Formula E

Formula E back in the "Middle Kingdom" after 5 years - Preview of the Shanghai E-Prix 2024

Svenja König

Svenja König


The Formula E season finale is fast approaching. Next stop: Shanghai! The Chinese metropolis is one of three new circuits on the 2024 racing calendar and, like Sao Paulo, Misano, Berlin and Portland, promises to be a "slipstream battle". Will there already be a preliminary decision in the championship battle? You can find the event schedule as well as all the information about the new track in our big preview.

Where exactly will the Formula E race take place?

After four years, Formula E is returning to China - where it once held its first ever race. This time, however, the electric series will not be competing in Beijing, Sanya or Hong Kong, but in Shanghai. There, it will be racing on the Shanghai International Circuit, which is well-known from Formula 1.

The name Shanghai is made up of the words "over" and "sea". This describes the city's location pretty well. Situated directly on the Yangtze River delta, just before it flows into the East China Sea, the city is surrounded by a lot of water and is on average just four metres above sea level. The name Shanghai was first mentioned in Chinese history books 4,000 years before Christ.

At that time, it was still a village that had a harbour early on due to its clever location and thus gained economic importance. Shanghai became a central trading centre with the capital Beijing, but also with Japan. Today, Shanghai is the third largest city in the world and the economic centre of China.

Fast facts | Shanghai

  • Formula E has organised six races in China and the Chinese Special Administrative Region of Hong Kong. The race winners have been Lucas di Grassi, Sebastien Buemi, Sam Bird, Felix Rosenqvist and Jean-Eric Vergne. Buemi is the only driver to have won two races so far.
  • The Shanghai E-Prix is the finale of the fictitious Asian championship, which consists of five races this season: Diriyah twice, Tokyo once and now Shanghai twice more. After three races, Nick Cassidy leads this unofficial classification with 45 points ahead of Jake Dennis and Maximilian Günther. Last year, Wehrlein scored the most points in the Asian races - 93 in total. Notably, he was the only driver to score points in each of the five Asian races.
  • Jean-Eric Vergne will contest his 125th Formula E race on Saturday. For Pascal Wehrlein and Oliver Rowland, it will be their 75th race.
  • The world's largest indoor ski centre is currently being completed in Shanghai. It will include a track with a length of 1.2 kilometres. The Formula E track configuration in Shanghai is just 2.5 times as long.
  • At 570 metres, the pit lane in Shanghai is the second longest on the current race calendar. Only in Misano was it a good 20 metres longer.

Who is broadcasting the Formula E races in Shanghai on TV & livestream?

Coverage of the qualifying and race sessions depend on the region you're in. offers free Formula E live streams for the free practice sessions though. Here's the schedule for the weekend (CEST).

Session Date Day of the week Start TV/Stream Session End TV/Stream TV channel/website
Free Practice 1 24/05/2024 Friday 10:55 11:00-11:30 11:45
Free Practice 2 25/05/2024 Saturday 01:55 02:00-02:30 02:45
Qualifying 1 25/05/2024 Saturday 05:00 04:20-05:43 05:50 depends on region
Race 1 25/05/2024 Saturday 08:50 09:03-10:00 10:20 depends on region
Free Practice 3 26/05/2024 Sunday 01:55 02:00-02:30 02:45
Qualifying 2 26/05/2024 Sunday 05:00 04:20-05:43 05:50 depends on region
Race 2 26/05/2024 Sunday 08:50 09:03-10:00 10:20 depends on region

* All data in Central European Summer Time (CEST)

What characterises the race track in Shanghai?

The Shanghai E-Prix will be hosted by the well-known circuit, which was also used by Formula 1 just a few weeks ago. However, Formula E does not use the entire five-kilometre circuit, but a short circuit, which mainly eliminates the 1.3-kilometre straight.

Similar to the Berlin E-Prix, the lap begins with a snail curve - a particularly long corner, but this time round to the right. It ends in an almost 180 bend and leads onto the short back straight. At the exit of the hairpin, it is important to carry plenty of momentum and traction into the following sweeping bends. At turn 9, the drivers do not turn off onto the approach to the straight, but take the short connection to the start/finish straight with a straight and two sharp bends. The last corner therefore goes round to the right (not to the left).

What has happened since the last race in Berlin

In which order do the drivers start qualifying?

In Formula E, qualifying takes place in two stages: Group stage and knockout stage. For group qualifying, the driver field is initially divided into two halves, with all drivers in the odd-numbered championship positions (positions 1, 3, 5, 7, etc.) competing in Group A and the drivers in the even-numbered positions in Group B.

The four drivers with the fastest lap times in their group after twelve minutes will then move on to the quarter-finals, where they will duel for the best grid positions. The qualifying groups for Saturday's race at the Shanghai E-Prix are as follows.

What will the weather be like in Shanghai?

In China, just like in Europe, summer is approaching. Temperatures of up to 27 degrees Celsius are therefore expected for the two race days in the Chinese metropolis. However, there could also be rain: An 80 per cent chance of rain is predicted for Sunday in particular.

Who are the favourites?

Oliver Rowland and Nick Cassidy seem to be in top form at the moment and are best able to cope with the slipstream battles. Both recently finished on the podium twice in Berlin. For Cassidy it was even four podium results in a row. This ensured that the New Zealander was able to gain some ground on Pascal Wehrlein in the overall standings.

However, the Porsche drivers should not be written off too early. As Antonio Felix da Costa impressively demonstrated in Berlin, the overall package is strong enough to compete for victories if Porsche does not argue too much with each other or with the Andretti customer team on the track.

The Stellantis quartet including Jean-Eric Vergne and Max Günther have been able to draw attention to themselves from time to time with good results and keep up with the pace. However, it was not enough to take the race into their own hands recently.

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