Formula E’s fully-electric race car, the Spark-Renault SRT_01E, made its first public demonstration on Monday with a high-speed display around the Mandalay Bay Resort & Casino in Las Vegas. Driven by former Formula One and current Audi Sports driver Lucas di Grassi onlookers had their first chance to see and hear a car that will compete in the new FIA Formula E Championship, beginning in September.
Formula E is the new FIA championship series which will compete on 10 city circuits around the globe including two races here in the U.S. (Miami and Los Angeles). So far ten teams have signed on for the new series. The series is expected to consist of one-hour races, the car batteries will last up to 25 minutes at a time, so drivers will have to switch cars during the race while their batteries recharge.
Unveiled in September of 2013 the Formula E car has been built by French-based Spark Racing Technology. Sparked Racing Technology worked together with a consortium that included Dallara (chassis), Williams (battery design), McLaren (powertrain & electronics), Renault (overall system integration) and Michelin (tires) in the design of the prototype.
Last month, actor Leonardo DiCaprio announced that he is partnering with Venturi Automobiles to enter a team in the championship. Other teams include IndyCar’s Andretti Autosport and Dragon Racing, ex-Formula 1 team Super Aguri, Audi-backed Abt and Richard Branson’s Virgin.
“Today is a very special landmark for the FIA Formula E Championship and I’m delighted to be sharing it with Qualcomm and all our partners,” said Alejandro Agag, CEO of Formula E Holdings. “Since the FIA launched Formula E just over a year ago, the progress and interest in the series has been overwhelming. When we started we had no cities, no teams, no broadcasters and no car. Now we have all these things so to be able to showcase our new car to everyone involved, and of course the fans, is a very proud moment. 2014 is a very big year for Formula E with the championship starting in September so it’s important to be starting on such a positive note. Today will also be the first of many roadshows we have planned over the coming months as we want as many people as possible to see, and hear, what we believe is the future of motorsport.”