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Beginners Guide: Formula E

Sam Bird (10) of Jaguar Racing Team driving at the New York E-Prix (Getty Images).

Getting restless waiting for the Formula One championship to start? The Rookie Box is here to teach you all about other gripping racing championships for you to dig your teeth into and today we'll teach you all about Formula E!

So, what is Formula E?

Essentially, Formula E is an international electric car racing championship, consisting of 12 teams and 24 drivers. Like Formula One, each driver and team score points based on where they finish in a race. The eighth season of Formula E is set to take place on Friday 28th January 2022.

How does this differ from Formula One?

While Formula E cars may look similar to its Formula One counterpart, there are many fundamental differences. Firstly, Formula E cars are built from the ground up as electric cars with their battery packs and electric motors, whereas cars in F1 opt for a hybrid system.

Furthermore, while F1 cars are strictly required to create their own chassis, engine and transmission, Formula E cars operate using a standard battery pack and chassis.

Another significant difference between both cars is the tyres used. Formula E use Michelin Pilot Sport all-weather tyres - similar to the tyres you would find on an average road car. These tyres are used for all weather types, whether that be wet, dry, or anything in-between.

What's the performance difference?

Formula E cars are significantly less powerful than those in Formula One. A Formula One car in P1 can generate up to 700kW of power while weighing 740kg. However, a Formula E car may generate 250kW of power and weigh a staggering 900kg.

Therefore, a Formula E and Formula One car one-on-one race isn't likely any time soon.

Where do Formula E race?

Formula E takes full advantage of its low emissions by racing at temporary circuits in the centre of cities. For example, last year saw the intense electric cars race around the streets of Rome at the Italian E-Prix and a battle in London city centre at the British E-prix - exciting stuff!

This season however, will be as follows:

2022 ABB FIA Formula E World Championship schedule (

Are these the only differences between F1 and Formula E?

Not quite - the race format for Formula E is different to that of F1 races. Formula E races last for a total of 45 minutes - as opposed to the set lap numbers in Formula One. Once the 45 minutes is up, all cars must complete a final lap.

Tactics also plays a large part in Formula E too, with each driver and team having to strategically manage their batteries to ensure they have enough power left for the final push during the last lap. All battery levels are displayed on television for viewers to easily keep track.

It's also important to note that Formula E has a system called 'Attack Mode'. Think of it like DRS in Formula One - but without the need to be 2-seconds behind the car in front. When in the Activation Zones, drivers are able to gain a temporary power boost to help pass cars in front. However, to keep things tense, the number of Activation Zones, how long it will last, and the minimum number of times it must be used is all revealed just an hour before the race start.

Finally, an interesting difference in Formula E is the interactions that at-home fans can I have during live races. The feature 'Fanboost' allows fans to vote for their favourite driver and in-turn give them a power boost during the race. This is done using Twitter hashtags or the official Formula E website and as a result the top 5 drivers gain a power boost that must be used in a 5-second time frame during the second half of the race.

This sounds fantastic! Where can I watch?

Starting from the 28th January 2022, you can watch Formula E on multiple platforms worldwide.

Head over to the official Formula E website to discover where:

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