Formula E and Roborace

You nerds fooled me! Where are the elephants!?


Completely guessing, but judging by the type of engine, I’d say your modern snowmobiles would average around 12mpg, and by the size, have an 8 or 9 gallon tank, so somewhere between 90-110 miles?

Running an electric cable out the side of every other building on a ski resort is probably waaaay easier than having to drive every snow mobile to a central fuel depot every day… plus having fuel deliveries, plus the environmental and safety issues of the fuel.

And with regenerative breaking, imagine recharging the battery just by riding from the top of a ski slope to the bottom. All the energy used up by gas is just gone.

This weekend we are going to see the Formula E in Berlin for the second time. We went for the season 1 race, and while it was a fun day out, the race itself wasn’t particularly eventful.

This year we’ve splashed out for gandstand seating, but it’s still pretty cheap. There aren’t support races yet, but we get a preview of what’s to come next year with demonstration drives of the Jaguar I-Pace cars, some Roborace sessions, plus Nico Rosberg doing the first on-track session with the Season 5 car.

Nico Rosberg has invested in Formula E and seems to be getting more involved. I wouldn’t be surprised if he “un-retires” in a few years to drive with the Mercedes Formula E team when they join the series in two seasons time. So far Sebastian Buemi is the only driver to win two FIA series, with Formula E and WEC world championships… with Mecedes money and technology behind him, Nico Rosberg could make it a club.

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Relevant, I guess.


Next year Formula E is going to timed races:

“No more lap limits - we’re moving to timed races. With each round running to a strict limit of 45-minutes plus one lap to reach the chequered flag, we’re mixing things up to make it even more interesting. Well, what did you expect? With that in place, there will no longer be a prize for the fastest lap - from Season 5 onwards, points will be awarded to the most efficient driver classified in the top-five positions - rewarding the driver who has used the least amount of energy. It’s all about the energy management.”

Also there will be parts of the track where there is more power available, for a certain number of times per driver. It’s like a combination of the DRS in Formula 1 and the Push-to-pass system in Indycar.

I was wondering what they might change in the format now there won’t be a car change half way through, and I think this will go a long way to increase the drama so it isn’t just a straight shoot-out from the start to the end. No pit stops is a pity though.

So whoever does the most laps in 45 minutes wins. And if people are tied, they have to finish the final lap first? Drivers are going to need to set a timer in the car, so they know.

This isn’t a 24 hours race where it might be a difference of laps between the cars. It’s more like “who can stay ahead for 45 minutes, and then when the white flag is waved for the last lap, stays ahead until the end”. Timed races are pretty common, so it’s a known issue with known solutions.

Can an electric car set the all-time record at Pikes Peak, beating even the top internal combustion engine car time?

Turns out: yes.

CART/Champ Car was doing this in some races toward the end, though with a longer time limit.

As it turns out, at least the European Formula 3 series is also using timed races this season.

All four seasons of Formula E so far have gone into the final race with two title contenders. This year there is a double-header in New York, and again two drivers are in contention.

This video wraps up the Bird vs Vergne rivalry of the season so far:

Sam Bird is 23 points behind Jean Eric Vergne. Which is less than a race victory, and there are two races in New York… and last year Sam Bird won both races in New York! It’s looking good for a dramatic end to the season again (though hopefully not as dramatic as London in season 1).

Formula E wins the most fun video channel award:

It’s formulaic, sure, but fits so well. I think it’s even better than the Mario Kart video:

It’s so interesting to see a brand with an actually good sense of humor.

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Cool exploding car video:

I can’t be the only one reading that as “ASS FORMULA-E”.

For the fourth season out of five so far, the Formula E championship goes down to the final race. It looked like JEV would have it all wrapped up with one race to spare, but then this WHAT THE FUCK CRAZY race happened yesterday:

Today is a sport-heavy day, with the Wimbledon mens final, British GP in Formula 1, me playing in a combat tournament this evening (also cricket world cup final and Tour de France which I’m not going to actually watch)… but I must admit I’ll still be hyped for the last race of the Formula E season.