Formula E has announced its 2024 Season 10 calendar, with 16 races across 11 cities around the world. New for this season: Shanghai and Tokyo are hosting races, marking the first time the series has raced in Japan.
Formula E is FIA’s top-level electric open-wheel racing series, now entering its 10th season. It recently announced that its fanbase grew 17% globally last year and overtook NASCAR as the fourth most popular motorsport series in the world.
The philosophy of the series is to bring zero-emission racing directly into the heart of cities, since electric cars don’t create nearly as much disruption in terms of noise and exhaust as belching V6s or V8s do. So for the most part, these races happen on city streets, with all-weather street tires, rather than on purpose-built racing circuits.
Over the course of the series’ history it has visited a total of 30 cities, and this year it’s adding two more to that list.
Most prominently, the racing will come to Tokyo, the most populous city in the world. This is the first time Japan has hosted a Formula E race, though several nearby countries in East Asia have already hosted the series (Korea, Malaysia, Indonesia, etc).
Formula E’s visit to Japan is interesting because while Japan is full of racing fans and is a global auto industry stalwart, the Japanese auto industry has been reluctant to fully embrace electric cars. Only 3% of cars sold in Japan in 2022 were electric, which is even lower than the rather low 6-7% of the US market. So it will be nice for those race fans to witness the joy of going to a race without all the stink and noise of obnoxious gas engines, and maybe have their perceptions slightly shifted as a result.
In addition, Shanghai, the most populous city in China, will host a race for the first time. Previously Formula E has been to China’s capital, Beijing (which held the series’ very first race in season 1), and Sanya, a Chinese coastal resort city. It has also raced in Hong Kong.
The Shanghai race will be a “double-header,” with two races back-to-back on the same weekend. Formula E has hosted several race weekends like this in the past, and is planning to do five of them again this year. This year, doubleheaders are coming to Berlin, Shanghai, London and Diriyah, Saudi Arabia. There is also a planned doubleheader in Italy, but Formula E hasn’t finalized which city that race will be in – in the past, it’s been Rome, but it looks like there’s a chance of that changing.
As for the US, the racing returns to Portland, where the series debuted last year with quite an interesting race. This race was anomalous due to Portland’s wide and high-speed racing circuit, in contrast to the street circuits of most other races. This resulted in drivers strategically saving energy and staying in a close pack, almost like a Peloton from a cycling race. Then came the end of the race where, after much jockeying for position, everyone finally let loose in an explosion of action.
Formula E is currently about to start season 10 testing in Valencia and recently announced a new rookie driver, Gabriela Jilkova, who will drive for Porsche in the winter tests. She is the first female driver to drive for the series since 2016.
To see the full calendar for Season 10, have a look below. And when time comes, head on over to the “Ways to Watch” section on Formula E’s website to find out how to watch races in your area.
ABB FIA Formula E World Championship, Season 10 Calendar
|1||1||Mexico City, Mexico||Jan. 13, 2024|
|2||2 &3||Diriyah, Saudi Arabia||Jan. 26 & 27 2024|
|3||4||Hyderabad, India||Feb. 10, 2024|
|4||5||São Paulo, Brazil||Mar. 16, 2024|
|5||6||Tokyo, Japan||Mar. 30, 2024|
|6||7 & 8||Italy TBD||Apr. 13 & 14 2024|
|7||9||Monaco, Principality of Monaco||Apr. 27 2024|
|8||10 & 11||Berlin, Germany||May 11 & 12 2024|
|9||12 & 13||Shanghai, China||May 25 & 26 2024|
|10||14||Portland, United States||Jun. 29 2024|
|11||15 & 16||London, United Kingdom||Jul. 20 & 21 2024|
As a racing fan, I find Formula E one of the more exciting series out there. The cars are a lot closer in performance to each other than in other series (*cough* F1 *cough*), and the racing and qualifying format encourages unpredictability.
As a result, you see a lot more passing in Formula E, and a lot more race winners, than in Formula 1. In some races, Formula E will have about as many passes in a single race as F1 has in an entire season (last year, the Portland ePrix had 403 overtakes, whereas F1 races averaged 45 overtakes per race). And a few seasons ago, Formula E had eight different race winners from seven different teams in the first eight races, whereas last year in F1, the same driver won 15 out of 22 races (and the team won 17 out of 22).
So, tuning into a Formula E race means you’ll actually see something interesting and different, whereas tuning into Formula 1 is like endlessly watching reruns. I know which one I’d pick (and have – I don’t watch F1 anymore).
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