Formula E’s Track Problem

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The world’s premier electric racing series, Formula E, has got a big problem. You see, the issue is, tracks are an essential part to a racing series, they need to be perfect to deliver entertaining, action-packed races but Formula E’s tracks are actually awful. From 5 car widths down to one in the first corner of the Mexico City E-Prix track to having one of the straights at Monaco be the Formula 1 slip road, Formula E’s tracks lead to little actual overtaking action in races. To solidify my point, the majority of races in this year’s Season 5 have seen red flags because the tracks have been blocked, the cars have outgrown the tracks. Of course, the races are usually entertaining, but usually, this is for the incidents in the races, not the actual wheel-to-wheel racing itself.

Why The Problem Exists

Usually, the excuse for this problem is that the cars are unable to complete a full distance race around permanent tracks because the battery needs to be recharged under breaking, and normal tracks are usually unable to suffice to this need. Despite this, the testing track for Formula E in the years gone by has been Donington Park, which is a former Formula 1 track. In addition to this, one of the tests of the generation 1 car was a test race around Donington, a full distance Formula E race. Even more so, the cars have become far more powerful in 5 years of development, so surely the cars will be able to race around Donington-level tracks.

If you have to defend Formula E for their choice of tracks, it is a perfectly fair point to say that Formula E’s brand goal is to bring racing to the people by racing on city streets. By racing in cities, this brings the Carbon Footprint of the series down, because it is easier to get to and public transport to the event is more common. Formula E is mainly focused on showing off the technology of EV’s, bringing manufactures in to help develop their own Electric Vehicles. The whole idea of Formula E is to appeal to young, new motorsport fans – hence the introduction of YouTube guests on their watch-along show. Despite this, I think a far more impressive representation of Electric Car technology would be to have the cars bolting around Donington at 200 KM/H.

My Suggestion

I have to admit, I do kind of like the idea that Formula E is a street racing Formula, it sets itself apart from Formula 1 nicely, which is obviously what they are going for. But of course, when we get bore-fests like the Monaco E-Prix, which was by a long shot the single worst race of the championship so far, it is obvious that the tracks need a bit of an upgrade. My suggestion would be to start by using the whole of Monaco. I do not care if you are doing shorter races to accommodate for the cars, you can’t have Monaco without having what makes the Grand Prix track. Then, better tracks can be introduced. My personal suggestion would be to renovate Valencia, the old Grand Prix track, it has been left in ruins and such a good track needs some life given to it!

Once you have the whole of Monaco and Valencia, you can add more tracks, like maybe add Singapore, again – assuring it is the Grand Prix track and not some weird, short variant. Now, already the calendar is looking stronger with Valencia, Monaco and Singapore. You can keep some of the better tracks in Formula E, Marrakesh was an action-packed race on a fairly decent track. Santiago can also stay, that is quite a decent track. Now, our fantasy calendar is looking even better, with some of the better E-Prix tracks added.

My next suggestion has to be Long Beach, but the full Long Beach. Long Beach is an awesome track, and I’ve had some good Forza races with Formula E cars around Long Beach, including an entertaining full distance race. Now, we have 6 good tracks that will make Formula E a lot better. Just for the sake of being historic, bring back the Beijing E-Prix circuit from season 1, that is a good, wide track, and Berlin’s E-Prix track is not too bad either, let’s add that too. I hate to admit, but I forgot about Albert Park! Albert Park would be a great track to see some Formula E cars race around, it’s probably one of my favourite tracks on the Formula 1 calendar!

Being a bit hypocritical…

I know what I said about liking Formula E being a street series, but I think it would be nice to sprinkle in some more permanent tracks into our hypothetical 10 race season. My suggestions would be to have the final race of the season at Donington Park. It would be almost poetic, as Donington is a major test track for Formula E, a lot of the series started at Donington, so the season should end at Donington. We’ve already seen from the test races that it is a good track for Formula E.

The Final Calendar & Conclusion

Formula E is a great racing series, and I love watching it, but I have to feel that the tracks that are used get poorer as the season progresses. Below is an image of what our Final calendar looks like:

To conclude, I want to point out that this calendar is not meant to be taken too literally. Instead, it is more of a proof of concept as to what a better calendar in Formula E may look like – it would even be beneficial for the Jaguar I-Pace E-Trophy, the Formula E support series! I am trying to prove that there are tracks out there that still keep in with Formula E’s brand, that would be perfect to use in the next few seasons. The public image of Formula E is usually quite negative amongst some hardcore racing fans, who believe that it goes against what racing should be. This calendar is just trying to prove that Formula E’s tracks could be better, and even if it is difficult to add, the cars can easily be modified, and the rules changed, to make this possible.

Thanks for reading!

*All Images are marked as free for commercial use, using CC Search*

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