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Formula E the March update

03 March 2021

During the year we will be keeping an eye on the fortunes of Mercedes-EQ Racing Team, represented in the motoring village by one of their cars as well as BMTV contributor Sam Bird who this year made the switch to Jaguar.

Formula E is a racing format that pits racing drivers against each other in identical cars. Whilst there are some different Drive Trains on the grid, the technical rules mean that no team can gain a meaningful advantage. The races are spiced up with two opportunities to go into “Attack Mode” for four minutes meaning a temporary increase in power. Additionally, fans can vote for chosen drivers to receive a short “Fan Boost” of extra power. Surely this is not proper racing, I hear you say; but the format does work and leads to some often chaotic, but always exciting close racing with unpredictable results.

In the opening race of the year at Diriyah on Friday 26 February Nyck Devries of Mercedes- EQ clinched pole position whilst teammate Stoffel Vandoorne was further back in 15th. Sam Bird seemed disappointed with 8th on the grid behind Jaguar team-mate Mitch Evans in 6th.

In an action-packed race Bird made up some early places to then be unceremonially squeezed into a wall ending his race. Devries of Mercedes-EQ kept his calm winning the first race of 2021 with Jaguar’s Mitch Evans 3rd.

The Formula E format of double races for the first and last meetings of the season meant that the following day they would do it all again. The qualifying format favoured those with a lower finishing position on Friday which produced what was effectively a reverse grid, except Bird was now 3rd, with team-mate Evans way back in 18th and the two Mercedes of Devries in 20th and Vandoorne in 22nd.

Bird showed his experience of seven years in Formula E to deliver a masterclass of tactical expertise to win the second race. Bird a master of “regen” (recharging, by lift and coast) and kind on tyres was able to overtake second place Sette-Camara, and force Pole sitter and exteammate Robin Frijns to over consume power.

It was a very disappointing second outing for Mercedes-EQ with Nyck Devries finishing 9th and Vandoorne in 13th. However, the overall results of both races place Mercedes in second place in the championship behind Jaguar. In the Driver’s Championship Sam Bird is second with Mercedes driver Devries leading. The next race will be in Rome on 10 April 2021. Find out more about the ABB Formula E FIA championship at: www.fiaformulae.com

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