Last-race title decider? Questions & Answers about the Formula E race in London 2023
Decision week in Formula E! On Saturday and Sunday, the last two races of the 2023 season will take place in London. A good six months after the start of the year in Mexico City, only four drivers are left in the race for the world championship. Find out all about their chances, the role a new track layout could play and more in our race preview.
192 days have passed since Jake Dennis won the season opener in Mexico. The Briton, who this season starts for the Andretti team equipped with Porsche powertrains, thereby laid the foundation for his title campaign. He stood on the podium in another eight races in 2023 and has collected a total of 195 points so far. Before the Hankook London E-Prix, he is the overall leader - and as such the big favorite for the title. But will Dennis hold his nerve at his home race in the UK?
Where exactly will the Formula E races take place in the UK?
With interruptions, Formula E has been racing since its first season in the British capital London, which has been the scene of sometimes dramatic championship decisions on several occasions. Since 2021, the electric series has set up camp in the Docklands district, where the world's largest port was once located. London City Airport is in the immediate vicinity of the course, which is located in and around the exhibition halls of the ExCeL center.
London itself needs little introduction: 14.2 million people live in the metropolitan region, which has been the capital of the United Kingdom or its predecessor for nearly a millennium. The government and the British royal family have their seats in London, as a result of which the city blossomed into an important trading center in the Middle Ages. To this day, the city remains a significant cultural and financial hub.
Gallery: The London E-Prix 2022 in pictures
Fast Facts | London
- London has been running electric for many decades. The Tube opened to locomotives in 1863, but switched to electric trains in 1890.
- While Formula E drivers only have to memorize 20 corners in London, aspiring drivers of cabs in London face a much more difficult task: They have to memorize every single street in the city. For this reason, too, their training takes two to four years.
- As the seat of government of the United Kingdom, London has been known for centuries. But in World War II, the heads of state and government of Norway, Poland, Belgium, France and the Netherlands also conducted their business from London!
- The ExCeL can not only host racing series: In 2007, it was converted into an oasis on the occasion of a state visit, and in 2012 it hosted competitions of the Olympic Games. In 2020, even a temporary hospital was built at the ExCeL.
- With a length of 2.09 kilometers, the Formula E track in London is the shortest in the racing calendar of the electric championship. Around 18,174 porcelain teacups would be needed to circle the track once.
Where can I watch the Formula E races in London on TV & on-demand?
Just like last time in Rome, there will again be two races on one weekend: One starts on Saturday, one on Sunday. Once again, Free Practice 1 will be brought forward to Friday (with no public access to the site).
|Session||Date||Day||Start TV/Stream||Session||End TV/Stream||Platform|
|Free Practice 1||28.07.2023||Friday||17:55||18:00-17:30||18:45||e-Formel.de|
|Free Practice 2||29.07.2023||Saturday||11:25||11:30-12:00||12:05||e-Formel.de|
|Qualifying||29.07.2023||Saturday||13:30||13:40-14:55||15:10||varies between countries|
|Race||29.07.2023||Saturday||17:30||18:03-19:00||19:30||varies between countries|
|Free Practice 3||30.07.2023||Sunday||11:25||11:30-12:00||12:05||e-Formel.de|
|Qualifying||30.07.2023||Sunday||13:30||13:40-14:55||15:10||varies between countries|
|Race||30.07.2023||Sunday||17:30||18:03-19:00||19:30||varies between countries|
* all times in CEST
All free practice sessions can be followed as usual on the livestream page of e-Formula.news.
What distinguishes the race track in London?
At 2.09 kilometers, the ExCeL London Formula E Circuit is the shortest on the Formula E calendar. The special feature: the area of turns 19 to 5 is located in an exhibition hall, just like the start/finish straight and the pit lane. Turns 6, 7 and 8 are also covered by a roof structure. The track is thus the only indoor and outdoor track in an FIA World Championship.
Newly designed this year is the area after the attack zone, which is once again located in turn 16. The passage now allows slightly fewer opportunities to save energy. Nevertheless, observers of the series do not expect a "power-saving race" in which energy management would play a significant role.
What has happened since the last race in Rome?
Slowly but surely, there is movement in the Formula E driver market, with several drivers likely to change employers ahead of next season. Among them may be Rene Rast, who, according to a report by The Race may no longer race for McLaren in 2024. Porsche, on the other hand, is in it for the long haul: the Weissach-based team has extended its Formula E commitment until 2026.
Apart from that, the teams and drivers were preoccupied with the follow-up to the Rome race: ABT identified leaves in front of the grille as Robin Frijns' reason for retirement, as Envision recapped the cause of the fire on Sebastien Buemi's car.
Which group will the drivers go into qualifying in?
In Formula E, qualifying takes place in two sections: Group Stage and Knockout Stage. For group qualifying, the driver field is first divided into two halves, with all drivers in the odd championship places (places 1, 3, 5, 7, etc.) competing in Group A, and the drivers in the even places competing in Group B.
The four drivers who set the fastest lap times in their group after twelve minutes will then move on to the quarter-finals, where they will duke it out for the best grid positions from then on. For the Hankook London E-Prix, this results in the following composition for the qualifying groups on Saturday.
What will the weather be like in London?
The covered of parts of the track could be a tough nut to crack for the Formula E teams: in typical British rainy weather, they will have to find a setup that works equally well on dry (indoor) and wet (outdoor) conditions.
For in fact there could be precipitation: Meteorologists currently expect showers and temperatures of 14 to 23 degrees Celsius, especially on Friday and Sunday. Saturday, on the other hand, is expected to be dry. The exact forecasts could still change until the race days, however.
What do the world championship scenarios look like for Dennis & Co. ?
Only four drivers still have mathematical chances of the world championship title: Jake Dennis (195 points), Nick Cassidy (171), Mitch Evans (151) and Pascal Wehrlein (141). With 58 points still to be awarded, Dennis has a comparatively comfortable cushion that makes him the clear title favorite. Particularly in comparison with German Pascal Wehrlein, the scenario looks promising for him: Wehrlein will drop out of the title race as soon as he doesn't win even one race.
Evans needs a fourth-place finish from Dennis to postpone the decision until Sunday - and even in that case must also score points for the win and pole position. Cassidy needs the bonus points for pole position and a second-place finish should Dennis win. For further arithmetic games in the world championship fight, keep your eyes peeled to e-Formula.news in the coming days.
Let's look forward to what we hope will be an exciting finale to the 2023 Formula E season! Already the previous season of the electric series the race was "electrifying" and full of twists and turns. In London, there could once again be two rousing E-Prix.