Formula E: Season 8 reaches home straight with London E-Prix

Formula E is returning to London this weekend with the penultimate rounds of Season 8 taking place around the challenging ExCel Circuit.

Following the return of London to the calendar last year, Formula E descends on the capital once again as Season 8 reaches its closing stages. With just four rounds of racing remaining, the race for the championship is heating up with four drivers battling for the top spot.

A turbulent weekend in New York saw DS Techeetah’s Jean-Éric Vergne and ROKiT Venturi’s Edoardo Mortara slip down the order, with Jaguar’s Micth Evans and Mercedes’ Stoffel Vandoorne able to grab a spot on the podium in Round 12 to boost their chances.

Vandoorne leads the championship heading into the London E-Prix, 11 points ahead of Mortara, who has led the drivers’ standings for much of the campaign. Mitch Evans is up into third after the double-header in NYC, moving ahead of Vergne who had a weekend to forget.

British struggles in London

British drivers dominated the ExCel circuit last year, with both Jake Dennis and Alex Lynn claiming victory in the capital.

This year, however, a British driver has yet to win a race, there’s yet to be a British winner for the first time in the series’ history. Jaguar’s Sam Bird has struggled for most of the season, whilst Andretti’s Dennis has returned to the points in recent weeks after a mid-season slump.

Mahindra’s British pairing of Alex Sims and Oliver Rowland have also struggled this year, as have NIO’s Oliver Turvey and Dan Ticktum. Heading into Round 13 of the season, all British drivers’ are sat outside the top ten of the drivers’ standings.

The circuit

The ExCel Circuit in London is one of the most unique track layouts on the Formula E calendar, as it features both indoor and outdoor segments.

The layout has been slightly modified for Season 8, with a new chicane complex around Turns 10 to 13, giving the ExCeL Circuit a bit more flow for 2022. From there it’s a quick run-down to twisty set of curves, and the track still features its infamous ramp down into the indoor section of the circuit.

The typical British weather could cause a few problems with the combination of both indoor and outdoor segments, as drivers’ last year faced a wet surface outside and then completely dry conditions inside. As the sun came out and the track outside began to dry throughout the race, the rain from the tyres had been brought inside, making the indoor section wet. It is a circuit like no other, and certainly one of the most challenging on the calendar.

Hear from the drivers’

Mitch Evans, Jaguar TCS Racing: “This season is incredibly close and after a successful second race in New York, I’m determined to close the gap to the top of the drivers’ standings and hopefully stand on the top step of the podium at our home race.”

Sam Bird, Jaguar TCS Racing: “As a British driver, racing in London not far from where I grew up is an unforgettable experience, even more so with Jaguar TCS Racing, an iconic British team. The Jaguar I-TYPE 5 had incredible pace last time out in New York so I’m looking forward to getting back in the car and hopefully delivering another strong performance in front of the home crowd.”

Edoardo Mortara, ROKiT Venturi Racing‍: “The ExCeL Circuit is still quite new to the Formula E calendar, and it’s quite a technical and challenging track, which when driven perfectly, is very satisfying to race on. Because of the layout, it can be difficult to overtake, meaning that qualifying well will be very important if we want to achieve a good result. Our pace in the second half of this season has been strong and we have shown that we have one of the fastest and most energy efficient cars on the grid. With the end of the season in sight, it’s time for the final push so let’s see what we can achieve.”