If you want a glimpse of the future, look no further than the Formula E battery-powered racing series. The organisation is perfect, as always with the FIA. It feels like a Formula 1 race. However, the noise of the engines and the smell of burning petrol are missing. All the teams are committed to carbon-neutral driving and the staff only use electric scooters or motorbikes to get around the circuit. We were also transported from the hotel to the venue in the latest Jaguar I-PACE electric cars and even the buffet is heavily vegetarian.
At the race in Berlin last weekend we were guests of Jaguar TCS Racing, the first major manufacturer to be involved from the start. Under the motto “Race to Innovate”, Jaguar is using Formula E to test and develop new electric vehicle technologies in a high-performance environment. And with good reason.
From 2025, Jaguar will produce only electric cars. But only at the high end, in the luxury segment in terms of both technology and comfort. The experience gained from the electric racing series is an invaluable asset when it comes to optimising the range and efficiency of the new vehicles.
The two drivers, Englishman Sam Bird and New Zealander Mitch Evans, have been a well-established team for years. The drivers and James Barclay, Jaguar’s Motorsport Director, can hardly contain their enthusiasm for racing and the technology of the future. Mitch Evans comes from a racing family. His father was a successful racer and his brother Simon qualified for the Formula E rookie test.
The race took place on the grounds of the disused Tempelhof Airport. The famous architecture provided the perfect backdrop for the futuristic spectacle. An extended qualifying session in the morning and concerts on stage kept the crowds entertained until the race.
The exciting thing about this race series is that the cars are identical in design, with only the drivetrain and battery management adapted by the teams. This shows how important not only the technology is, but also the quality of the drivers.
The race, which lasted about an hour, was very exciting and surprising. It ended with a spectacular double win for Jaguar TCS Racing with Mitch Evans in 1st place and Sam Bird in 2nd, and it was quite impressive to see Mitch come from 9th place to win. Mitch’s parents, who had flown all the way from New Zealand to be on hand for their son’s victory, were there for the celebrations.