Battersea Park to host electric racing championship finale this weekend

In five days’ time, Formula E will crown the world’s first electric racing champion in Battersea

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The Independent Online

So this is it then. After nine months, and nine races in eight countries across the globe, it’s all coming down to the final weekend of action in our capital city – where no less than six drivers are still in with a chance of becoming champion.

This weekend, 27 and 28 June, Battersea Park will be transformed into a specially designed race circuit for the finale of the Formula E championship – the Visa London ePrix - where 20 of the top racing drivers will battle it out in electric cars capable of speeds up to 150mph. While six drivers (from no less than  five different countries) are still mathematically in the frame for the title, it’s likely to be a three-way fight between Nelson Piquet Jr, Lucas di Grassi and Sebastien Buemi.

Each of these ex-Formula One drivers have won one or more races this season, but with London hosting the final two rounds of the series, things could look drastically different by Sunday evening.

Currently topping the title standings is Brazil’s Nelson Piquet Jr, the son of three-time F1 World Champion Nelson senior, who races for Chinese team, NEXTEV TCR. Having already won in both Long Beach, USA, and most recently in Moscow earlier this month, he’s cautiously optimistic about his chances of becoming the  first Formula E champion.

“Of course it’s better to be in the lead and not be one of the guys chasing,” says Piquet. “We are going to have to remain cautious not to make mistakes and not feel pressured to win. Obviously in terms of history it would be great to be the  first electric champion.”

Snapping at Piquet Jr’s heels will be arch rival and countryman Lucas di Grassi racing for Audi Sport ABT. Having won the opening ePrix in Beijing, China, last September, Di Grassi has notched up a further five podium finishes from the eight races since then.

Like Piquet, he’s understated about his chances: “At the moment it is feasible but not easy… We will go for the (race) win and see how the championship goes on.”

The other name to watch out for this weekend is Switzerland’s Sebastien Buemi. The
e.dams-Renault driver won in Argentina, back in January, and has been another regular podium visitor. On paper Buemi may be the underdog of the three, but after a penalty in Moscow cost him third place behind rivals di Grassi and Piquet Jr, he’s  fired up for this weekend.

“For sure the objective is to win the race,” says Buemi. “I don’t think it will be possible to win the championship without winning the race or being very competitive. So we have to win whatever happens…”

One thing that could help his chances is the fans themselves. FanBoost allows you to vote for your favourite driver to receive a five-second power boost during the next race – equivalent to an additional 40bhp. With rules stating that the three drivers with the most votes each receive a power boost, it’s something that could really put the cat among the pigeons this weekend…

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