Electric Speed continues its unstoppable rise in performance and popularity. We confirmed this at the Hankook Rome E-Prix Formula E test that took place in Rome with the Jaguar TCS Racing team. The races take place in city centers without noise pollution or fuel.
Be silent. This is the feeling that lightly hammers the skin, the ears, the brain. Only when the cars take the curves does the squealing of the tires become louder. Then nothing or almost nothing. A buzz. The overwhelming and screaming fury of Fernando Alonso or Max Verstappen’s cars or their sharp acidic fumes from gasoline and ethanol disappear in the Formula E, electric. “The best thing is that we race in the heart of the most famous cities in the world. We can do this because there is no noise pollution or fuel polluting the spaces where people live and work. This also allows fans to get closer to them.” “The promotion is easier and more accessible. Fans can reach our events on foot, by bike and by public transport instead of driving their own cars, which is also better for the environment,” explains team manager James Barclay. Jaguar TCS Racing Formula E and Jaguar Land Rover Motorsport.
With him as narrator and speaker (always smiling) we immerse ourselves in the world Hankook E-Prix Rome last June, when the 40-degree temperature clung to the clothes of thousands of tourists (and ordinary residents) of the so-called Eternal City. But at the Six Senses Hotel, which opened a half-dozen months ago, the fresh air calms the hot flashes outside. A majestic and modern comfort zone that we leave to drive aboard the Jaguar I-Pace cars (another comfort zone, smooth, quiet) to the municipal circuit where the fourteenth race of the ABBA FIA Formula E World Championship will take place. 2023.
“One of the most important reasons for competition is further development Race-to-road technology that will benefit future all-electric cars by JLR. “Formula E gives us a real test bed that allows us to develop, innovate and collaborate,” says James. “We also know that the public is more environmentally conscious than ever and that there is fast-paced, exciting and high-carbon motorsport.” Neutral is very well aligned with the changing priorities and interests we are seeing from fans and audiences around the world.”
Walking tour of the streets of Rome
We are approaching the battlefield. Get an idea. It would be like creating a race track through Madrid’s university town of Complutense with forays into some of the streets of the nearby Moncloa district. In this case this happens in a layout around the EUR (Rome World Exhibition), full of ministries, offices, business centers, gardens, parks and high-rise residential buildings. Certain birthmarks remind us of this Colossalism of gray concrete, so Mussolinian, In fact, it was he, Benito, who planned this area back in 1935.
Already docked in one of these buildings, which has an impressive terrace overlooking part of the race track, we threw this Boxingto meet the team’s two drivers, New Zealander Mitch Evans and Briton Sam Bird. They say a few short sentences, their overalls open at waist level. It is noticeable that their minds are focused on the aptitude tests and their voices are muffled in the hustle and bustle of the workshops. Commands, accelerations, impacts on the chassis, settings. In this Upper Room the noise can be heard more clearly. Nervousness. And a handful of team members analyzing data on computers.
South African James Barclay explains: “The progress made in the eight years Formula E has existed has been seismic, so it’s exciting to think about how much more it will develop over the next eight years. For example the Gen3 cars (the third). Generation of Formula E cars) with which we have been competing since the beginning of the 2023 season represent a major technical advance: They are the fastest, lightest, most efficient and most powerful ever built and set new standards The world’s first zero-emission car that can reach top speeds of over 322 kilometers per hour. They generate up to 40% of the energy required for the race from recuperation, which can generate up to 600 kW. “All of these characteristics are extremely relevant for series vehicles.”
We return to the terrace full of XL screens to follow the free tests in detail. Sam Bird goes tangentially and is hit by another car, an accident from which he fortunately survives unscathed. A horror. Betting on the mobility of the future involves risks… And the strategy, which is fundamental in Formula E, in which All teams start under similar conditions of equality. “The battery, Hankook tires and chassis will be delivered to all teams. Manufacturers develop their own propulsion system, i.e. high-voltage electric motor, inverter, gearbox, cooling system, housing and suspension, which are then delivered to each team’s customer.” “In our case it is Envision Racing,” says Barclay.
The stands are filled with people who, during breaks, gather in the few shades that dot the landscape to take a breather and eat the food they have brought with them. Liters and liters of water. The first round of testing ends, the drivers optimize the engines (they are filled with ABB chargers like any other electric car) and the engine is checked again. software. “Since cars can fundamentally be very similar, The skills of the pilots are crucial. Formula E has one of the most competitive driver line-ups of any championship, but ultimately there are those who can get a little more out of it and we are lucky with our 2024 line-up because in Mitch Evans we will have one of the best and Nick Cassidy (new under contract). Strategy is essential“ But energy management is essential in Formula E, as are the configuration changes we make on the different tracks and surfaces we race on.” It’s clear that James Barclay is excited about this engine.
He started, as usual, behind the wheel of karts, then he drove in limousines with Vauxhall (Opel), later he worked for Bentley at Le Mans 2002, in 2013 he moved to Jaguar Land Rover and in November 2015 he moved to Jaguar Land Rover appointed as the team’s Formula E director. To conclude these pages and after the last test that took place in London Imagine racing They took first place and Mitch Evans took third place among drivers (just two points behind second place, Nick Cassidy).
More in the 2024 season
After the 2.86 kilometers and 19 corners of the EUR street circuit, 16 races around the world and the outstanding performance of the I-TYPE 6, James Barclay is already preparing for the 2024 season full of electric hopes: “This is us.” Witness one increasing popularity of Formula E, is one of the three largest motorsports in the world. Year after year we see an increase in their fan base, be it on social media or broadcasts, but also in terms of visitor numbers. It is now rare that we take part in a race where the tickets are not sold out. For example, this season we experienced it in Mexico City, the same in Hyderabad (Cape Town) and more recently in London, to name just a few. Adding new racing locations to the calendar (as will be the case in Tokyo) will bring this incredible sport to a new audience, further increasing its popularity.”
He Jaguar’s goal From 2025 it will be zero-emission and battery-electric, which also applies to its luxury cars, and… enjoy the view. “There is no other championship where riders can compete in front of the V&A Waterfront in Cape Town, Les Invalides in Paris or the Statue of Liberty in New York.” Or enjoy a tiramisu and a Ice cream in Rome with a silent hum.