Paddock Whispers: News ticker on all the important Formula E topics in Portland
Formula E is racing in Portland this weekend for the first time in its history. As always, you can find out what else is keeping the paddock busy besides the track action in the latest edition of our popular "Paddock Whispers" series. We update this news ticker regularly throughout the weekend.
>>> Technical problems with Jaguar power units
[Jun 24 | 20:40] As our colleague Sam Smith reports from Portland, there were several problems with the Jaguar-powered cars in the 2nd Free Practice: The battery of Sebastien Buemi's Envision car had to be changed afterwards.
But there were also problems with the works Jaguar of Mitch Evans: The New Zealander stopped in the pit lane at the end of the practice session. As the vehicle was "red", i.e. the warning lights on the racing car did not indicate a safe condition, the Jaguar had to be recovered by specially trained personnel in protective clothing. There was a risk of electrocution.
>>> Sold-out crowd at Formula E premiere in Portland
[Jun 24 | 19:50] It was announced by Formula E on Friday that all tickets for the debut race of the electric series at Portland International Raceway are sold out.
>>> Lindsay Vonn drives Jaguar I-Pace in Portland
[Jun 24 | 12:45] Former ski racer Lindsay Vonn has taken a Jaguar I-Pace for a spin in Portland. After a short instruction by safety car driver Bruno Correia, the US-American took the wheel herself. You can see how she did in the video that Formula E published afterwards.
Swapping the slopes ⛷️ for the track ⚡️— ABB FIA Formula E World Championship (@FIAFormulaE) June 24, 2023
What happened when World Champion skier @lindseyvonn took to the Portland International Raceway? ? @southwire #PortlandEPrix @Jaguar @JaguarRacing pic.twitter.com/1egxMWowuB
>>> Pole to Pole: Expedition lettering on the Nissan cars
[Jun 24 | 12:20] The race cars of Sacha Fenestraz and Norman Nato bear a new lettering in Portland: "Pole to Pole". This is the title of an expedition in which the couple Chris and Julie Ramsay want to drive an all-electric and modified Nissan Ariya a distance of 27,000 km from the magnetic North Pole in the frozen Arctic via North and South America to the South Pole in Antarctica. The couple has been on the road since 30 March and is currently stopping in Portland. They want to reach their destination after nine months.
>>> Fenestraz or Cassidy to Jaguar?
[Jun 24 | 11:45] As speculated by our colleagues at The Race, Sacha Fenestraz could move back to Jaguar to replace Sam Bird after his Nissan contract ends in 2025. The Briton could therefore be offered a new 1-year-contract, despite his mixed form and the two intra-team collisions with Mitch Evans in Hyderabad and Jakarta. "I know what you're asking, and he's a great character, but I'm not going to be drawn on whether he's an option for us in the future," Jaguar team principal James Barclay said when asked about Fenestraz, who has been a test driver with the team in the past, including driving the Gen3 car in the first shakedown.
Nick Cassidy is being mooted as an alternative to Fenestraz, which would give Jaguar an all-New Zealand driver duo. This solution would have several advantages: Cassidy could switch from Envision to the factory team as early as next season and is also very good friends with Evans. However, as Jaguar would in this case poach the top driver from its customer team, this could have a detrimental effect on the cooperation between the two teams. "As you know, we don't comment on the drivers stuff too much, but he's in the right place," says Envision team principle Sylvain Filippi.
Jack Aitken is being mooted as a possible successor to Cassidy. The British-Korean racer had convinced at the rookie test in Berlin and will be allowed to drive the team's bolide again at the rookie training in Rome.
>>> 276.6 km/h - Mitch Evans sets Formula E speed record
[Jun 24 | 11:00] Jaguar driver Mitch Evans has set a new Formula E record in the 1st free practice session: The New Zealander reached a top speed of 276.6 km/h (171.9 mph) with his Jaguar I-Type 6. That war more than 12 km/h faster than in Sao Paulo, where Sergio Sette Camara had set the previous record.
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>>> Attack Mode as in Jakarta
[Jun 23 | 16:45] The experiment in Indonesia seems to have been a success - at least for Formula E: The drivers will again have eight minutes of Attack Mode at the race in Portland. While in the first half of the season the maximum power of 350 kW was allowed to be used for four minutes, the FIA doubled the duration for the Jakarta E-Prix. As usual, the drivers have to decide before the first activation how to split the eight minutes and have three options to choose from: 6+2 minutes, 4+4 minutes or 2+6 minutes.
>>> Formula E adapts rules for "IndyCar pit lane"
[Jun 23 | 16:30] Formula E is adjusting its rules due to the construction situation of the pit lane in Portland: As is typical in the USA, the teams' garages are separated from the pit lane by a low wall. Each team is allocated an area in front of this wall where tyre changes and repairs must be carried out during the practice sessions and races. The cars must therefore be pushed out of the garage into the pit lane ten minutes before the start of a session; self-propelled driving is prohibited.
>>> Shakedown with full power
[Jun 23 | 16:00] New rules for the premiere at the Portland International Raceway: Instead of using a maximum of 110 kW, the drivers are allowed to drive one lap with full power of 350 kW during the shakedown. In the other two laps of the session, they are allowed to use a maximum of 300 kW. The shakedown is used by the drivers to drive three laps to test basic functions of the car and the radio connection to the team around the circuit. Lap times are not officially taken in the shakedown and are not published. The session will not be broadcast.
>>> Jaden Smith designs Gen3 show car
[Jun 23 | 11:20] U.S. rapper, actor and fashion designer Jaden Smith has designed the livery of a Formula E show car for the Portland E-Prix. Smith opted for a matte black design on which he showed representations of math, physics and history - his favorite subjects in his school days. It was Smith's second visit to Formula E: the previous year, he visited the New York City E-Prix, where he even got to take a lap in the Gen2 show car.
>>> David Beckham designs luxury versions for Maserati models
[Jun 23 | 09:47] Maserati has unveiled a new luxury range for its road cars ahead of the Portland E-Prix: Fouriserie Essentiells. The first two configurations were designed by former professional soccer player and Maserati brand ambassador David Beckham. In addition to the "Night Interaction" exterior color combined with a light brown leather interior, both the MC20 and Grecale models are also available in a dark green "Verde Royale" paint scheme with a dark brown leather interior.
>>> Cape Town organizers "cautiously optimistic" for 2024
[Jun 22 | 17:40] Three venues are still missing on the 17-race calendar for the 2024 season, which was announced this week. One of the cities not firmed up so far is Cape Town. A study found that the race generated nearly 1.1 billion Rand (the equivalent of about 54 million Euro) in economic activity. In addition, the South African city received some of its biggest media exposure in the past decade as a result of the race.
Iain Banner, chairman of local promoter e-Movement, says at Slipstream SA: "We are cautiously optimistic that we can complete this process by the end of July." Alberto Longo, Formula E's Chief Championship Officer and thus responsible for the race calendar, describes : "Formula E is in advanced discussions with Cape Town and many other cities that would like to host a Formula E race. Having just finalized 2023, we are working diligently on the guarantees for 2024."
>>> Nissan motorsports division unveils sustainable streetwear collection
[Jun 22 | 14:15] NISMO, the motorsports division of Japanese manufacturer Nissan, has unveiled a new streetwear collection called NISMO Thrifted ahead of the Portland E-Prix. This was developed in collaboration with Boho Basement, a Pennsylvania-based company specializing in sustainable streetwear. In the process, the garments are tailored from old vintage racing suits from NISMO.
Taking our sustainable streetwear to the streets of Portland ✌️- Nissan NISMO (@NISMO) June 19, 2023
Swipe to see our favorite shots of the #NISMOThrifted collection, made in collaboration with eco-conscious designer @boho_basement.@Nissan @NissanUSA #NissanFormulaE #FeelElectric #PortlandEPrix pic.twitter.com/rnj6TC8jZX
>>> Andretti drivers attend Portland Timbers match
[Jun 22 | 13:25] Jake Dennis and Andre Lotterer attended the Portland Timbers soccer team's match on Wednesday night before the race. The Timbers play in the MLS, the highest North American soccer league, and were even champions there in 2015. Dennis and Lotterer were presented with jerseys bearing their starting numbers before the match. However, the presence of the two Andretti drivers at Providence Park did not bring the team much luck: Portland lost against Chicago Fire with 1:2.
>>> Bike tour in LA for Felix da Costa, Nato & Vandoorne
[Jun 22 | 12:50] Antonio Felix da Costa, Norman Nato and Stoffel Vandoorne took advantage of the time before the Portland E-Prix to make a trip to Los Angeles, where they discovered the city on bicycles. Reigning Formula E champion Vandoorne shared a few snaps on his Instagram account afterwards.
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>>> Fewer VIP guests on the grid?
[Jun 22 | 12:05] The FIA could sharply reduce the number of visitors in the starting grid before Formula E races. During the meeting of the World Motor Sport Council just before the Portland E-Prix, an incident at the Spanish Grand Prix in Formula 1 was discussed: Here, guests on the grid, including Brazilian soccer star Neymar Jr, were still standing on the side of the track when the drivers had already started the introductory lap.
"We must learn the lessons from the incident at the Spanish Grand Prix," FIA President Ben Sulayem was quoted in a press release from the world governing body for automobiles. "This is not only a problem in Formula 1, but also in Formula E and the World Endurance Championship, as well as in other categories, as I know from my recent experience with too many people on the grid at some events. I have no doubt that in all cases the organizer did follow the FIA regulations for safety and security. It is the duty of the FIA to ensure a safe environment for all. Safety in motorsport is the federation's top priority."
>>> Water stations, HVO, Girls on Track: sustainability measures in Portland
[Jun 22 | 11:25] As with every event, Formula E is implementing various sustainability measures as part of the Portland E-Prix. In addition to the Girls on Track program, which will host a panel discussion on "Inclusion of Women in Motorsports" over the weekend, electricity for the Oregon event will once again be generated by hydrogenated vegetable oil (HVO), which is made from waste products from food production. There will also be three free water stations for fans, plus 36,000 FSC-certified paper cups will be provided. The Forest Stewardship Council award states that the wood used comes from responsible forest management.
>>> Pre-season test drives again in October
[Jun 22 | 10:50] Formula E fans can look forward to a shorter Formula E-free period after the season finale in London: the pre-season tests in Valencia will this year again take place already in October - from the 23th to the 27th. The break is thus less than three months. In seasons 4 to 6, Formula E had already held the Spain test drives in October, but switched to the period from late November to mid-December after the pandemic.
>>> Nissan shows Formula E car at Milano Monza Motor Show
[Jun 22 | 10:15] Nissan showcased its Gen3 car last weekend at the Milano Monza Motor Show in the paddock of the Formula 1 circuit in Monza's Royal Park. The Japanese manufacturer also showed its electrified crossover models there and promoted the Rome E-Prix, which will be held in the Italian capital in about three weeks.
>>> Chief Commercial Officer Matt Scammell to leave Formula E
[Jun 22 | 09:08] As reported by colleagues at The Race, Chief Commercial Officer Matt Scammell has left his post. Scammell moved from Liverpool FC to the racing series in January 2022 and was considered a confidant of ex-CEO Jamie Reigle, with whom he had previously worked at Manchester United.