Lights are ever closer to turning green at the Formula E London E-Prix and the teams are getting excited about the season’s British instalment of the race. The race will be held in an unusual fashion as the track is set to run inside and around the London ExCel exhibition centre, which will showcase the motorsport’s e-mobility triumphs.
But with a global footprint comes obligation both to the environment and the local community. The London E-Prix will become the hosting ground for the Girls on Track initiative, which returns to the event, and the organisation will also leave behind a signature of sustainable development.
As Formula E and its drivers enter the grid once again, the cars will be charged using installations at the ExCel to be left behind once the event comes to a close.
Joined by Sam Bird, Racing Driver at Jaguar TCS Racing, and Alberto Longo, Chief Championship Officer at Formula E, virtually, we were able to gain insight into the upcoming race and how it will uphold the message of the motorsport and host a large number of fans in a family-friendly fashion.
Bringing sustainable e-mobility to the UK capital
As seen across the globe, Formula E is committed to sustainability. Both the organisation and its employees are invested in environmental, social and governance (ESG), and how motorsport can be leveraged to create meaningful change.
Sam Bird is one of these advocates and, as a proud British-born racing driver, is excited to take to the streets of London Olympic Village to promote electric vehicles (EVs) and present the technological capabilities of its partner ABB.
But, in order to gain in-depth insights about the motorsport’s return to London and how it is encouraging more sustainability Longo talks about the legacy that it will leave behind in the city.
“We keep on doing this, not only London, but every single place that we go to. Obviously there's more opportunity for us to leave some legacy behind when we go to the heart of a city, when we go to the streets of a city, as we are talking about now in London, a private venue, and it's a little bit more challenging.”
The Gen 3 car is a performance and sustainability triumph
The Gen 3 vehicle announced by Formula E at Monaco in April 2022 is not only a feat of engineering that will excite the fans in the ninth season of the motorsport, but is also a step forward in sustainable design.
Specifically on the subject of tyres, Formula E is working with Hankook as the provider of tread for its Gen 3 car, which is not only a partnership move but a step in sustainability as well. Bird explains how Formula 1 teams choose three different tyre sets for each race from the five different options developed for the cars while Formula E leverages a more sustainable approach and utilises all-weather tyres to limit the amount of waste and reduce the level of transport required for the race to take place.
When discussing the FIA’s approach to racing, Bird says, “The FIA chooses three compounds per race weekend. They're called soft, medium, and hard, and they juggle around depending on where they go and the micro roughness and macro roughness of the surface.”
“They are taking an awful lot of tyres around the world every year, which obviously, environmentally, isn't ideal. Formula E’s whole point is to be as sustainable and eco-friendly as possible. So we take a limited amount of tyres to each race and we use an all-weather sports tyre that can run both in the wet and the dry.”