Paddock Whispers: News ticker on all the important Formula E topics in London
At the Hankook London E-Prix, Formula E is gearing up for its 2023 season finale this weekend. In the latest edition of our popular "Paddock Whispers" series, you can find out what is keeping the paddock at the ExCeL exhibition center busy besides the track action. We'll be updating this news ticker regularly throughout the weekend.
>>> Nissan & McLaren fill in race interruptions with Tic-Tac-Toe
[07/30 | 19:21] The social media teams of the racing teams also have to somehow manage the waiting times during race interruptions. Nissan and its customer team McLaren used the break to play tic-tac-toe on Twitter.
>>> Celebrities visit London E-Prix
[07/30 | 13:32] Sunday's London E-Prix race once again featured a number of celebrity faces: Among others, two-time Oscar winner Christoph Waltz and Jaden Smith were on site. Orlando Bloom also paid a visit to the Porsche garage.
>>> Dennis becomes world champion despite screw in tyre
[07/30 | 13:32] Jake Dennis seems to have been lucky in Saturday's race: As his Andretti team shows in a social media post, the Briton had driven a screw in his right rear tyre during his drive to second place. It's hard to imagine what would have happened if the tyre had lost air and Dennis had thus slipped below the minimum tyre pressure, as Antonio Felix da Costa didd.
Jake's right rear tire yesterday, btw ? pic.twitter.com/aTimRAKpCg— Avalanche Andretti FE ? (@AndrettiFE) July 30, 2023
>>> Wehrlein recommends Rast to take a holiday
[07/30 | 10:50] After the collision of the two German drivers Rene Rast and Pascal Wehrlein, the Porsche driver advised his compatriot to take a holiday. What exactly the two had to say about the situation you can read in our full article.
>>> Monocoque change for Sacha Fenestraz
[07/30 | 10:12] As our colleague Sam Smith from The Race reports, Sacha Fenestraz has to change his survival cell after his accident in Saturday's race.
Confirmation that Fenestraz has had a survival cell change for today after his major T16 red flag inducing shunt yesterday. Another Gen3 tub bites the dust! #FormulaE— sniffermedia (@sniffermedia) July 30, 2023
>>> Saturday ends without official race result
[07/30 | 01:12] At the last race weekend of the ninth Formula E season, we will experience a premiere: the day will end without an official race result. According to information from e-Formel.de, the reason for this is a protest by Porsche against the 3-minute time penalty for Antonio Felix da Costa. The Portuguese did not agree at all with being penalised for low tyre pressure after a puncture and attacked the race stewards as well as the FIA technical delegate with extremely sharp words. We have dedicated a separate article to Felix da Costa's statements, which really hit home.
>>> Nyck de Vries spotted in the paddock
[07/29 | 17:12] 2021 Formula E World Champion Nyck de Vries has made his first visit to a race in London since his Formula E retirement last year. The Dutchman paid a visit to the McLaren team, among others, but that shouldn't surprise anyone: Last year, he was still driving for Ian James' team, which at that time still competed under the name Mercedes-EQ.
>>> Fresh helmet design for Edo Mortara
[07/29 | 15:34] Edo Mortara is known for his colourful and sometimes spectacular helmet designs. The Swiss driver also had some changes made for the season finale in London. The colour combination of orange, yellow and white definitely stands out in the driver field and can be easily distinguished from the blue design of his Maserati teammate Max Günther.
>>> Tinie Tempah & Ella Eyre as show acts
[07/29 | 13:14] The London E-Prix will once again feature show acts for the fans in attendance: On Saturday, British pop and R&B singer Ella Eyre will perform, and on Sunday, the audience can look forward to see rapper Tinie Tempah performing live.
>>> Sustainability facts of the London E-Prix
[07/29 | 12:27] As Formula E announced, the entire freight was delivered to London by DHL trucks after the Rome E-Prix. Only environmentally friendly biofuel was used. The London E-Prix will also run on 100 per cent electricity from renewable energy sources. Energy supplier Smartech uses a mix of solar, wind and hydroelectric power.
The Formula E Team and Manufacturers Association has provided old car parts from the previous season to be made into artwork. These will be auctioned off in the coming months to benefit UNICEF's climate programme. Besides, a campaign by the FIA "Girls on Track" initiative is also taking place again in London: 120 girls aged twelve to 18 have been invited.
>>> Sacha Fenestraz celebrates 24th birthday
[07/29 | 11:01] Nissan driver Sacha Fenestraz celebrated his 24th birthday in the paddock on Friday. He was of course presented with a cake to mark the occasion. There were also colourful balloons above his car. Horror fans might have been reminded of Stephen King's novel "It"...
24! What a way to spend my Birthday ? Big thanks to my Nissan family for making it a special one! Now let’s go have a good Birthday weekend on track ?❤️ pic.twitter.com/TJb1FryI6a— Sacha Fenestraz (@sachafenestraz) July 28, 2023
>>> Shakedown: Merhi with lockup under full-course yellow
[07/28 | 16:00] The Shakedown in London went without any major incidents. Only Mahindra driver Roberto Merhi made notice of himself once when he went straight in turn 10 with locked front wheels. In addition to the new steering wheels, Formula E also tested yellow flags, a full-course yellow and even a red flag shortly after the end of the session.
>>> Aidan Gallagher at the wheel of e-waste race car
[07/28 | 13:23] Envision Racing has had a Gen3 car redesigned by artist Liam Hopkins using e-waste ahead of the London E-Prix. Dozens of old circuit boards, iPhones, tablets, cables, and game console housings were used to create it. The race car, which is at least capable of driving at walking speed, was driven by actor Aidan Gallagher on the start-finish straight.
>>> James Bond & Shakespeare on the Porsche halo
[07/28 | 13:04] As usual, the TAG Heuer Porsche Team will start the season finale in London with two new halo slogans: "License to thrill" for Pascal Wehrlein and "A midsummer ride's dream" for Antonio Felix da Costa are allusions to James Bond (License to Kill) and William Shakespeare (A midsummer night's dream). Well, we're in London.
>>> Dennis' dog Billy on site as Andretti's official mascot
[07/28 | 12:45] The dog of Jake Dennis and his partner Lexi is in London as team mascot. Special feature: Billy Boosey has received official accreditation from the FIA, the world automobile association, which he dutifully wears around his neck. Memories of Lewis Hamilton's dog Roscoe come to mind...
Over the course of the day, several new posts were made on social media with Billy as the protagonist. For an "onboard video", for example, Andretti strapped a camera to the four-legged friend's back. A pitwalk from a dog's point of view - that's probably never been seen before. Dennis also thinks: "This is the best thing you'll get to see today."
The POV you all want to see ? pic.twitter.com/0Jr7yn9iyO— Avalanche Andretti FE ? (@AndrettiFE) July 27, 2023
>>> Formula E sets indoor speed record
[07/28 | 12:10] Jake Hughes has set a new record in a modified Gen3 car. With more than 218 km/h, the Briton beat the previously valid top mark indoors by more than 50 km/h. You can find all the information about the modifications as well as a video of the record drive in our article on this topic.
>>> Karting events with Porsche & Mahindra
[07/28 | 11:49] Both Porsche and Mahindra have held races with electric karts in the days leading up to the London E-Prix. While Porsche invited one of the participants of the British TV show "Love Island", Mahindra had various local journalists and influencers participate. And they didn't do badly at all: Lucas di Grassi only finished second.
??? Some more electric motorsport ahead of the #LondonEPrix - and it was lots of fun ?.— TAG Heuer Porsche FE Team (@PorscheFormulaE) July 27, 2023
Thanks, @Nas_JM, for joining our unofficial free practice session. See you at the @FIAFormulaE season finale this weekend!#MakeItMatter #PorscheFormulaE pic.twitter.com/J6gHcdGHzV
Electric karts, a professional racing driver and a group of ?????? competitive media and influencers… what more could you want?!⚡️?— Mahindra Racing (@MahindraRacing) July 26, 2023
Thank you to everyone who joined us at our media karting event yesterday ? Our #LondonEPrix race week is well underway! pic.twitter.com/kV1oQolSDc
>>> Shakedown without lap restriction
[07/28 | 11:40] In the 15-minute shakedown for the London E-Prix (Friday, 2:30 p.m. local time), the drivers are exceptionally allowed to drive as many laps as they want. The power restriction to 110 kW has also been dropped - one lap may be completed with 350 kW and the remaining laps with 300 kW. In addition, the personnel restrictions in the so-called remote garage have been lifted. This means that any number of engineers are allowed to work in the teams' headquarters with the data obtained on site.
The reason for the adjustments is somewhat curious: Formula E is testing the Gen3 steering wheel for the first time in the shakedown. You read that right: The cars were previously on track with the old Gen2 steering wheel. Due to supply bottlenecks for some components, the new steering wheels have not been used across the board so far, but were only used in Berlin during the rookie test.
>>> Amount of energy drastically reduced for London races
[07/28 | 12:13] The FIA has decided to reduce the amount of energy available at the London E-Prix also in the first year of the Gen3 era. Instead of 36 to 40 kWh - as in previous races - the drivers in the British capital will only be allowed to use 27 kWh - about a third less! This means that the energy deduction is about twice as high as in the previous year, when the drivers were allowed to use 46 of 52 possible kWh.
It remains unknown why those responsible instead did not simply extend the race distance, which is quite short at 71 and 75 km respectively. For comparison: in Rome, the race distances were around 84.5 and 88 kilometers long. There is speculation in the paddock that the measure could play into the hands of Jaguar-powered drivers, the first pursuers of title favorite Jake Dennis...
>>> Season finale also for "Accelerate" Simracing League
[07/28 | 10:40] Not only the Formula E season ends this weekend but also the season of the simracing league of the electric series: "Accelerate" carries out their final event 2023. The German Michi Hoyer (Nissan) travels to London as the overall leader. This year, however, the public has hardly noticed anything of the once prominently marketed simracing series.
>>> McLaren announces new partnership with Trend Micro
[07/28 | 08:35] The McLaren team has unveiled a new partner in the days before its home race in London: Japanese company Trend Micro will work with the Woking-based racing team from next season, providing cyber security solutions among other things.
Welcome to the Team, @TrendMicro! ?- NEOM McLaren FE (@McLarenFE) July 25, 2023
We are delighted to announce Trend Micro as an official partner of the Team from the 2024 Formula E season and beyond. ?
>>> Different race distances again
[07/27 | 22:45] At the London E-Prix, we will again see different race distances in the two races. Saturday will see 36 laps, which means a race distance of about 75 kilometers. On Sunday, the race distance is two laps shorter. Around 71 kilometers will then have to be covered by the drivers.
>>> Porsche extends Formula E program until 2026
[07/27 | 16:06] Good news for all German fans and Formula E in general: some days before the London E-Prix, Porsche has announced that it will extend its commitment to the electric series until the end of the twelfth season (2025/26).