The Teams’ battle
Mercedes-EQ stretched its lead in London with silverware for both de Vries and Vandoorne. Back-to-back titles look to be on with a 36-point margin on ROKiT Venturi Racing in second, with DS TECHEETAH behind the Monegasque outfit by 11 points.
On Sunday, the second race of the 2022 Hana Bank Seoul E-Prix double-header will be Formula E’s 100th E-Prix. The race is also the end of the Gen2 era, the second version of Formula E race car.
As such, the centenary E-Prix will appropriately mark three huge generational leaps in EV technology and industry-leading sustainability achievements ahead of the debut in Season 9 of the fastest, lightest, most powerful and efficient electric race car ever built – the Gen3.
The 1,000 club
As the only driver set to line up on the grid this weekend and race in all 100 E-Prix, Lucas di Grassi (ROKiT Venturi Racing) is also chasing a landmark 1,000 points. The Brazilian has been an intrinsic part of Formula E from day zero and is set to become the only driver to have entered every E-Prix to-date following Sam Bird’s (Jaguar TCS Racing) unfortunate withdrawal through injury as the only other ever-present driver to date.
Topping off his Season 8 with 1,000 points, following a maiden win for ROKiT Venturi in London which saw him reach 996 in his Formula E career so far, it would be some way to celebrate. Lucas has eyes on that prize but the goal for Seoul is to go out and seal championship silverware for Venturi.
“I’m very proud of to be able to be competitive for eight years now, in a championship which is super competitive,” said di Grassi. “The level of the teams that drive versus us is just insanely good. But we go to Seoul with our main target being the Teams’ World Championship, for ROKiT Venturi Racing to be number one.
“The task is hard, but it’s mathematically feasible. So until it’s unfeasible, we’re going to work very hard. We know how things are in Formula E, everything can happen. So we’re going to be on top of it and try to get this World Championship title for the team.”
An all-new challenge
The newest circuit on the Formula E calendar is at Seoul’s Olympic Park. The lap starts with a tight, technical run before entering the Jamsil Olympic stadium where the 22 racers will put on a show for thousands of fans in the stadium seats.
As they leave the stadium a batch of sweeping turns leading to long straights connected by 90-degree turns follows as the circuit wraps around the Olympic park and the drivers jostle for position around this fast 2.6km, 22-turn circuit.
Seoul also brings more high temperatures for the teams to manage. EV battery systems and powertrains are at their most efficient and performant inside a specific temperature window.
Managing raw, outright pace with efficiency and high ambient temperatures will be a weekend-long battle for drivers and engineers. There will be plenty of thinking and thousands of kilometres worth of simulator data put into play to ensure ATTACK MODEs, FANBOOST and race strategy are on-point by the first race on Saturday.
It will all be hypothetical for the engineers until they can get out on track in Free Practice to corroborate the maths and sim work they have put in since London. In addition, the new track surface will evolve rapidly. What might be true on Saturday morning might be completely different by the afternoon, and certainly by Sunday.
Add to that the complications from expected downpours and high humidity. Whoever triumphs in Seoul will have more than earned their silverware in the most dramatic ABB FIA Formula E World Championship season to date.
Don’t miss a minute of Season 8. Keep track of the best ways to tune in where you are at fiaformulae.com/watch.