Race premiere in Cape Town: Formula E drivers show great respect for "fastest track on the calendar
Formula E makes its first guest appearance in Cape Town next weekend. Ahead of the South African premiere on the "Cape Town Street Circuit," the drivers agree: one of the fastest tracks on the racing calendar awaits them. Small mistakes could have big consequences for the E-Prix weekend. What it will come down to, you read in our track preview..
The 2.921-kilometer brand-new course runs around the 2010 World Cup soccer stadium through two of Cape Town's hottest neighborhoods: Green Point and Waterfront. With long straights and only twelve turns, it is considered very fast. After the start, it heads counterclockwise into a fast passage with three left-hand turns.
After the chicane with turns 4 to 6 and the 90-degree left turn T7 comes the long back straight, which offers overtaking opportunities. Nissan driver Sacha Fenestraz, however, says: "Overtaking is likely to be difficult, which makes qualifying particularly important this weekend." Teammate Norman Nato warns, however, "It will be a challenge to get a perfect lap, with all the high-speed sections and bumps."
"This new venue in Cape Town will be very challenging and demanding for both the drivers and the cars," agrees Nissan team principal Tommaso Volpe. "From our work in the simulator, we know that the track will be very fast, even faster than Hyderabad, so any mistake could have serious consequences."
McLaren driver Jake Hughes also addresses this challenging "balance between risk and reward" that he has always appreciated about street circuits. Max Guenther reports many bumpy sections from his preparation from the simulator. "It will be a big challenge to find the 'sweet spot' with the setup and handling on this track. It's sure to be an exciting race," said the German Maserati driver..
Felix da Costa: New track "requires more groundwork in the simulator"
Phil Charles, technical director of Jaguar TCS Racing, even speaks of an "absolute cracker" with regard to the new circuit: "A fast-paced track with several bumpy braking zones, a super-tight chicane with turns 4, 5 and 6 as well as a high-speed pinhole section in T8, T9 and T10: the Cape Town E-Prix promises to be an absolute nail-biter."
Antonio Felix da Costa calms tempers and is analytical: "A new track is always a tricky thing. That makes intensive preparation all the more important. If experience from previous years is lacking, that requires more basic work in the simulator. That costs time. But we adjusted well to a new track in Hyderabad and will do the same in Cape Town, I'm very confident. We have a lot of experience there by now and know how the process works."
The 1st free practice session in Cape Town starts at 4 p.m. (CET) on Friday. You can follow the session as usual in the livestream and liveticker on e-Formel.de. The race is scheduled to start on Saturday at 3 p.m..