Considering the purpose of Formula E of being the first international electric-powered racing series of the world, generally Alejandro Agag and his companions made a hell of a job, as the new category delivered a spectacular first season, and I won’t deny that this helped to create an atmosphere of expectation ahead of the next season.
Here are certain points that I will comment about the 2014/2015 Formula E season:
Although there’s still left in the Spark-Renault SRT_01E model, generally the car was OK for an international series using a spec model.
The Idea of having an all-round tyre to avoid tyre changing pit-stops was a good Idea, but we have to recognise that the suspension flaws that affected some competitors during the start of the season weren’t well received. The SRT_01E also proved to be a very strong car, as the flying Nick Heidfeld’s Venturi proved to everybody live on TV at Beijing.
The batteries still have a long way of development to go as they only last barely half of a race, but probably improvements in the current ones or the advent of a new company to take care of them would solve this situation.
In my opinion, this was the point where Formula E excelled. Having 20 seats of 20 occupied during every race this season, with 12 of them with full-season drivers was something commendable.
Added to the fact that they were able to bring various names that the general public already knows deserves applause, like the current champion Nelsinho Piquet. Ex-F1s like Sébastien Buemi, Nick Heidfeld, Jaime Alguersuari and IndyCar’s Marco Andretti and Justin Wilson helped to settle the spectator in the new championship. Drivers with not so noticeable careers in F1 like ex-Marussia’s Lucas di Grassi and Jérôme D’Ambrosio proved what they can do when competitive cars are given to them.
The whole purpose of having only street circuits in the calendar was also commendable, but we can there were pros and cons in this process. Using parts of well-known circuits like at Long Beach, Monaco and Punta Del Este were good ideas, as well having Formula E’s headquarters at Donington Park, but Beijing Olympic Park and Battersea Park will need some improvements due to being with too much chicanes or too narrow.
My favorite of the season is the Tempelhof circuit in Germany, as it was wide and challenging enough for good Racing, probably the ideal that Formula E should aim for. Airport circuits never let us down. It’s pretty understandable why some layouts are like they are, but improvements in the cars may lead to improvement in the tracks too.
Finally, the racing
Having all events occurring in the same Day was a win-win for Formula E, the spectators and the cities. The around 50-minute races were fun enough to watch, with competition all over the place, with the drivers fighting for every inch they could look for. The point of mid-race car changing wasn't well received by the fans, but it’s understandable why they do so, and most of the F-E viewers already got used to that. Basically it’s all about batteries, so we need to be patient and give time for development.
Fan boost was also a point of discussion as it was seen as gimmicky by the public, but let’s face it: most of the main categories in the world use energy recovery or push-to-pass systems in their races, but that doesn't look artificial at all, as driver ability still counts for overtaking, specially in the mostly narrow Formula E circuits with instant torque cars making the drivers work a little more than needed.
With the calendar almost complete and the teams preparing their machines, the 2015/2016 season is expected to have a huge step in terms of development, as powertrains will be on behalf of the teams and almost everybody knows the car pretty well.
PHOTOS: FIA Formula E