What can we expect from the upcoming Formula E season? | GPFans Special

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On January 28, 2022, the 2021/2022 Formula E season will kick off from the Riyadh Street Circuit in Diriyah, Saudi Arabia. From then on, the racing violence erupts again in the electronic class. A few things have changed this year compared to the 2020/2021 season. We go through all the changes with you and look ahead to the upcoming season.

Teams & lineups

As far as the teams and line-ups are concerned, a lot has changed compared to last season. Audi and BMW have already left the sport as constructors, although they will remain in the picture as suppliers of powertrains this year. Mercedes is currently on the eve of its last season in the electric class, although we cannot rule out the possibility that the team will restart with new owners. Envision Virgin Racing will be called Envision Racing from next season, while Jaguar Racing has been renamed Jaguar TCS Racing. It is also important to note that this is also the last season that the Gen2 cars will be driven, because in 2022/2023 they will switch to Gen3.

René Rast, Alex Lynn and Tom Blomqvist have already announced that they will not return to the electric class. Former IndyCar driver Oliver Askew, former Formula 2 driver Dan Ticktum and former Formula 1 driver Antonio Giovinazzi will in turn join the grid. In addition, a lot of drivers have also changed teams. Oliver Rowland, Maximilian Günther and Lucas di Grassi, among others, have changed teams.

Giovinazzi during the Formula E test days

Formula E calendar 2021/2022

The 2021/2022 calendar consists of sixteen laps that will be held on ten different circuits. Just like last year, the season will kick off with two races in Saudi Arabia. Then they travel to Mexico for the third round of the season. The Mexico ePrix was temporarily moved to Puebla in 2021, but will again be held in Mexico City this year. Then it’s time for a double race in Rome, followed by the always special Monaco ePrix. Races will take place in Berlin on 14 and 15 May, before the circus travels to Indonesia a month later. In July they will cross the ocean for a single race in Vancouver and two races in New York. Then it’s time for a double header in London and the double season finale in Seoul, South Korea.

Full Formula E Calendar

January 28, 2022 – Diriyah (Saudi Arabia) – Race 1
January 29, 2022 – Diriyah (Saudi Arabia) – Race 2
February 12, 2022 – Mexico City (Mexico)
Apr 09, 2022 – Rome (Italy) – Race 1
Apr 10, 2022 – Rome (Italy) – Race 2
April 30, 2022 – Monaco (Monaco)
May 14, 2022 – Berlin (Germany)
May 15, 2022 – Berlin (Germany)
04 June 2022 – Jakarta (Indonesia)
July 02, 2022 – Vancouver (Canada)
July 16, 2022 – New York (United States) – Race 1
July 17, 2022 – New York (United States) – Race 2
July 30, 2022 – London (United Kingdom) – Race 1
July 31, 2022 – London (United Kingdom) – Race 2
August 13, 2022 – Seoul (South Korea) – Race 1
August 14, 2022 – Seoul (South Korea) – Race 1

Qualification change

In recent seasons, the qualifying format in Formula E has been criticized a lot. In the electric class, track evolution – the extent to which the track develops during the session – plays a major role. To ensure that the championship would remain as exciting as possible, the drivers had to go out in order of standing in the championship. As a result, the drivers at the top of the standings usually qualified a lot worse than the drivers in the rear, which made the title fight a lot more difficult. After a storm of criticism, they have now decided to completely change the format.

Starting next season, the drivers will be divided into two groups prior to qualifying. Group A will consist of the drivers who are in the odd places in the standings, Group B will be made up of the drivers who are in the even places in the standings. Both groups have twelve minutes to set the most competitive time possible, although the first timed round must be on the clock within the first six minutes. The drivers may complete as many laps as they wish during this phase. The four best drivers of both groups may proceed to the duel phase, the numbers five to twelve are classified based on their lap times.

The matches consist of four quarter-finals, two semi-finals and one final. The drivers get one warm-up lap, one timed lap and one cool-down lap. The duels during the quarter-finals are determined by where the drivers have finished in the group stage.

After that, the winners of quarter-final A and quarter-final B will face each other in the semi-finals, as will the winners of quarter-final C and quarter-final D. The winners of these will compete for pole position. The pole sitter receives three extra points after his name.

What can we expect in 2022?

Nyck de Vries managed to seize the very first Formula E world title during the last race of the season last year. The Dutchman had a fantastic season and has really been able to prove himself. Together with the Mercedes team, he will undoubtedly do everything he can to defend the drivers and constructors title. Especially since Mercedes will pull the plug from its Formula E activities at the end of that year and want to leave with a highlight. Robin Frijns is also back as usual, he has extended his contract with Virgin Racing for a year. So it promises to be an exciting season for Formula E-watching Netherlands.

What we have seen in recent seasons is that there has never really been a real dominance of one particular team in Formula E. In fact, during the last race weekend in 2021, a large number of drivers were still able to seize the world title. However, that could well change in 2022. On paper, the new qualifying format should ensure that the class becomes a lot fairer and that the drivers at the front also have a normal chance to take pole position. This makes it possible that we will have a good idea of ​​who the real favorites for the championship are earlier in the season. However, it remains to be seen whether this will work out in reality.

We can look forward to the Formula E debut of Giovinazzi, among others, who will of course want to prove himself in the electric class. In addition, we can look forward to a few nice jobs. For example, the ePrix of Seoul, the ePrix of Jakarta and the ePrix of Vancouver are on the calendar for the first time this year. So these races will be a big challenge for the drivers and teams. In addition, some popular races are returning to the calendar, such as the Monaco ePrix and the London ePrix. In short: plenty to look forward to this year!

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