It is almost time to go racing! Fans will tell you it has felt like an eternity waiting for Formula E to spark back into life – 4,728 hours to be precise – but the lights are ready to turn green once more. So, to help you make the most of this weekend’s opening rounds we have put together a guide of not just how to watch, but also what to watch out for, at the Diriyah E-Prix…
See the action…
Fans can tune in all over the world in a variety of ways both through traditional broadcasters, as well as via social media and digital platforms. UK fans can watch the races live and free-to-air via the BBC’s online platforms. That includes the BBC Red Button, BBC Sport Online and the BBC iPlayer. The race gets underway at 17:00 GMT and for a complete list of broadcasters and timings for where you live then visit https://www.fiaformulae.com/en/watch/ways-to-watch
Remember, you don’t just have to sit and watch all the action, you can get actually help influence the race outcome thanks to the championship’s unique fan engagement tool, FanBoost. Simply vote for your favourite driver – of course, we hope that’s Nick and Robin from Envision Virgin Racing – and the top five drivers with the most votes will each receive a power boost during the race. Simply click here to get voting https://fanboost.fiaformulae.com/
In the words of Robin Frijns, the 2.94km, 21-turn Diriyah circuit is ‘relentless’. Drivers get little rest bite as they navigate this challenging street track which can offer little in the way of grip due to the sand being blown onto it. Turn 18 with Attack Mode is likely to be the main overtaking spot so watch out for some feisty duels here. There are also several undulations and camber changes for the drivers to contend with, together with some newly resurfaced sections.
Qualifying is always important in Formula E but none more so that in Diriyah. That’s because track evolution is expected to be huge meaning the last car out is likely to be the quickest as the others in front ‘sweep’ the track for them. Qualifying order for race one is determined by last season’s championship order meaning Robin is in group two whereas Nick is in the better group four.
You’d expect for a country that only has seven days of rain a year for it to be a sun-soaked race but previous races have here suggest otherwise. Rain is always a possibility but the main challenge for teams is the track and air temperature of the night race. Sunset is 17:50 local time, a full two hours before the race gets underway so teams can expect a drop in the thermometer, and with it tweaks to the car balance. Remember, there is only one practice at night so little opportunity to get those all important set ups right.
Schedule (all times local // +3 GMT)
Friday, 26 February
FP2 – 14:00
Qualifying – 16:00
Round 1 – 20:00
Saturday, 27 February
FP3 – 13:45
Qualifying – 16:00
Round 2 – 20:00