Latin American racers are taking over Formula E

Latin America is gaining presence in the competition of electric cars, after Lucas Di Grassien's victory in 2017

Latin American pilots are taking over Formula E

Since 2014, a revolution in motorsport has been consolidated. The Formula E, which is on its way to its fifth season, adds more and more followers that come from the most popular categories including the Formula 1, thanks to its great innovation: electric cars. In fact, several Latin American pilots have already tried their luck in this new format. One of them, the Brazilian Lucas Di Grassi, was champion of this category in 2017.

This is a category promoted by the Fédération Internationale de l'Automobile (FIA), which at that time had the collaboration of the prestigious McLaren team to manufacture the cars that would be used in the competition, according to Sonar FM of Chile. Many names have gone from the Formula 1 to the Formula E, among them the Mexican Esteban Gutiérrez, the German Nick Heidfeld, the Belgian Jérôme d'Ambrosio and the Swiss Sébastien Buemi.

According to Lat.motorsport.com, in the 2017-18 season won by the Frenchman Jean-Éric Vergne of Techeetah, the staff of Latin Americans participants was integrated, besides Lucas Di Grassi of Audi Sport Team ABT, by the Brazilian Nelson Piquet Jr. of Jaguar Racing, the Argentine José María López of Dragon Racing, Esteban Gutiérrez and his compatriot Salvador Durán of the Team Aguri.

Positive impact

The pilot and columnist of El Confidencial, Andy Soucek, talked about his impressions after knowing in detail the Formula E thanks to an invitation from the Fédération Internationale de l'Automobile that proposed him to work as an commissioner advisor in the 2016-17 season of this new category, in which he did not believe in the beginning.

Soucek revealed in his column entitled Quemando Rueda how difficult it is to design an urban circuit in metropolitan cities and fully comply with the safety requirements of the FIA, since it does not have fixed tracks such as the Formula 1. The design of these tracks, being temporary, it often turns the routes into limited but unpredictable routes. This forces pilots and teams to adapt to the conditions of the moment without being able to prepare very defined strategies.

He also referred to the great expectation that this competition generated in Hong Kong. In his opinion, everyone talked about the event as if it were the final of the World Cup. There is a VIP area, with many attractions that include simulators and pilots, whose three thousand tickets were sold out easily.

In El Confidencial, Saucek said that in this category the strategy is vital to take advantage of the battery in such changing competition tracks. Saucek ends with a reflection in which he suggests the need for a change of mentality. "Having known first-hand the Formula E has helped me to open my eyes to a new and unknown world, despite having spent eighteen years dedicating myself to this. I thought I had seen everything, but it is a very different option. Witnessing a Formula E race can change the opinion of more than one," he explained.

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The Latin Ambassador

Di Grassi, 33 years old, not only qualified in Formula E in the 2006-07 season, but also became the first winning driver in the history of this competition. This after being awarded in Beijing the premiere test in the 2014-15 season, according to T13.cl. His name is a reference so that more pilots from this part of the world are interested in participating.

After completing the logical cycle of motor racing since 1997, starting with karting, and passing through the F3 Euroseries, the British Formula 3 and the GP2, in 2009 he completed his arrival in the Formula 1 with the British team Virgin. In 2010, he could not finish his first two races due to problems with his vehicle and only in Malaysia he got his best location, which was box 15.

T13.cl added that Di Grassi registered six victories, six poles and 20 podiums in his first three campaigns in the Formula E. In the first season he finished third in the final ranking, with the victory that was mentioned in Beijing. Then in 2015-16 he reaped three victories, two second places and two third places, while in the 2016-17 season, two victories, three second places and two third places were enough to be crowned champion. According to El Economista of Mexico, Di Grassi is part of the base of 11 pilots who have participated in the Formula E and who are now preparing for their fifth season.

Schedule list

The 2018/2019 season of the Formula E will feature 13 races in 12 cities, but this time there is no Chile on the calendar, which leaves Mexico as the only Latin country that will participate. The itinerary was approved by the World Motor Sport Council of the FIA ​​in a conference held in Manila, according to the information provided by T13.cl.

Another novelty is the return of Monaco, which returns to the calendar of the electric car event for the fifth season, but "subject to homologation of the circuit" by the FIA. The third appointment of the 2018/2019 calendar has yet to be confirmed but is scheduled to be held on January 26. In that sense, T13.cl reported that the Formula E is in talks with the Chilean capital, but the condition for such a return is the implementation of a new scenario that facilitates the logistical limitations appreciated in previous years.

2018/2019 Calendar of the Formula E, according to Lat.Motorsport.com:

-Riad * 15-12

-Marrakech 12-01

-TBA 26-01

-Mexico City 16-02

-Hong Kong 10-03

-TBA 23-03

-Rome 13-04

-Paris 27-04

-Monaco * * 11-05

-Berlin 25-05

-Zürich ** 9-06

- New York 13-07

-New York 14-07

* Subject to homologation of the circuit.

** Subject to approval by local authorities and the city.


LatinAmerican Post | Onofre Zambrano

Translated from "Los pilotos latinoamericanos se toman la Fórmula E"

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