Formula E

Race break over: XXL preview of the 2024 Sao Paulo E-Prix of Formula E in Brazil

Svenja König

Svenja König

Formula-E-Sao-Paulo-Nissan-Cars-on-track

High speed, slipstreaming and Jaguar dominance: that's how you could summarise the premiere of the Sao Paulo E-Prix last season. This weekend (16 March 2024), Formula E is back in Brazil. Will everything stay the same? As always, you can find all the information about the race, including the event schedule, in our preview.

Where exactly will the Formula E race take place?

Like last year, Formula E is travelling to Sao Paulo in the south of Brazil. With 12.4 million inhabitants, the metropolis is three times the size of Berlin and the largest city in the southern hemisphere. The city was founded by Portuguese colonisers in 1554. Today, Sao Paulo is known as the economic and multicultural centre of Brazil - and for its overcrowded streets.

Formula E holds its race in the Anhembi Sambadrome - an event location that was originally built for the carnival celebrations and still attracts thousands of people every year. In total, more than 30 events take place there every year. Between 2010 and 2013, the IndyCar series even held races at Anhembi.

Fast Facts | Sao Paulo

  • Sao Paulo is one of the most international cities in the world. Thanks to many Italian immigrants (such as the ancestors of Lucas di Grassi), pizza is one of the city's most popular dishes. Around one million pizzas are sold here every day.
  • There is also a large Japanese community of 1.5 million people. As a result, Sao Paulo is home to the only gym outside of Japan that specialises exclusively in sumo.
  • Sao Paulo's transport system is so overloaded that helicopters are also used as a means of transport. Around 700 flights are operated daily. This is roughly equivalent to the number of flights at Dortmund Airport in one week.
  • This weekend, Formula E is contesting its 20th race weekend on the South American continent.

When is the Formula E race in Sao Paulo?

Depending on your region, you can watch qualifying and the race live on TV. For the free practice sessions, as usual, e-Formula.news will offer free Formula E live streams. Due to the time difference to Brazil, the race will take place the evening in Europe.

Session Date Day of the week Start TV/Stream Session End TV/Stream TV channel/website
Free Practice 1 15.03.2024 Friday 20:25 20:30-21:00 21:15 e-formula.news
Free Practice 2 16.03.2024 Saturday 11:25 11:30-12:00 12:15 e-formula.news
Qualifying 16.03.2024 Saturday 13:25 13:40-15:03 15:30 depends on your region
Race 16.03.2024 Saturday 17:50 18:03-19:00 19:15 depends on your region

 
* all times in Central European Time (CET)

What characterises the race track in Sao Paulo?

Sao Paulo is one of the high-speed circuits on the calendar. The surface on the almost three-kilometre-long track alternates between asphalt and concrete. The track is characterised above all by several long straights, which offer good overtaking opportunities with the subsequent turns 1, 4, 7 and 10. However, the long straights also increase the effect of slipstreaming, which is why there are likely to be some tactical games and many changes of position again this year.

With a total length of around 745 metres, the start/finish straight is the longest full-circle straight on the current Formula E calendar. Consequently, a new top speed record was set here last year. The attack zone can be found in turn 3.

What has happened since the last race in Diriyah?

  • In just under seven weeks off, not much has happened around Formula E. For the European races in Misano, Monaco, Berlin and London, the NXT Gen Cup will form the supporting programme of Formula E. This is the first time since the end of the Jaguar I-Pace eTrophy in 2020 that Formula E has had a supporting series again. The all-electric junior series will use the Mini Cooper SE as its race car.
  • A propos young talent: Formula E rookie tests are planned again in Berlin and Misano. An additional free practice session is to take place in Italy, while a full day is planned in Germany.
  • The final track layout has also been published for Misano. As on other permanent circuits, a short connection will be used.
  • Formula E has beaten the Formula 1 acceleration record with the modified GenBETA car. The vehicle, optimised to 400 kW, managed to go from 0 to 100 km/h in 2.49 seconds - almost a tenth of a second faster than Formula 1.

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 progress to the quarter-finals, where they will duel for the best grid positions. The qualifying groups for the Sao Paulo E-Prix are as follows.

What will the weather be like in Sao Paulo?

The southern hemisphere is currently in late summer. After milder temperatures of 25 degrees Celsius prevailed at the beginning of the week, it will be really hot at the weekend: up to 33 degrees are forecast. Rain is currently not expected. If you want to jump into the water after the race, the coast off Sao Paulo has the best swimming conditions right now - the water temperature there is 27 degrees.

Who are the favourites?

As in the previous season, Pascal Wehrlein and Jake Dennis started the season strongly for Porsche and Andretti respectively. However, they lost out in Brazil last year: Wehrlein barely made it into the top 8, while Dennis retired after a collision with Dan Ticktum.

In contrast, Jaguar - together with customer team Envision - dominated the race in 2023, with Mitch Evans, Nick Cassidy and Sam Bird taking a one-two-three for the British manufacturer. The two New Zealanders are likely to be a force to be reckoned with again. Cassidy has already proven that he has arrived with his new team with a victory in Diriyah, and team-mate Evans also impressed with strong race pace.

Sebastien Buemi (Envision), Jean-Eric Vergne, Stoffel Vandoorne (DS Penske) and Maximilian Günther (Maserati) are secret favourites. As usual, the first answers will be available on Friday evening in the first free practice session at 20:30 (CET).

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