we’ve been in, including A1GP, this is professional. The sky’s the limit.
 
AW: Give us a sense of the budget that’s required.
 
KM: You’re not restricted, but there’s X amount you can spend because the car’s spec and you can’t [modify] much. You’re limited to 13 guys working on the car, but I’ve been against that because you have to pay them a lot of money because they have to be really good; they have to do multiple jobs to cover a lot of bases.
 
The car budget is basically maintenance, running [the car] and travel. Where does the budget go next year? Motors will be open [for development]. In the third year, batteries are open for development. If you get manufacturers in here — Honda, Nissan, Volkswagen — that’s where the money will be, and that’s where the money should be.
 
AW: So what are we talking for a car?
 
KW: About $350,000 fully kitted. An IndyCar is about $550,000.
 
AW: Even though Formula One cars feature lots of hybrid technology and energy-recovery systems, Formula E actually looks like it will more resemble IndyCar than Formula One. Is that a fair assessment?
 
KM: They’ve taken a page out of IndyCar and not Formula One. In a lot of the meetings, it’s “IndyCar has done this, IndyCar has done that, let’s do that.” There’s not a lot of talk about how it’s done in Formula One, and that’s a good thing. Have a spec car, but open up the things that actually get paid for. There are cost constraints. This is not going to be F1; they don’t want it to be F1. They just want it to have the appearance of F1. They want the teams and the series to look professional, and I think it will.
 
 
 
 
 

Formula E completes full event simulation ahead of first ever race

Monday, August 11th, 2014

8.11.14 (via FIA Formula E) – Formula E has completed two full event simulations as the world’s first all-electric single-seater championship gears up for its first race in Beijing on September 13.

Both events took place at Leicestershire’s Donington Park, where a temporary pitlane and pitboxes were assembled to mimic those that will be in place at the street circuits the series will visit. Accreditation procedures, operational and IT infrastructures and even television broadcasts were also meticulously tested.

During the second simulation, for the first time the 10 teams ran all four of their cars as the two non-qualifying sessions, qualifying and an endurance test were completed to the schedule that will take place at the races.

This meant that all of the teams and drivers had the opportunity to simulate the unique car change pitstops – and at the second simulation – a full standing start.

While a number of issues were encountered, which was the reason for running the simulation, overall the events were considered to be a success.

Alejandro Agag, CEO of Formula E, said: “Putting on a major sporting event in the heart of cities around the world is a massive undertaking and requires careful preparation. We want the Formula E Beijing ePrix to a fantastic spectacle, which is why we’re leaving nothing to chance by rigorously testing all the systems beforehand. Overall we’re very pleased with how things went.”

Organisers have also revealed the raceday timetable for each Formula E event, which takes place all in one day. The 10 teams and 20 drivers will have two non-qualifying sessions in the morning – lasting 45 minutes and 30 minutes – followed by a qualifying session split into four groups of five cars with the order selected at random beforehand. The race itself will last approximately 60 minutes with the race distance (exact number of laps) determined on the day.

The final Formula E pre-season test takes place at Donington Park on August 19 with free admission to the public. Some 4000 fans have already pre-registered their interest for the last opportunity to see the cars and drivers before the season opener.

For more information on Formula E visit www.fiaformulae.com. To register for the final Formula E test click here: http://www.donington-park.co.uk/events/formula-e-testing/2014/08/19/fia-formula-e-official-test/

 

 

Third-generation racer visits with Andretti Formula E

Friday, July 25th, 2014

7.25.14 – While Andretti Formula E continues to evaluate candidates for its second full-time driver in the new global FIA, all-electric racing series, the American team recently called up one of its own from its stateside outfit. Reigning Pro Mazda champion and Indy Lights rookie Matthew Brabham made his way across the pond to visit with the team at its headquarters in the UK where the 20-year-old took a tour of the brand spanking new facilities at Donington Park, met with team members and had the opportunity to have a look at the innovative electric cars up close and personal, including an opportunity to take the Spark Renault SRT-01E for a few test laps.
 
“It’s an amazing opportunity for me, and I’m very grateful to Andretti Autosport; they have a fantastic operation going here in the UK,” the third-generation racer said. “The Formula E car is very interesting and complex and I think it has a great future ahead. I believe we got some valuable data from my time in the car, and it was a lot of fun, so a big thank you to the team. The series is also littered with accomplished engineers and drivers, and in meeting them, I think it’s great for building my experience as well.”
 
Brabham, son of four-time IMSA Champion Geoff Brabham and grandson to the late three-time Formula 1 World Champion Sir Jack Brabham, is no stranger to the UK. The Indianapolis resident’s cousin, Sam Brabham, currently competes in British Formula Ford and is based north of London, while uncle David Brabham will be competing at Road Atlanta for Petit Le Mans in October. Matthew’s trip to the Andretti Formula E headquarters is a testament to the confidence team owner Michael Andretti has in the rising star.
 
“Matty has a bright racing future ahead of him,” said Andretti. “He’s done a great job for us in Pro Mazda and Indy Lights. As one of our drivers, we were happy to have him visit Donington and learn more about Formula E. We’re very much enjoying having him as a part of the Andretti team and look forward to being a part of his developing career. ”
 
Next up for the United Fiber & Data/MAZDASPEED driver, who currently lies fourth in the Indy Lights championship points fight, is a doubleheader race weekend at Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course the final week of July. Fans can watch the race on NBC Sports Network at 6:00 p.m. ET on 3 August.