Saturday, 13 September 2014 will go down in the history of motor racing as the day on which the first ever FIA Formula E championship race took place. Held in the streets of Beijing, the inaugural round was closely contested throughout.
After months of preparation, the FIA Formula E championship took definite shape with the first round of the ten-race season that will reach its climax in June 2015 on the streets of London. Winding round the Bird’s Nest stadium built to host the 2008 Olympic Games, the Beijing course supplied all usual ingredients of a city-centre circuit, with a succession of straights, chicanes and 90° bends.
For this inaugural season, the entire field is competing in Spark-Renault STR01E single-seaters. The months of preparation with the teams and the work done by all the partners produced a highly successful opening weekend, in which 35 of the 40 cars entered crossed the finishing line without incident.
The Renault Sport teams who have been very involved in this project since the beginning in 2012, working on the architecture and safety of the single-seaters, are especially proud to have successfully taken on the challenge. The technical solutions we approved ensured that all the cars competing in the ePrix were quick, reliable and safe right from the word go.
Contested over 25 laps, the race was held in bright sunshine and with packed stands.
Starting from pole position, Nicolas Prost (e.dams Renault) made the perfect start to lead into the opening corner. He went on to dominate most of the race before a clash ended his hopes of victory on the final lap, handing the win to Lucas di Grassi (Audi Sport ABT).
There was no shortage of racing action and despite the closeness of safety barriers, the characteristics of the Spark-Renault SRT01_E enabled the drivers to outbrake one another at the corners, much to the delight of the spectators!
Our heartfelt congratulations go to all of the Teams involved in this first, the sensational 2014 Beijing ePrix!
A new chapter in the history of motorsport has been written today and everyone at Renault is proud to have taken part.
Patrice Ratti, Managing Director of Renault Sport Technologies: “What an exciting first Formula E race! This is a real achievement for all the partners who have worked on this project. Despite the test sessions held in recent weeks, there was still a degree of uncertainty involved, linked to the start of the competition proper. By holding the practice sessions, qualifying and the race all on the same day, it has been an intense few hours for the teams, drivers and organisers. I think Renault Sport can be very pleased with how things went today, as there were no major technical problems on the forty single-seaters.”
1. Lucas di Grassi (Audi Sport ABT) 25 laps
2. Franck Montagny (Andretti) +2.867
3. Sam Bird (Virgin Racing) +6.559
4. Charles Pic (Andretti) +19.301
5. Karun Chandhok (Mahindra Racing) +23.952
6. Jérôme d:Ambrosio (Dragon Racing) +31.664
7. Oriol Servia (Dragon Racing) +41.968
8. Nelson Piquet Jr. (China Racing) +43.896
9. Stéphane Sarrazin (Venturi) +43.975
10. Daniel Abt (Audi Sport ABT) +1:02.507
Fastest lap: Takuma Sato (Amlin Aguri) 1:45.101