Formula E is back in the principality of Monaco this weekend. Although it might not have quite the same vibe as in previous years, with a global pandemic meaning fancy celebrations and yacht parties have been put on hold, there’s still SO much to get excited about.
THE TRACK LAYOUT
Okay, let’s talk about the biggest talking point from this weekend. We’re racing on the full circuit layout. It’s something that’s been requested from drivers year after year, with them unbothered by the predictable time comparisons to F1.
Formula E has raced at Monaco previously, three times in fact. It was a huge moment on the inaugural Formula E Calendar and revisited the iconic venue every two years – taking it in turns with the Monaco Historique. With the country ready for the famous F1 Monaco Grand Prix just weeks later, having installed all the safety barriers and so on, it’s the perfect opportunity to race at the special location.
Normally, Formula E has raced on a smaller and flatter version of the circuit. The 2019 circuit was 1.765 km long, with all the cars bypassing the steep climb up to Casino Square instead of heading down to the famous tunnel’s exit. They then drove around a tight hairpin before following the usual F1 route down to Tabac corner, the swimming pool chicane and then past Le Rascasse.
However, for 2021, Formula E is using the full layout. Yes, that includes the tunnel. We’re so ready for the pretty photographs of the LED halo going through this iconic part of the circuit!
As you would expect, everyone is beyond excited about using the full layout.
If you’re a Formula E newbie, you might not be too familiar with this rule. Everything happens in one day. It’s a crazy schedule for everyone involved, but it also means you don’t go very long without some excellent electric action on such a magical racing circuit.
Practice 1 starts nice and early at 8:00 local time (CET), with Practice 2 at 10:15 later that morning. Qualifying follows shortly after 12:00, with the race itself occurring at 16:00. Please remember all these times are CET, so be sure to find out the timings that are applicable to wherever you’ll be watching.
Inside Electric will also, as ever, be covering the sessions over on our Twitter page.
This is also the only race of the season which is just one round. Every other event on the calendar is a double-header; however, it’s only the one race for Monaco.
ANYONE COULD WIN
It’s the ultimate Formula E cliché, but it’s true. This weekend that elusive Monaco victory could belong to any one of the 24 drivers on that grid.
Each and every single driver has a championship point to their name six races in. We’ve had five different winners in six races and 14 different drivers on the podium. Insane statistics and the best bit is there are still so many more drivers who have the cars to get on the podium that haven’t been there yet.
René Rast of Audi currently sits sixth in the drivers’ standings without a single podium to his name this season. His teammate, 2016–17 Formula E champion Lucas di Grassi, looked set for the win in Rome last month before his car failed just minutes before the chequered flag. Neither of these drivers has a podium or a win to their name, and there’s a good chance that they could deliver this weekend around the streets of Monte Carlo.
Sébastien Buemi, the first Formula E winner around Monaco back in 2015, has had a nightmare start to the season but could his luck change in Monaco? Possibly. The Nissan e.dams finished second at Monaco last time out, with Buemi’s teammate Oliver Rowland even securing pole position at the 2019 event.
You’ve also got the mega fast DS Techeetah duo of Jean-Eric Vergne, who won the race in 2019, as well as Formula E’s current drivers’ champion Antonio Felix da Costa, who could challenge here this weekend.
For da Costa, a good result is in dire need as he sits 14th in the current standings with a disqualification to his name and a best result of third at Race 2 in Diriyah. It all seemed to be going da Costa’s way in Valencia, though, after inheriting Pole Position for Race 1 and leading the race until the very last lap.
We all know what happened next… *energy management flashbacks intensify*
As ever, the Monaco event is totally unmissable, and we can’t wait to see what unfolds during this very special event.