Formula E

Paddock Whispers: News ticker on all the important Formula E topics in Sao Paulo

Tobias Wirtz

Tobias Wirtz

After a seven-week break, the 2024 Formula E season finally resumes this weekend in Sao Paulo. As always, you can find out what else is going on in the paddock in Brazil besides the action on the track in the latest edition of our popular "Paddock Whispers" series. We will update this news ticker regularly over the course of the weekend.

>>> Natalie Jane und Culcha Candela perform at the Berlin E-Prix

[16.03. | 20:45] On the sidelines of the Sao Paulo E-Prix, it was also revealed what the event program in the Fan Village at the Berlin E-Prix in May will look like. The event will be accompanied musically by US singer Natalie Jane, who achieved her breakthrough in 2022 with her song AVA, and the well-known German band Culcha Candela. They will probably be on stage again at lunchtime.

>>> Felipe Massa drives demo laps in the safety car

[16.03. | 18:00] Felipe Massa, former Venturi driver and 2008 Formula 1 runner-up with Ferrari, was allowed to drive a few laps in the racing series' safety car in Sao Paulo. Formula E presenter Saunders CB was sitting in the passenger seat of the Porsche Taycan.

>>> Bernie Ecclestone & Emerson Fittipaldi visit Sao Paulo E-Prix

[16.03. | 16:53] Former Formula 1 promoter Bernie Ecclestone is on site in Sao Paulo. Ecclestone was given a tour of the paddock by Formula E founder Alejandro Agag. Emerson Fittipaldi was also a guest at the Sao Paulo E-Prix. The 1972 Formula 1 world champion had the honour of waving the chequered flag at the end of the race.

>>> Gen3.5: Delivery this month

[16.03. | 11:06] As FE Notebook reports, the Formula E manufacturers will receive the Gen3.5 kits for their test cars in the course of March. In addition to a body kit with a new look, this also includes a new, activated front motor and tyres from standard manufacturer Hankook with a new, softer tyre compound.

"The tyres are actually quite a lot better and the (front MGU) felt good - very good," says Jean-Eric Vergne, who has already had the opportunity to test the new package. "I think Formula E has finally understood to give us a proper car to drive and it's all going in the right direction."

>>> ABT Cupra: Team Principal Biermaier misses Sao Paulo E-Prix

[16.03. | 10:30] Thomas Biermeier has not travelled to Brazil as he has to undergo knee surgery. This is reported by FE Notebook. The ABT Cupra team boss will be replaced by former DTM champion Martin Tomczyk, who holds the role of sports director at ABT Sportsline.

>>> Envision and Porsche teams play football

[15.03. | 18:59] When it comes to sport and Brazil, football is of course a must - after all, the Selecao, Brazil's national team, is the most successful team at the World Cup, having won five titles. The Andretti and Porsche drivers visited the Corinthians women's team, while Envision Racing visited local rivals Palmeiras. Antonio Felix da Costa in particular cut a fine figure.

>>> Di Grassi visits beach tennis tournament

[15.03. | 18:04] As usual, the drivers use the time on site before the race weekend to visit local sports teams. Lucas di Grassi was a guest at a local beach tennis tournament with series sponsor Julius Bär and played a little with the pros.

>>> Dodds visits Atlanta

[15.03. | 17:17] Formula E CEO Jeff Dodds visited Atlanta in the days leading up to the Sao Paulo E-Prix. Among other things, he gave a lecture on the racing series at the Georgia Institute of Technology and took part in the HT07 of the local Formula Student team HyTech Racing. With its 33 kW electric motor, the 195 kg car covers a distance of 75 metres from a standing start in 3.675 seconds.

>>> Phil Charles moves from Jaguar to DS Penske

[15.03. | 16:52] DS Penske has signed former Jaguar technical director Phil Charles shortly before the Sao Paulo E-Prix. The Briton will take on the role of Deputy Team Principal at the US team. He is also team president of the equipe, which is currently in second place in the overall standings, just behind Charles' former team.

>>> Valencia tests in November, season opener still in 2024 in L.A.?

[15.03. | 10:07] According to a report by FE Notebook, the official pre-season tests for the eleventh Formula E season will take place from 5 to 8 November 2024. The cars will then be shipped to the season opener, which could take place in Los Angeles at the end of November or beginning of December. If the agreement with the US city does not materialise, a season opener in Sao Paulo at the end of 2024 is also conceivable as an alternative.

How Formula E would deal with a Sao Paulo E-Prix being held twice in the same calendar year is currently unknown. There has never been a situation like this before.

>>> Will Formula E soon start in Thailand?

[15.03. | 09:26] Formula E CEO Jeff Dodds met with Thai Prime Minister Srettha Thavisin and Paetongtarn Shinawatra, leader of the ruling Pheu Thai Party, during the long break from racing. According to the Prime Minister, a Formula E delegation was expected in Chiang Mai last week to examine the conditions for a race in the northern Thai city.

E-mobility is on the rise in Thailand: last year, 40 per cent of new vehicles ordered in the country were electric. "I believe it is good to bring Formula E to Thailand to boost the country's economy and infrastructure development while supporting the policy of reducing carbon emissions," the prime minister wrote on X (formerly Twitter).

Thailand could thus beat another Asian country that is also being discussed for a Formula E race: The chances of the racing series returning to Malaysia, where the Putrajaya E-Prix was held in 2014 and 2015, could decrease as a result of the race in Chiang Mai, reports Free Malaysia Today. A race in the capital Kuala Lumpur is being discussed. Formula E has offered the Malaysian government to organise the Formula E season finale by 2030, but a response is still pending.

>>> Attack Charge - the latest

[15.03. | 07:30] As reported by The Race, a meeting between the Formula E teams and the FIA took place in Sao Paulo on Thursday. The topic was the introduction of Attack Charge. The fast-charging pit stops are to be tested again in the free practice sessions in Sao Paulo and Tokyo before they are also to be carried out for the first time in the race at the Misano E-Prix (we reported). "As far as the attack charge is concerned, we are still looking at Misano and will report back in due course," said an FIA spokesperson ahead of the Sao Paulo E-Prix when asked by at the beginning of this week.

>>> Sette Camara puts disadvantaged children in karts

[14.03. | 20:37] ERT driver Sergio Sette Camara supports disadvantaged children in his home country of Brazil by giving them the opportunity to learn about karting. "We dream of discovering a great talent one day, but the main thing is to mould good people," explains Sette Camara in a video released by Formula E ahead of the Sao Paulo E-Prix.

>>> Race director Scot Elkins absent in Brazil

[14.03. | 19:17] According to The Race, race director Scot Elkins will be absent from the Sao Paulo E-Prix for personal reasons. The US-American will miss an E-Prix for the first time since 2017 and will be replaced in Brazil by his predecessor Oliver Grodowski. This is not the first time that Grodowski has returned to the Formula E paddock: the German was race director at the Jaguar I-Pace eTrophy, which raced in the Formula E support programme, from 2018 to 2020.

>>> FIM E-Xplorer World Cup: Demo runs at the Misano E-Prix

[14.03. | 19:03] The FIM E-Xplorer World Cup will organise off-road demo rides as part of the Misano E-Prix to promote e-mobility in the motorbike sector. The two racing series have also agreed to work together in future and regularly exchange knowledge.

>>> TV show participants market Formula E team

[14.03. | 17:11] Formula E played a starring role in the British TV show The Apprentice: The 13 contestants developed advertising and marketing strategies for their own Formula E team. The winner was Tre Lowe, who managed to receive 38.7 million pounds (equivalent to 45.3 million euros) in sponsorship offers. Perhaps one or the other team should think about signing the Brit...

>>> Nissan is giving away Formula E tickets for London in India

[14.03. | 14:24] As a replacement for the cancelled Hyderabad E-Prix, Nissan has auctioned off two tickets for the London E-Prix for Formula E fans in India. In addition to the two tickets, the team is also sponsoring the flights and hotel. Entry requirement: Fans had to be 18 years old and resident in India.

>>> Jaguar donates old team clothing

[14.03. | 12:30] The Formula E team Jaguar TCS Racing has donated 300 old items of clothing to Coventry University - for students in their first year at the School of Art and Design. In doing so, the team wants to follow the concept of sustainability and prevent the clothing from ending up in the rubbish bin.

>>> New simulator driver for Maserati

[14.03. | 08:42] The Monaco-based Maserati MSG Racing team has a new simulator driver: Hungarian Balazs Remenyik will from now on support Maximilian Günther and Jehan Daruvala in their preparations for the Formula E races. If you don't recognise the name, even though you're a big motorsport fan, it's not surprising: Remenyik is normally a simracer and drives virtually for the French simracing team Race Clutch, with whom Maserati has entered into a new partnership.

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