Formula E

Satirical look into the crystal ball: What will happen in electric motorsport in 2023 (1/2)

Timo Pape

Timo Pape

The year 2023 has begun and holds many history-making events in store for us. As in every year, has taken a satirical look into the crystal ball. We predict with the usual high accuracy, what will come to you in the coming months. All stories and events are, as always, freely invented and to be understood with a wink. Part 1 is about tears, animal welfare and dance.

Curtain up for Gen3

The start of the Formula E season in Mexico! The first Gen3 race is coming up. Everyone in the paddock is mighty jittery about a serious accident. After all, because the FIA was closed over Christmas, the new emergency brake is not yet there. In fact, the first cars were hit in the first free practice session: all four Jaguar cars crashed at high speed into the barriers of the newly built chicane. Mitch Evans, Sam Bird, Sebastien Buemi and Nick Cassidy have to be taken to hospital by helicopter, but fortunately don't even have any bruises.

Even before the 2nd free practice, everyone is back at the track and ready to continue. Spark, however, has no spare parts with them, so Jaguar and Envision are already packing up again on Saturday morning. In the race, Lucas di Grassi dominates. He had disguised himself as Pascal Wehrlein to be able to start in the Porsche and maintain his positive Mexico record. Besides, he had already stolen a Mexico victory from the German anyway. Papa Perez hands over the trophy and has tears in his eyes - the Foro Sol goes nuts! ABT drivers Nico Müller and Robin Frijns had only sat in their actual race cars for the second time, but then realized that there were no tires on them.

At the Neom Diriyya E-Prix, a familiar picture emerges: Hundreds of thousands of exuberant spectators turn the historic old town into a place of pilgrimage. In sporting terms, Neom McLaren comes up trumps. Title sponsor Neom had decreed that the team from Woking was the only one already allowed to use the new fast-charging technology. Incidentally, this is to be the only use of the technology this year. Jake Hughes drove circles around the competition and won ahead of Rene Rast, who got into trouble after the race, however: he had so much contact with the competition that the Neom lettering on the flank of his car could no longer be read. Asked why the Neom Diriyya E-Prix was not being held in Neom, a spokesman replied, "There is no such city."

For an éclat next to the race track provides Maserati. The new FIA president Gianni Infantino had forced the team to scrape all rainbow flags from its cars. The team then demonstratively positioned itself on the grid with its hand in front of its mouth. The Saudi people misinterpret the gesture and apply it to themselves - Saudis are supposed to shut up. Maserati dealers are boycotted with immediate effect. The MSG team receives a lot of positive feedback. The Italian sports car brand, on the other hand, will have to withdraw from Formula E at the end of the year due to a lack of profits in the Middle East.

Great success for Formula E in India

Formula E goes Bollywood - finally the first race in India! Dilbagh Gill is also there and close to tears. Mahindra puts Oliver Rowland in a far-too-tight traditional robe and has him dancing on the team's social media channels. Nick Heidfeld shakes his head in bewilderment at how awkwardly the Brit moves. A branch falls onto the track during qualifying. Rowland, who also has to drive in his tight robe and is therefore barely able to steer, can't get out of the way in time. A pileup ensues. As there are no spare parts, the race is cancelled. Still, 1.3 billion Indians tune in to see emotional images of Dilbagh Gill, who has never been this close before, reminiscing about old track designs from Indian fans.

By the time the Cape Town E-Prix rolls around, about half the field will be ready to race again. For a PR campaign, some teams are going on safari. They want to draw attention to the protection of wildlife - a nice idea that has been copied from the Extreme E. Shortly before the race, Formula E releases a cheetah on the start and finish straight to make comparisons with the acceleration capabilities of the Gen3 cars. However, the animal remains seated in its starting box and throws up on the track when it sees the new Formula E logo.

After that, it's off to Brazil for the first time. Lucas di Grassi is very excited and tweets every 5 minutes about the importance of the Sao Paulo E-Prix for his country. However, Formula E miscalculates with its pre-program, as a colorful parade with hundreds of lightly clad dancers in the Sambadrome degenerates. Those responsible for Formula E, including the race organizers, celebrate so hard that they forget it's a race. Even when some teams are already back in Europe, there is still dancing in Sao Paulo. Lucas di Grassi announces his career end at the end of the season.

Continue Tuesday with Part 2 of our glass-ball article.

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