Formula E: British hopefuls eye glory as electric series returns for sixth season

The Championship returns for its biggest season ever with a double-header in Diriyah this weekend

Tom Wakey
Wednesday 20 November 2019 15:02
Sam Bird is looking to become the first British champion in front of home fans
Sam Bird is looking to become the first British champion in front of home fans

Britain’s Formula E drivers have laid out their plans to lift the title in front of home fans in London as the sixth season of the Championship gets underway this weekend.

The electric racing series returns for its biggest season ever with a double-header in Diriyah on Friday and Saturday.

Iconic motorsport brands Mercedes-Benz and Porsche complete a full 24-car grid, which includes other German big beasts Audi and BMW – the first time the four have competed together in motorsport.

With nine different race winners last season and new faces such as Formula 2 champion Nyck de Vries, the line-up has been called the most competitive in motorsport.

Formula E returns to London for the first time since 2016 for the season finale, with a unique new race location around the Royal Docks in which the track will travel inside and outside the ExCeL London.

And with an impossible to predict Championship ahead, Britain’s drivers – led by Formula E veteran Sam Bird, who has competed in every race since the sport’s inception – have insisted the aim is to become the first British champion in front of home fans.

“Last year was the first year I haven’t been in with a shout of winning the title come the last round, I hope to put that right this year,” he said. “It’s great to have London as the double-header to finish, hopefully I can give the fans something to shout about.

“It is always important to get off to a good start. You don’t want to be on zero points after the first race and playing catch-up. We are ready to take on the challenge that is season six.”

Formula E will also have DS Automobiles – who again boast reigning two-time champion Jean-Eric Vergne – Jaguar, Nissan and Indian powerhouses Mahindra all competing as manufacturers this season, alongside customer teams Envision Virgin Racing and Venturi Racing.

And Nissan e.dam’s ‘Rookie of the Year’ Oliver Rowland, who came in as a last-minute replacement for Red Bull’s Alexander Albon last season, insists he is ready to compete for the Championship after a stunning debut campaign where he took the most pole positions.

“I wouldn’t be here if I didn’t think I could compete with everybody,” he said. “I am super excited for London, it will be nice to get all the family and friends down. Obviously we finish there so hopefully I’m still in with a shout of the title.

“Who knows, I think we have a great car and a great team so if everything comes together there is no reason why we shouldn’t be fighting for it.”

Other British drivers set to compete this year include BMW i Andretti Motorsport’s Alex Sims, who scored his first podium in the final race of last season, Cambridge Blue Oliver Turvey, who races for Chinese-backed NIO 333, and rookie James Calado who comes in for the British Panasonic Jaguar Racing team.

The ABB FIA Formula E Championship returns for its largest ever season in Diriyah on November 22 & 23, live on the BBC Red Button and the BBC Sport website. Tickets for the London E-Prix are available now at

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