FIA Formula E Championship & Its Timekeeping Partners
You’d be forgiven for being unfamiliar with Formula E. After all, it’s first ever race will only take place this Saturday in Beijing, compared to its (much) older sibling Formula One that had its inaugural season in 1950. Despite being the newcomer in motorsports, Formula E looks set to grow into a behemoth in time […]
You’d be forgiven for being unfamiliar with Formula E. After all, it’s first ever race will only take place this Saturday in Beijing, compared to its (much) older sibling Formula One that had its inaugural season in 1950. Despite being the newcomer in motorsports, Formula E looks set to grow into a behemoth in time with its fresh take on motorsports.
Like F1, Formula E is officially sanctioned by the Fédération Internationale de l’Automobile (FIA). The event was conceived in 2012 to be the top tier competition for one-make, single seat, electric (hence the ‘E’) racing cars. Formula E’s criterion of one-make cars standardises the cars’ chassis, tyres and engines, thus making it more a test of the driver’s skills and his support teams’ car tuning, and less a competition between teams’ budgets. The cars themselves are no slouches though. The inaugural season has all 10 teams driving the Spark-Renault SRT 01E, which features a 268hp engine that is capable of accelerating it from standstill to 100 km/h in under 3 seconds. Interestingly, the car’s electric engine is far quieter at an estimated 80dB, unlike F1 cars that go up to around 130dB. An electric engine also poses curious constraints; although the 10 teams will field two drivers each for a total of 20, 40 cars will be driven – due to battery capacity, each driver will change his car mid-race.The competition appears to be a work in progress, as several teams’ websites remain incomplete and sponsors have not been fully established. Nonetheless, some early adopters have already established partnerships to reap some first movers’ advantages.
In the watchmaking industry, two names are currently associated with Formula E. TAG Heuer, perennially associated with motorsports, is unsurprisingly involved here. The brand is the official timekeeper, official watch and chronograph, and technical founding partner of Formula E. TAG Heuer will be providing all live timings for the opening season of the championship, and receive exclusive branding on all track signage. TAG Heuer is also sponsoring Team China Racing, one of the 10 teams taking part in Formula E.Richard Mille, too, is sponsoring a team in the championship – E.dams-Renault. The Dams team was founded in 1988 to mentor and train young drivers for F1, and E.dams-Renault is its wing specifically created for Formula E. The brand also partners with the Lotus F1 team.
The first race of the season will take place this Saturday, 13 September, in Beijing.