Formula E season (2016-17) kicked off in Hong Kong

formulaehongkong2016Unfortunately I missed the first race of the season in this year’s Formula E series. I’ll make the effort to see some of the races this season, though I’m sadly in a difficult position right now as the channel which broadcasts the sport isn’t visible in the part of the country where I currently live. However, there is hope and I’m not giving up on this little corner of my blog.

Anyway, what did we take away from the first round of this Formula E season. Well, it seems Sebastien Buemi (Renault eDams) and Lucas Di Grassi (Abt-Schaeffler) are picking up from right where they left off at the end of the previous season, with the defending champ Buemi winning the Hong Kong round with Di Grassi in second. Mahindra’s Nick Heidfeld completed the trio of ex-F1 drivers on the podium by finishing third. This was Heidfeld’s third podium during his Formula E career.

A new constructor, Panasonic Jaguar Racing, also entered this season with the duo of Adam Carroll and Mitch Evans. Carroll was the champ of the 2008-2009 season of the now defunct A1 Grand Prix series (for Ireland) while Evans is a multiple time Toyota Racing and the 2012 GP3 champion. Unfortunately, Jaguar’s first outing was a let down with neither driver scoring points.

Nelson Piquet Jr. was the first man to score points this season by landing on pole position in the qualifying. However, something clearly went awry in the race itself, with Piquet landing 11th, just outside of points. However, his team-mate Oliver Turvey was 8th so it seems NextEV may have improved their car somewhat from last season. Conversely, the former Team Aguri, now Techcheetah, wound up with no points (alongside DS Virgin Racing). Techcheetah has bid adieu to Antonio Felix da Costa (now driving for Andretti) but retained Ma Qing Hua who is partnered with another ex-F1 driver Jean-Eric Vergne (formerly Virgin).

Unfortunately, MS Amlin Andretti has also parted ways with Simona de Silvestro (who is now driving for the Super Car series in Australia) so at least for the moment there are no female drivers competing. Andretti has retained Robin Frijns as da Costa’s partner.