While the last race of the Formula 1 season has understandably been grabbing headlines this weekend, a new and exciting type of motor racing has been making a few waves of its own.

Here’s a video of the first test of the electric Spark-Renault Formula E racing car, which took place last week.

The SRT_01E, to give it its full name, completed around 40 laps of the La Ferte Gauchier circuit in France, with test driver and former Formula 1 racer Lucas di Grassi behind the wheel.

The test was intended to ensure that all of the Formula E car’s systems were functioning correctly, although the normal 200kW (270bhp) battery that the racer normally uses was replaced with a smaller 50kW item.

“It is a great feeling to be driving the Formula E car for the first time,” said Di Grassi. “I can assure all the drivers will have a lot of fun with this car – even with just a quarter of the power it has quite a lot of grip and the electric motor produces huge torque.”

A video released by the formula’s organisers at the same time shows the Formula E car in full flow – complete with a shrieking, banshee-like soundtrack.

Formula E is a new championship that’ll feature single-seater racing cars powered exclusively by electricity.

The FIA, the organisation which governs world motorsport, hopes it’ll pave the way for more environmentally-friendly motor racing formulae, as well as furthering research and development of electric vehicles.

The first championship will commence in September 2014, and will run through to June 2015, and races will take place in major cities including London, Beijing and Los Angeles.

Leon Poultney


November 25, 2013