While Formula 1’s increasing predictability is testing viewers’ appetite, the same cannot be said of Formula E ahead of this weekend’s finale in London.
On Saturday and Sunday race fans will descend on Docklands for a double header to decide the championship. With a maximum of 58 points available across two races, any one of Brit Jake Dennis, New Zealanders Nick Cassidy and Mitch Evans, and German Pascal Wehrlein can snap up their first title.
Envision Racing, Porsche, Jaguar TCS and Andretti, meanwhile, can wrap up the team championship in the capital.
The right formula
But the London finale, which uniquely features a track that is 50 per cent indoor and 50 per cent outdoor, divides opinion.
Formula E’s new CEO Jeff Dodds declined to commit to London as a long-term home for the last race of the season, and a number of drivers aren’t exactly ecstatic with the location.
“The circuit itself is unique,” championship leader Jake Dennis told City A.M. “Obviously, with the indoor-outdoor section, it’s very different. The indoor section is great, it really supplies a lot of grip and confidence to the driver, compared to the outside surface.
“It’s very difficult to overtake. It would be nice to go a bit more central. I live in Fulham so it’s quite a way away from the ExCeL [location of the race] but it’s a starting point for sure.
“I see the limitations of going more central but I think it’s a unique experience.”
Wehrlein, also in contention for the title, agrees. “Inside there’s a lot of grip on the London track, outside there’s a lot less so I would still like to see a race in the rain where it’s wet outside,” he says. “We haven’t had that so far, like a few drops, but not really wet and dry – I think that would be not easy to handle.”
It’s a highly competitive weekend in London and there are a number of manufacturers in the race for a title too. One of those is Jaguar TCS, who are looking for their first team championship, given the long odds on their leading driver Evans picking up the driver title.
“I look where we are now going to the last weekend of the season with two races to go in London, we’re in with a shout of both the driver and teams championship. It’s fair to say [Mitch Evans] had a great year,” Jaguar Formula E team principal James Barclay told City A.M.
“So right from the start we were competitive and we just built on that to the point where we have been really strong overall, not just us but our customers [who use Jaguar power units] Envision Racing. So to have two Jaguar powered teams in the top three of the championship, that’s the biggest proof point.”
Formula E has notably made more noise this season and while their petrol-guzzling peer continues to see the same driver winning every race, there’s ample opportunity for them to capitalise.