Formula E

Photo gallery: The Formula E safety car over the course of time

Tobias Wirtz

Tobias Wirtz

In the tenth Formula E season, the racing series will once again have a Porsche Taycan Turbo S as a safety car. Porsche has made its electric sports car available to Formula E for this purpose since the 2022 world championship season. Until then, BMW was Official Vehicle Partner of the racing series and equipped Formula E with safety and medical cars from Bavarian production. You can see which models were involved in our photo gallery.

Just before the very first Formula E race in Beijing in 2014, BMW was introduced as "Official Vehicle Partner" and provided the racing series with a safety car and medical car from then on.

The first safety car was a white BMW i8 with just a few stickers on it. These included Qualcomm, which was the official title sponsor of the "Qualcomm Safety Car".

The car also had its first outing in the very first race, when it led the formation lap. This was subsequently cancelled by the race series.

In the first season, the safety car remained almost unchanged, only some of the sponsor stickers changed, as here in Putrajaya.

Safety car driver Bruno Correia has been with the team since the first season. Here, the Portuguese poses next to his car at the 2015 London E-Prix.

The BMW i8 went into the second season unchanged, here at the opening race in Beijing.

At the 2016 London E-Prix, the last race of the second season, the safety car had a new sticker for a sad occasion. Dr Phil Rayner, Formula E's medical delegate, had died suddenly shortly beforehand.

At the 2016 Hong Kong E-Prix, the season 3 opener, car supplier BMW also announced that it would be joining the Andretti team as a technical partner.

In addition to the safety car, BMW also provided other i8 cars for laps with VIP guests at this time, as here in Berlin in 2017, who were only allowed to take a seat in the real safety car later.

At the 2017 New York City E-Prix, BMW then unveiled the new livery for the safety car. The boring white colour disappeared and was replaced by a more eye-catching blue.

For the first time, different coloured accents were also used to distinguish the safety car from the look of a production vehicle.

On the racetrack, the BMW i8 presented a completely different picture.

The advertising effect for BMW was also increased by the fact that VIP guests got to be pictured with the safety car. Here, for example, model Kate Upton in Montreal 2017.

Safety car driver Bruno Correia also enjoyed being photographed with VIP guests and "his" car, as here in Hong Kong in 2018.

The 2018 Marrakesh E-Prix was the last race for the "old" BMW i8 before BMW brought a technically enhanced model to the race track.

The new version was then used for the first time at the Santiago E-Prix 2018. A special feature was that the i8 could be charged inductively by simply parking it on a special base plate.

As in many races, the new vehicle was also used directly in the race: Here Correia leads the field during the Santiago race.

The paintwork was also special in the further developed version: in addition to black, the light blue colour of the racing series was also used, which once again made the vehicle an eye-catcher.

The safety car was now also regularly used for journeys with VIP guests. Here at the Berlin E-Prix 2018 with German football world champion Lothar Matthäus.

With BMW's factory entry into Formula E, the look of the safety car was also adapted. The i8 now clearly resembled the BMW Formula E car driven by Antonio Felix da Costa and Alex Sims.

The look was now reminiscent of the BMW logo in the Bavarian colours, with purple accents. Seen here at the Swiss E-Prix in Bern 2019.

From summer 2019, the BMW i8 Coupe was joined by the BMW i8 Roadster as a safety car, here at the 2020 Berlin E-Prix.

In 2020, BMW revised the design of its safety cars, with red colour accents now making the car stand out a little more from the manufacturer's Formula E cars.

In March 2021, there was a purely electric safety car for the first time in the history of the racing series: the Mini Electric Pacesetter was added to the vehicle line-up and was used in selected races.

BMW's withdrawal from Formula E as a factory partner also marked the end of its time as Official Vehicle Partner of the racing series. A Ford Focus ST from the circuit organiser was used once during the pre-season tests in Valencia.

Before the season opener in Diriyya 2022, Porsche was unveiled as the new safety car manufacturer. The colourful stripes of the Porsche Taycan Turbo S's wrapping symbolised the teams competing in Formula E.

For the 2023 Formula E World Championship, the livery was adapted to the changes in the teams.

Instead of Mercedes, McLaren was now on the grid, so there was now also a papaya-coloured stripe on the safety car. Seen here at the Berlin E-Prix 2023.

For safety reasons, there are always two safety cars at each race, which hardly differ visually from each other. Here you can see both Porsche Taycan Turbo S cars in the pit lane at the 2023 Rome E-Prix.

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