The Formula E gen 3 racecar has hit the track in Mexico City for its first race of the sport’s ninth season.
Formula E has come a long way from the car changes and wheel covers of previous generations of racing. And perhaps the most significant change coming in the motorsport’s ninth season is its third-generation racecar, which promises to bring faster, tighter, and more exciting racing than ever before.
Formula E’s third-generation car has only been seen in short testing videos until now, but the vehicle will have its first real test this weekend at the first race of the season in Mexico City. The new car is a featherweight at only 1,800 pounds, including the driver. And with just over 460 horsepower coming from a single rear-mounted motor, the car will finally reach the elusive 200mph on track straightaways. All while being what Formula E calls “the most sustainable racecar ever.”
While drivers have been cautious to review the car in too much detail, many have noted the lightweight, twitchy handling, and small size compared to last season. And while these changes should lead to racing that is closer and more competitive than ever, it remains to be seen if that will be the case.
The new season also comes with a series of rule changes announced at the end of last year, notably removing the controversial fan-boost feature, introducing fast charge pit stops for select races, and changing the system of racing from 40min plus one lap to a total number of laps system.
The first race of season 9 is starting with not only a new car but a slate of new teams and drivers. New teams include ABT Cupra, sponsored by the Volkswagen Group brand Cupra; Masarati MSG Racing, led by the historic Italian brand Masarati; and Neom McLaren, led by a coop of the ever-popular McLaren brand and the future city of Neom.
Along with this year of firsts come some predictable names to the Formula E track. Some of the oldest names in the sport are found on the Jaguar team, with Mitch Evans and Sam Bird returning for yet another season, but they are far from the only familiar faces. Sebastien Buemi and Nick Cassidy return to Envision Racing, Antonio Felix Da Costa and Pascal Wehrlein will lead Porsche Tag-Heuer, and Jake Dennis and Andre Lotterer represent the American Avalanche Andretti Autosport team.
There are high expectations for season nine, not only because of the changes in technology and rules to aid in the excitement of the sport but also due to the record viewership achieved in season 8. Hopefully, along with a faster and more exciting racing system, Formula E can continue to build on its success from last year.
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