It is fair to say that Formula E was met with plenty of scepticism when it was launched by Spanish businessman Alejandro Agag in 2014. The world’s first all-electric single-seater series was quickly described as “cheese” by Ferrari Formula One driver Sebastian Vettel.
It had its problems. The whizzing sound of the electric motor took a little getting used to. Drivers were also forced to change vehicles mid-way through the race as batteries could not last a full race distance, a fact not too far from the farcical. The first season featured 34 drivers in total on a grid of 20, with one team fielding eight drivers across 11 rounds.
After notching up the 50th ePrix in Hong Kong last week, it appears that the current 2018/19 season – the series’ fifth – could be the year Formula E starts to achieve its potential. Although the racing has been exciting throughout its existence, boxes are now being ticked in many other areas.
For a start, the new second-generation cars (Gen2) are aesthetically miles away from the first models. Distinctive and sleek, they no longer look like single-seaters you might find on a ‘track day’. And they last the race distance, too, finally.