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Useful Notes / Formula E

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OK, that doesn't exactly paint the bigger picture.

The FIA Formula E World Championship is a racing series, conceived in 2011, that uses electric cars. Most races happen on temporary street circuits in cities around the world.note  The first race happened in Beijing, on September 13, 2014, kicking off the first season. The season concluded in London, with a two-round race on June 27 and 28, 2015. The series is currently in its eighth season.

Apart from its obvious Green Aesop, Formula E is quite known for being one of the closest racing series not only by way of frequently seeing cars in mêlée when attacking/defending but also to its fans, by way of letting you "FanBoost" a favorite every day starting less than a week before race proper; should they make the top 5 (used to be top 3), they are given a Super Mode of extra kilowatts of power for a few seconds.

    World champions by season 

Gen 1 [driver champion (driver's team) / constructor champion]

  • 2014-2015: Nelson Piquet Jr (NEXTEV China) / Renault e.dams
  • 2015-2016: Sébastien Buemi (Renault e.dams) / Renault e.dams
  • 2016-2017: Lucas di Grassi (Audi Sport Abt Schaeffler) / Renault e.dams
  • 2017-2018: Jean-Éric Vergne (Techeetah) / Audi Sport Abt Schaeffler

Gen 2

  • 2018-2019: Jean-Éric Vergne (DS Techeetah) / DS Techeetah
  • 2019-2020: António Félix da Costa (DS Techeetah) / DS Techeetah
  • 2020-2021: Nyck de Vries (Mercedes-EQ) / Mercedes-EQ
  • 2021-2022: Stoffel Vandoorne (Mercedes-EQ) / Mercedes-EQ

Formula E provides examples of these tropes:

  • Alliterative Name: Scott Speed, Rene Rast, Kamui Kobayashi, Norman Nato.
  • Battle in the Rain: The 2019 Paris ePrix was certain to be the first in the series to ever be held in wet conditions. The race started under sunny weather but clouds moved in quick, the rain starting halfway through the race only for the commentators to notice in an instant that no, it wasn't just raining, it was hailing. And then came the crashes...
    • Another Cue the Rain happened in the final laps of the 2019 Swiss ePrix, but everyone still running managed to hold position, if not battle for higher, until the checkered flag.
    • Yet another Cue the Rain happened during the 5-minute full course yellow of the first 2022 New York City ePrix, though it was a local shower on Turns 6 and 7. The race would eventually be red-flagged and had to be stopped due to excessive damage to the track's barriers.
  • Brits Love Tea: Making the perfect cup has become an art form for Sam Bird, as seen here and especially here.
    "Some crazy people will do this: they will take the milk, and they will pour the milk first. If you're one of these people, you're a moron."
  • Career Resurrection: Played with in-universe. Quite a few F1 (r)ejects like Sébastien Buemi, Nelson Piquet Jr., and Jean-Éric Vergne have seen success in this series. On the other hand, F1 champion Jacques Villeneuve struggled to even make a scored finish, and almost-champion Felipe Massa has only gotten started with this trope.
  • Car Porn: FE media loves this trope. Kinda invoked because of their aim to promote all-electric vehicles. Taken up to eleven when you see the single-seaters fight each other so closely that it feels like literal porn.
  • Close-Range Combatant: Formula E cars, while they have instant torque delivery, have much lower top speed than Formula One and sports cars. Exaggerated when you see two battling cars so close to each other that the one behind just about loses their front wing camera.
  • Dark Horse Victory: Quite a few during the fifth season.
  • Down to the Last Play: The inaugural season ended with three drivers in contention for the title: Sébastien Buemi, Lucas di Grassi, and Nelson Piquet Jr. Piquet won by one point over Buemi.
    • Season 2 saw Buemi and di Grassi crashing into each other in the London finale. Buemi managed to set the fastest lap of the race, granting him the title. Season 3 saw di Grassi in turn getting revenge in the finale.
    • Subverted by Jean-Éric Vergne in Season 4, who won in the first of the last two races in New York City with an unassailable lead over Sam Bird. The last race then became a battle between teams ABT and Techeetah, in which ABT claimed the constructor championship title. JEV played the trope straight the following season finale when he was among 4 contenders for the drivers' championship come the second race in New York—the others being former champions Buemi and di Grassi and Mitch Evans.
  • Easily Forgiven: Anyone who's ever slighted António Félix da Costa on track. Some take a while to reconcile. Champions, even longer.
  • Ensemble Dark Horse: Formula E itself compared to the rest of the world of motorsports. Although electric cars are on their way to mainstream use, many had doubts whether Formula E as a racing discipline would even survive its first race. A spectacular crash involving e.dams's Nico Prost and Venturi's Nick Heidfeld seems to have changed their minds.
  • Fake Nationality: Kamui Kobayashi is Japanese and has raced in Formula One as a Japanese, but competed with a Monegasque license in the first races of the 2017-18 season in Hong Kong.
  • Felony Misdemeanor: Who would have known that wearing non-homologated underwear could get you fined?
  • Generation Xerox: Formula 1 in The '80s had Alain Prost, Ayrton Senna, and Nelson Piquet. Formula E's first few seasons had Alain's son Nico, Ayrton's nephew Bruno, and Nelson Piquet Jr. However, despite Nelson Jr's championship, none of these three have ever been consistently lucky in this sport.
  • Green Aesop: They even got Lucas di Grassi to do donuts in Greenland just to hammer it home!
  • Ho Yay: Jeandré (Jean-Éric Vergne + André Lotterer), and Frijlix (Robin Frijns + António Félix da Costa).
  • Huge Guy, Tiny Girl: What happens when presenters Vernon Kay and Nicki Shields stand close to each other.
  • Incredibly Lame Pun: Formula E and its competing teams' social media specialists love this.
    • When Daniel Abt nailed a grand slam in Berlin, commentator Bob Varsha pondered about all the bad puns he expected to come up on the next day's headlines (mostly revolving around "Abtsolute"). The ABT team were already a step ahead with "All the way ABT"!
    • The 2019 Swiss ePrix in Bern had to bear a Hurricane of Puns on Twitter when they spotted a big one trackside.
    Jack Nicholls: IT’S A BEAR! I wonder if it’s called Julius?
  • Licensed Game: Of sorts. The mobile version of Motorsport Manager features Formula E official content despite being ostensibly about a fictional category that mixes single-seaters and touring cars, and FE drivers are ranked the best in the game (Jean-Éric Vergne and Sébastien Buemi are the only ones rated 90, and the lowest-ranked, Neel Jani, has a rating of "only" 80 points).
  • Nobody Poops: Well, there was this one time commentator Jack Nicholls talked about how António Félix da Costa lost a bit of weight between qualifying and Super Pole. Cue an edit of da Costa moonwalking into the bathroom.
  • One Head Taller: Alex Lynn is half a head taller than Sam Bird. Seen here.
    • Stoffel Vandoorne and Nyck de Vries also have this dynamic for Mercedes-EQ.
  • One-Steve Limit: Oliver Rowland and Oliver Turvey. Season 8 escalates this to include Oliver Askew alongside the former two.
    • Antonio García and António Félix da Costa. Season 8 adds Antonio Giovinazzi to the mix at the expense of García.
    • Back in Formula One four years ago, Felipe Massa and compatriot Felipe Nasr competed in the same raced and just about caused a tongue-twister for the commentators. The difference this time around is that Massa drove full-time while Nasr drove part-time.
    • Alexander Sims and Alex Lynn play with this. Both are named Alexander (of course) but Lynn likes to keep it short.
    • Daniel Abt and Dan Ticktum. Both are named Daniel, but Ticktum prefers his affectionate nickname over his full name. Sadly, they don't meet and/or race each other in the same season.
    • Season 9 has Jake Dennis and Jake Hughes, both drivers being Brits.
  • Only Known by Initials: Jean-Éric Vergne's usual nickname is JEV.
  • Overly Long Name: António Maria de Mello Breyner Félix da Costa. Last name in bold.
  • Post-Victory Collapse: Something like the vehicular equivalent has happened at least once. In the eighth race of Season 1 in Berlin, Lucas Di Grassi led for almost the entire race and won by over 8 seconds (a comically large lead). His car then proceeded to break down during his victory lap.
  • Race Against the Clock: From the 2018-19 season, the race was no longer set to a certain number of laps. Instead, drivers have 45 minutes to race and then one final lap to determine the winner.
  • Revolving Door Band: Revolving-door sport, as most drivers don't last a whole season. Justifiable since many of them are also competing in other series, particularly WEC, and/or are looking for other full-time opportunities.
  • Shining City: Somehow the Formula E accoutrements and camera work always manage to show cities looking better than usual real-life days.
  • Super Mode: When the halo was enforced in the series, Formula E exploited the safety feature by installing lights that indicate that cars are in these two super modes:
    • FanBoost (pink) takes it to a literal level by giving the top 5 boosted drivers greater power output for a few seconds in the back half of a race. This feature has since been discontinued come Season 9.
    • Attack Mode (blue), sometimes nicknamed the Mario Kart Mode, where a racer purposely takes a bad line through a corner to unlock more power from the electric motor for 4 minutes.
  • Take Over the City: They do, at least an important section of it for the weekend. Or a non-racing venue attached to a city.
    • Berlin has been taken over at two places: the first was in Tempelhof Airport, the other along Karl-Marx-Allee in season 2. The event has since returned to and stayed in Tempelhof.
    • Marrakesh and Mexico City have their own racing circuits within their area. Formula E uses part of those circuits for its events.
    • The opener for the 2018-19 season was in Diriyah, the original home of the Saudi royal family, on the outskirts of Riyadh.
    • The Swiss ePrix events have encountered backlash as well from environmentalist groups, becoming more visible in Bern than in Zurich, leading to Switzerland being scrapped from the calendar altogether after season 5. A bit earlier, Benjamin Grievaux, France's former Secretary of State, vowed to cancel the Paris ePrix if elected mayor, but some fact-checking reveals more to Formula E's penchant for pouring tarmac onto public road for a weekend than he thinks.
  • Visual Pun: One spectator was caught sitting on a sign just to get a better vantage point. And then,
    Bob Varsha: There's a polesitter.
    • Going back to Jack Nicholls' bear puns in Bern, after lingering over the shot of the bear on the trackside, the camera slowly zooms out to reveal where the Julius joke came from: Julius Bär, one of the sport's primary sponsors.