- A milestone in technology: Gen2 racing cars are significantly faster than their predecessors
- Preview to Race 3 of the 2018/19 season: Antofagasta Minerals Santiago E-Prix
The Gen2 cars constitute a veritable technical revolution in the world’s first 100% electric single-seater racing series – and their 250 kW (335 hp) power units have also demonstrated this on the race track. During the most recent race weekend in Marrakech, it was possible to compare their power with that of their forerunners for the first time under competitive conditions.
The results were impressive: on average, the new car was approximately 2.5 seconds faster than the Gen1 predecessor in qualifying and in race trim as well as during the test drives. The additional power of up to 50 kW is therefore not only theoretical.
For purposes of comparison, we took the existing track records for 2018 and 2019 in Marrakech. Both of these were set by Switzerland’s Nico Müller, the official Formula E test driver of the Audi Sport ABT Schaeffler team. Müller clocked his best times during the rookie tests on race Saturday.
2.77 seconds faster than its predecessor
In January 2018, Müller set a fastest lap of 01:19.651 minutes in his Gen1 car on the 2.97km track. Twelve months later, he rounded the circuit in 01:17.074 minutes, i.e. 2.577 seconds faster than in the previous year under comparable ambient conditions.
In race trim too, there were clear differences between the two vehicle generations. Audi Sport ABT Schaeffler driver and previous year’s championship runner-up Lucas di Grassi clocked the fastest lap of the 2019 race with a time of 01:20.296 minutes (equivalent to 133.2 km/h). This also earned him the extra championship point awarded to the fastest contestant in the Top Ten.
In 2018, Panasonic Jaguar Racing driver Nelson Piquet Junior set the fastest race lap in a time of 01:22.832 minutes, 2.536 seconds slower than his Brazilian compatriot the following year.
Santiago: Famous city and a new race venue
DHL’s logistics experts will be transporting the equipment required for the third race of the season in Santiago de Chile next weekend – and there is certainly plenty of it. In the containers and boxes belonging to the Audi Sport ABT Schaeffler team are first and foremost the two cars, but there are also two complete sets of bodywork and five monocoques plus front wings to be held in reserve during the Antofagasta Minerals Santiago E-Prix.
In addition, team partner DHL is transporting all the equipment that will be installed in the team garage and all the tools to be used by the mechanics, as well as various other consumables and spare parts. Plus – absolutely indispensable for every race weekend – an Italian espresso machine, a stereo system and twelve umbrellas for sun or rain!
The venue for the second Formula E race to be hosted by Chile (the debut having come in 2018) is the Parque O’Higgins. At 750,000 square meters, it is the second-largest park in the Chilean capital. The 2,348-meter circuit in the center of Santiago, with its long straights, switchbacks and chicanes has been laid out around the Movistar Arena.
“The track layout looks exciting, but we’ll only know exactly what to expect when we get there,” says Audi Sport ABT Schaeffler team boss Allan McNish. “One thing we know already is that it will be a completely different race to the two previous rounds this season. For one thing, we will be up against much higher temperatures. And secondly, it’s the first real street circuit on the calendar, with all the attendant peculiarities.”