Tag Archives: FormulaE

Formula E: Winners Wear Spine

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Leaders in the ABB FIA Formula E Championship, the Techeetah Formula E team announce a  new partnership with SPINE OPTICS.

The Techeetah Formula E team rounded out the South American leg of the ABB FIA Formula E Championship with a second win of the season for Championship leader Jean-Eric Vergne yesterday.

The team and driver now hold a commanding lead in the constructors and drivers championships respectively. Highlights of the thrilling race from Punta del Este can be seen here:

Away from the circuit, the team have been finding success with new partnerships in the form of Blockchain Crypto Currency Dragon Inc, and industry-leading eyewear manufacturer  SPINE OPTICS. As a core brand within the Mondottica group, SPINE OPTICS are revolutionising eyewear with a patented arm design.

The Techeetah Formula E Team SPINE OPTICS Partnership will see all Team Members wearing SPINE wear for the remainder of the FIA Formula E Season with SPINE branding featuring prominently within the team environment.

For more information on SPINE head to their website here.

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Formula E: Raising the Bar in Motorsport Sponsorship

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Season Four of the FIA Formula E World Championship resumes this weekend with the third round in the calendar coming from Marrakesh. As the first major motorsport event of 2018, now is a good time to reflect on the success of the championship and explore how Formula E’s approach to partners is changing the face of motorsport sponsorship.

As motorsport goes, Formula E is a Championship still very much in its infancy. When considering the achievements of the championship, this fact is something many forget. Over three seasons Formula E has established a global audience in excess of 200M, this compared to Formula One which using the same metrics reported an audience of 350M across 2017 is hugely impressive. On average, Formula E appeals to a younger audience, with a gender split whilst still leaning towards males is far more balanced than any other form of motorsport. The city-centre, single day format has proven successful, as have affordable ticketing policies. Attendance of an ePrix is successfully positioned as a family event.

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The level of manufacturer support Formula E has achieved since its inception has exceeded all expectations. Championship management targeted 4-5 OEMs to have committed to the championship by season five. With DS, Jaguar, NIO, Mahindra, Audi, Renault (set to run as Nissan from next season) Venturi, BMW, Mercedes, and Porsche now involved, the championship finds itself in the position of having the most manufacturer-backed entries in any form of motorsport. Of course championship management acknowledge manufacturer support is cyclical, but Formula E represents a unique platform for manufacturers to showcase Electric Vehicle technology in a cost-controlled environment. The appeal of the championship goes beyond racing, Formula E gives manufacturers access to an audience demographic they would otherwise struggle to connect with. There is every reason to expect the current level of manufacturer support to be sustained.

Season Five will see the most significant change in the championship to date. In a bid to keep team costs under control, Formula E limits the development of components on a season by season basis and in some cases mandates the use of standard equipment across all teams. Through season five, two of the most significant standard elements will be upgraded, in the battery and the car itself. Whilst both elements will remain standard items, significant improvements in battery technology will remove the requirement for a mid-race car change, alongside delivering a sizable increase in performance. With the new car, Formula E promises to amaze fans with a futuristic design incorporating FIA mandated cockpit safety structures in a fully integrated design concept. The new look championship promises to leave other forms of motorsport looking old-fashioned by comparison.

Following the lead of Mumm Champagne, long time partners of Formula One including Allianz and Hugo Boss continue to transition towards Formula E. This shift is due in part to the way in which Formula E engages with its audience and has positioned itself at the forefront of the conversation around Electric Vehicles. The technology demonstrated within Formula E is perceived to be of greater relevance to the future of the automotive industry and as a consequence, has positioned itself as a sport which a broad and diverse audience can engage with. Free from shackles of history, the Formula E message evolves with it’s fans. This open and dynamic approach sits well with the marketing teams behind the championships growing list of partners and continues to attract new partners to the sport.

Formula E and its approach to fan engagement has not gone unnoticed.  2017 saw Formula One announce a partnership with premium partner Carbon Champagne. In attempts to build awareness of the F1 – Carbon Champagne partnership, CEO, Alexander Mea has acknowledged taking inspiration from the Formula E podium celebrations. Carbon have already employed ideas such as the use of a DJ to build atmosphere around the podium (as seen at the Mexican Grand Prix), to branding the cool down room and presenting drivers through the crowds to increase visibility. Formula E and its partners have inspired the established brands to up their game to maximize any return on investment.

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Engagement extends far beyond the podium ceremony, for race attending fans the eVillage supporting every ePrix provides an area for championship partners to engage with fans, delivering both tangible sales and the ability to build brand awareness. Formula E encourage championship partners and local partners to embrace the eVillage and its captive audience of fans. Beyond the eVillage is the The EMOTION Club.  Formula E’s unique take on the VIP paddock life experience. In contrast to other forms of motorsport where team and championship guests are hosted in separate motorhomes or paddock buildings, Formula E, through the EMOTION Club, have created a shared environment in which all guests and partners are together, facilitating an environment which truly lends itself to the development of new business to business partnerships and allows guests to maximize their experience from both an entertainment and commercial perspective. Formula E has always been keen to ensure all brands and partners involved with the championship have every opportunity to maximize their position in the sport. Success in this open approach is evidenced by the fact that to date, all partners joining the championship have chosen to renew and extend their commitments.

Another great asset of Formula E is its relationship with the media.  Of course the sport has it doubters and critics, but media reporting from within the championship hold Formula E in high regard. Motorsport will be criticized irrespective of any decisions taken, but Formula E seeks to balance this by engaging with the media, explaining the strategy of the championship, ensuring a feeling of inclusion and community. Many journalists have been a part of the championship from the very beginning, they feel part of the championship and their value in its continued growth does not go unnoticed by championship management.

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With the imminent announcement of title sponsorship of the entire Formula E Championship, Formula E management can be proud of what has been achieved. Formula E continues to outperform rival motorsport championships in terms of its reach and engagement. Founding partners including Qualcomm, DHL, Michelin, and Mumm Champagne continue to be rewarded for their willingness to embrace a new form of motorsport. As the championship grows, so will their return on investment.

Formula E: Interview with Mahindra Racing’s Felix Rosenqvist

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Earlier today Mahindra Racing Formula E team announced the signing of Felix Rosenqvist for the 2016/ 17 FIA Formula E World Championship. The partnership will see the 24-year-old Swede line up alongside Nick Heidfeld as the team embark on their third season. JWGP caught up with Felix during the filming for the announcement of the team’s new partnership with Errea Sport.

JW: Felix, how much time have you spent behind the wheel of a Formula E car, what are your first impressions?

FR: In total I’ve been in the car for 8 days. Mahindra have a private test track just outside of Barcelona, we’ve been working flat out to maximise our time before the first group test at Donington Park. The level of dedication from the team has been incredible. We’ve been working from 7AM to 10PM on every day of testing. The team use a test car for private testing, I haven’t driven a Formula E car before so can’t really pass comment on changes from Season 2 to season 3, but the team seem very happy with the progress.

Driving a Formula E car is very different to Indycar or a DTM car, in those cars when you are doing 200 KMPH and come off the power it is almost like applying a brake. In a Formula E car, when you come off the power the car will just keep going. It feels counter-intuitive at first, but you soon get used to it.

JW: Have you spend much time with your team mate Nick Heidfeld? What are his thoughts on the M3Electro compared to last season’s car?

FR: Nick was around for 2 of the days I was testing. I think our driving styles will compliment each other. Nick is highly technical, focused on the fine details to optimise. Where as my approach is more toward making the most of the package I have. In bringing our styles together we should be able to push the team forward. With respect to progress from the team from S2 to S3, Nick has reported a positive step in performance. The first indication of this should be seen in Donington, but in reality the true pace won’t be seen until Hong Kong.

JW: What drew you to Formula E? Have you been following the series?

FR: Formula E represents a new and different type of challenge in motorsport.  I have a good record around street circuits (most notably winning the 2015 Macau F3 race) The cars and frenetic approach to a race appeal to me.  The racing has been enjoyable to watch. I’ve been impressed with the performances of Robin Frijns and Felix Da Costa, the other ‘younger’ drivers on the grid. I hop we are in a position to challenge the ‘old’ boys in this season.

JW: Does racing in Formula E rule out options in other championships for you?

FR: Not at all, I think of myself as a jobbing driver. I’ve been racing or testing almost every week this year.  Racing in Indycar is still on the agenda, and DTM, whilst initially only for Moscow is still an option. I like to be busy, the Formula E calendar and race format allows me to be just that.

JW: Finally, what are your hopes for the Season with Mahindra Racing

FR: Until we start the group testing its impossible to know exactly who we are competing against. I hope to perform strongly and surprise a few of the established drivers.

Thanks to Felix for taking time out during his day with Errea Sport. Best of luck for the season ahead!

Formula One: Why Mumm Champagne chose Formula E over F1

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As the 2015 Formula One World Championship drew to a close, so did a 15-year partnership the sport held with Mumm Champagne. Following a period of extensive analysis in which fan association of the brand with Formula One was disappointingly low, the need for a change in direction was clear.  Realising the brand could no longer rely on the pull of Formula One, Mumm Champagne, under the guidance of Carl Gurdjian, embarked upon a bold strategy focusing their motorsport efforts on Formula E.

Having been involved with the sport since day one as something of a silent partner, acting predominately as a supplier, the 2015/2016 season saw Mumm Champagne become a leading partner in the Championship. Free from the restrictions partners have experienced within Formula One, Mumm Champagne have pioneered unique activation projects with the objective of bringing and immersing fans into the world of Formula E in every way imaginable.

Be it with the award winning podium celebration which takes place not in the confides of the pitlane but in the fan village itself, allowing fans to celebrate alongside the drivers; or the instant video content posted across the Mumm Champagne Social Media channels under the #DareWinCelebrate.

Learning from their time as partners within Formula One the brand has realised they must do much more than simply be a logo on the podium and something drivers spray themselves with to celebrate victory. Within their Formula E relationship Mumm Champagne are investing as much into activation as they are endorsement. They are a premium brand and they position themselves as such, but this positioning through Formula E is done in such a way as to make it aspirational rather than unobtainable.

Formula E is in its infancy. It is easy to forget the series has only just completed it’s second season. Those running the sport are young, the appreciation for social media engagement, for listening and responding to fans, to adapting the product, is possibly more developed than those in other series. There is a genuine willingness to succeed and develop a mutually beneficial environment.  This approach is causing concern within F1 with leading teams citing Formula E as their main challenger when pitching to new potential partners. It is incredible to think that the series has achieved all of this in only two seasons.

At this point I must add a disclaimer. I attended the closing weekend of the second Formula E season as a guest of Mumm Champagne. Rather than suggesting this experience has left me with a biased opinion of the partnership I would say it has offered me a more informed view. In my time as a motorsport fan I have been fortunate enough to experience the F1 paddock as a team guest. The experience was something I will forever hold dear, and to be honest something I thought would be difficult to surpass. Spending the weekend as a guest of Mumm Champagne has made me reconsider this opinion.

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The nature of a Formula E event is something of great appeal to the brand. They are of course fully immersed into the race itself, but Formula E for them is much more than this. They view each round as 50% racing, 50% celebration. Through the 2015/2016 season Mumm Champagne have used Formula E as the platform to launch the Grand Cordon in each of the locations visited. This launch would take the form of inclusion into the podium celebration alongside a driver ambassador programme. Through the driver ambassador programme drivers work directly with Mumm Champagne, engaging with media & new partners to boost not only the series but also the drivers’ individual profile. In addition to the driver ambassador programme,  Mumm Champagne work with other partners involved with the series in a cross pollination of promotion and B2B opportunities, working collaboratively to achieve a win win situation.

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As a guest of Mumm Champagne I was privileged enough to be taken around the circuit on a hot lap in a BMW i8, to interview Jean-Éric Vergne and to have almost unlimited access to the paddock. This itself was a privilege. Greater still was to come.  Following the conclusion of the championship on Sunday, after a cheeky email, I received a call inviting me to the season closing Gala dinner held at the British Museum. The event was magnificent; it was an honour to attend. I was sitting at the Abt table for the evening and after the events during the race earlier in the day I was expecting a somewhat frosty atmosphere. The experience was quite the opposite. After an opening speech from Alejandro Agag, Lucas Di Grassi asked if he could address the room. Keen to put the final result of the season behind him he congratulated Sébastien Buemi, putting any differences on the track behind them. He went on to speak with great eloquence of his passion for Formula E. He is proud to be part of the series and has a genuine belief that they are part of history. He and everyone in the room shared a sentiment that Formula E represents the future of motorsport. The series is one filled with optimism. There is a will to succeed and share success throughout the series. This is something Mumm Champagne have encapsulated in their approach to partnering with the championship.

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Mumm Champagne is a brand of celebration. Following the Gala dinner, to round out what has become one of the most surreal weekends I have encountered in motorsport I was also invited to the Mumm Champagne After Party. An event attended by over 500 guests including drivers, managers, partners; everyone and anyone involved in the sport. Any differences of the race or the season put aside, the sole purpose of the evening was to celebrate. I was asked part way through the evening how I might approach a write up on Mumm Champagne in Formula E and it struck me, I could not imagine anything close to this experience being possible in F1 with so many vested interests and egos in the way. I will always be an F1 fan at heart, but I can see the Formula E, not only in it’s racing but in everything it does really could lead the future of Motorsport. I was left with no question as to why Mumm Champagne left F1 to focus on Formula E, and why it was the right call.

Formula E: Indian ePrix fan designs revealed

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The Mahindra Formula E team earlier this year set their fans a challenge to submit design concepts for a possible Indian ePrix in Delhi.  The response far exceeded both the team and series expectations.

Naomi Panter, PR & Communications manager for the team took these concepts to the Formula E Headquarters to review feasibility of the designs with Formula E Sporting Manager Benoît Dupont.

Check out this film to see how they got on:

To see more on the project and to see if your design was one of the submissions reviewed click here.

Formula E continue to deliver novel and unique ways to engage with and involve fans in how the series develops. Hopefully these kind of projects will make other series sit up a take notice. Who knows, Mahindra may have just stumbled upon the next Hermann Tilke!

Stay tuned for more details on a possible Indian ePrix …

You can follow the Mahindra Formula e team here

Formula One: Mahindra Leading the Way

 

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Ahead of this weekend’s Formula E action from the streets of Paris, the Mahindra Formula E team have continue to put Formula One teams to shame was a flurry of new technical partners and concepts.

Coupled with the opening of the Formula E tender for the sesaon five update of the series chassis, Mahindra have partnered with Pininfarina to develop and release these stunning concept images of a possible future for the next generation of Formula E machinery.

Chief Creative Officer of Pininfarina Fabio Filippini commented:

“Formula E is one of the most exciting signs of the changes underway in the automotive world as well as in motor racing. Its success is the proof. Exercising our creativity on these sketches allowed us to imagine the evolution of this formula. A possible contribution of Pininfarina to the future development of a Formula E car would be a highly motivating challenge, fully consistent with our mission of creators and innovators in the automotive field”.

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Further more, Mahindra earlier today announced a new partnership with Magneti Marelli, who are already working on the team’s season 3 powertrain.

Those working in the world of Formula One must be asking themselves how Formula E continue to attract such blue chip partners. On the Magneti Marelli partnership Dilbagh Gill, Team Principal of Mahindra Racing Formula E Team said,

“We are thrilled to announce thispartnership here in Paris. Mahindra Racing has developed a very strong relationship with Magneti Marelli over the past few months while developing our powertrain for the next season.”

“As an established EV manufacturer and an FIA Formula E manufacturer, we have a mandate to drive the future of EV technology, and that begins with developing the most innovative ideas and components.”

“We have found a shared ambition in Magneti Marelli and we look forward to the first test of the M3Electro. Mahindra Racing also welcomes Magneti Marelli as a commercial partner and we are proud to display their branding on our car for the last five races of this season and into season three.”

Roberto Dalla, Motorsport Director at Magneti Marelli said,

“We are proud of the partnership with the Mahindra Racing Formula E Team in the very important and challenging FIA Formula E Championship. Magneti Marelli has brought innovative technologies to multiple racing categories. Formula E allows us to exploit our knowledge in strategic components for hybrid and electric propulsion.”

“Performance, efficiency and reliability are going to be key elements to race in season three and we believe that thesolution developed with Mahindra Racing will be able to demonstrate the capabilities of Mahindra and Magneti Marelli which will help the team to be successful in the FIA Formula E Championship.”

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Mahindra Racing aims to stimulate and curate a conversation on the future form and next generation technology of Formula E, encouraging fans to share their thoughts on these designs on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram using the hashtag #FormulaEConcepts. 

Formula One: Too much of a good thing?

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The 2016 Motorsport Season kicks in to high gear this weekend with over 20  premier races taking place from locations all around the world.  As qualifying for second round of the Formula One Championship is taking place in Bahrain, the Long Beach round of Formula E will be getting under-way. This coupled with the opening rounds of the World Touring Car championship coming from Paul Ricard, the British Touring car championship from Brands Hatch. The second round of the Indycar championship, not mentioning the V8SC racing from Australia, Moto GP,2, &3 races and the World Super Bikes How can a be expected to keep up?!

With so many races taking place over a single weekend it will be almost impossible to keep track of the scheduling and results let alone any form of clear narrative from each event. On the scheduling front MsportXtra does an amazing job of keeping the motorsport super fan up to speed on what we should we watching next.  Although looking at that daunting  Sunday schedule I’m not sure there is much allowance for sleep!

 

 

For fans to commit to a series they need to feel a pull, a storyline, a driver or team to attach themselves too. Sure each series has its own unique pull, In the World Touring Cars people are curious to see if the returning Volvo can threaten the overly dominant Citroen as they enter their final year as a works team. In the British Touring Cars, will Team BMR and their new Subaru partnership we able to win from the work go? Coming from Phoenix, is it really safe for Indycar to return to the short oval? Will the winglets in MotoGP continue to create overtaking issues for riders? And in Formula E, can anyone challenge the dominance of Renault? So with all this going on how to you decide what to watch?

Do you commit to certain racing series now and stick with them for the season? If so which? Perhaps more fundamentally, has this wealth of racing categories forced organisers to look at racing as you would entertainment, focusing on the show rather than the sport?

Over the close season fans are desperate for track action, now we are left questioning how on earth can we find time to fit it all in? With Social Media, the water cooler of motorsport, it has become nigh on impossible to avoid results. So, similar to every other motorsport obsessive, I find myself hoping for a rainy day at home on Sunday, so I can sit back in my armchair, watch everything I can, then spend the next five days trying to make sense of it all!

Formula One: The Chase – Senna Vs Speed

Filmed at the Mexico ePrix Circuit. Formula E, with Mahinda Racing’s Bruno Senna and Former Formula One driver Scott Speed, continue to show other racing series the way with this innovative approach to capturing the essence of motorsport through drones.

Whilst safety concerns remain around the use of drone cameras to capture live racing events this film shows what the technology could be capable of.  Hopefully broadcasters will sit up an take notice of the potential the technology offers, both from a new direction in views of motor racing, but also in terms of cost! It’s a lot cheaper to but drones in the air than it is a helicopter.

Mahindra Racing Formula E Team and FIA Formula E today released a video ofa game of Chase between a drone and a Formula E car around the historic Autódromo Hermanos Rodríguez circuit in Mexico City.

This unique contest took place between Mahindra Racing driver Bruno Senna, piloting his Lumenier QAV210 quadcopter and American racer, Scott Speed piloting the Spark-Renault SRT_01E Formula E car.

Bruno Senna said: “The Chase was so much fun. It was very cool to have such a spectacular circuit to ourselves with a drone and a racing car to play with. It was a great challenge, which is what flying these high performance drones is all about. My friends, who have watched my drone videos, know I am a bit of a daredevil when I am flying, but all I was thinking during filming was “don’t break a propeller, don’t break a propeller”

“Scott Speed really got into the spirit of the game, trying to confuse me by spinning and switching direction in the stadium or slowing down and then accelerating as fast as he could. It was so much fun and the footage from the drone looks really great. This was a wonderful opportunity to do something really different and was so much fun. I have just finished building an even faster drone with longer range and I am ready to challenge Formula E to a race again very soon.”

 

 

Formula One: If one week is too long to wait

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A week can feel like a very long time as a F1 fan, especially when the week in question is that last one before the start of a new season. Fortunately, Formula E has come to our salvation with this weekend’s Mexican e Prix.

The event is taking place at the newly upgraded Autódromo Hermanos Rodríguez. Formula E will use elements of the track used for Formula One, including an adapted version of the fantastic stadium section.

Former Toro Rosso team mates; Jean Eric Vergne & Sébastien Buemi, will be competing against the likes of Mercedes development driver Sam Bird and former Virgin Racing driver Lucas Di Grassi to take the top step of the podium later today.

Formula E events take place over a single day, the schedule for today’s racing is as follows:

Free Practice 1: 08.15 local time (15.15 CET)
Free Practice 2: 10.30 local time (17.30 CET)
Qualifying: 12.00 local time (19.00 CET)
RACE: 16.00 local time (23.00 CET)

You can follow the events of the day, through this FIA Formula E hosted streaming service via You Tube:

Streaming services are available in select countries only, if you are unable to view this broadcast please visit this link to check how to access coverage.

Formula One: Mercedes complete 19 race distances on a single power unit

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MERCEDES AMG PETRONAS concluded the second pre-season test of the 2016 season today at the Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya, with Lewis Hamilton at the wheel of the Mercedes-Benz F1 W07 Hybrid in the morning and Nico Rosberg in the cockpit during the afternoon.

In total the team have completed 1,,294 laps of the Circuit de Catalunya  during the 8 days of preseason testing which equates to 19 race distances. The team have confirmed all testing was completed using a single power unit.  Such reliability is fairly ominous for the season ahead, the competition can now realistically only hope to finish ahead of the silver arrows on performance.

Lewis Hamilton
It’s been an amazing two weeks for the team. The guys have done an amazing job to get the car to where it is especially given the fact we’ve done more mileage in pre-season than we’ve ever done before. I’m kind of glad I broke the car at the end of my final run today because it’s better to have found something now than in Melbourne! I’m looking forward to putting the car through its paces at the first race and will be preparing myself mentally over the next few weeks. The car feels good and I’m really excited to go racing in 2016.

Nico Rosberg
This afternoon was probably the best the car has felt for me all the way through winter testing, so that was a really positive way to end the week. We have done so many miles in the past two weeks, so we can feel well prepared for Melbourne, and the team has done an incredible job to build such a reliable car. Of course, we haven’t seen the full picture yet in terms of performance, and everybody will be excited to find that out in Australia. Before then, I will be in the factory working on more details in the simulator next week. But I feel ready to go for 2016!