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It was in the City of Light where the lightbulb moment happened. The concept of Formula E was born in Paris as a means to demonstrate the potential of electric vehicles and alternative energy solutions through motorsport.

Alejandro Agag, Jean Todt and Antonio Tajani, sitting President of the European Parliament, had the vision during a dinner in Paris on March 3, 2011, to create a racing series powered solely by electric cars held on the streets of the world’s leading cities.

Six years have since past, and the FIA Formula E Championship today returned to the same city to announce that grandstand tickets are now sold out for the second edition of the Paris ePrix on May 20.

Agag revealed the news in front of a selection of top French media and local authorities at a press conference held at the FIA headquarters in the French capital, alongside FIA President Jean Todt, Renault e.dams co-founder and team principal Jean-Paul Driot, as well as TECHEETAH driver Jean-Eric Vergne.

He was also joined by General Bruno Le Ray - Military Governor of Paris and Major General, Serge Orru - Advisor to the Mayor of Paris Anne Hidalgo, Olivier Le Quere - Deputy Mayor of the 7th arrondissement of Paris representing Rachida Dati, and Pierre Rabadan - Sports Advisor to the Mayor of Paris.

Alejandro Agag, Founder and CEO of Formula E, said: “It’s fantastic to be here in Paris at the headquarters of the FIA who continue to show support for the series, and to welcome a number of media and local dignitaries to discuss the growth of Formula E and its focus on fan engagement. Formula E wants to bring racing to the people - what better way to do so than bring electric street racing to cities such as Paris where it all started.”

Jean Todt, President of the FIA, said: “Together with Alejandro, we had the idea to create Formula E and I’ve always dreamt of a race in Paris. Last year’s event was an historic moment and a great spectacle around Les Invalides - and in close proximity to the FIA headquarters. Formula E is the perfect showcase of new electric vehicle technologies and attracts more and more interest in the mass adoption of clean mobility solutions in urban settings around the world.”

Vergne, who crossed the line in second place for DS Virgin Racing in Paris last season, said: “It was a special feeling to stand on the podium in Paris last year - it was a great result for both me and the team. But there’s still one more step to go - the top step. Winning in Paris would mean a lot to me, and we’ll work hard to give it our best shot. There were so many people last year and the podium was an incredible moment, I look forward to seeing them again at my home race.”

Fans can also follow the electrifying wheel-to-wheel action in Paris for free in the Allianz eVillage fan zones located around the circuit in Les Invalides.

For the Paris ePrix, the newly-named Allianz eVillage will also be open on Friday from 12:00 - 20:00, with a behind the scenes public pit walk from 18:00 - 19:00.

Compared to last year’s inaugural event, there are double the amount of grandstand seats available with dedicated giant screens and free public viewing areas located around the circuit and opposite the pitlane to ensure improved track visibility.

If you missed out on grandstand tickets, click here to register your details, and we will keep you up-to-date with information on ways you can watch the race from standing areas and the Allianz eVillage fan zones. We will also notify you if any further grandstand tickets become available for general sale.

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Season Five will represent a very important step in the development of the first FIA championship featuring single-seaters powered solely by electricity, because, as from the 2018-19 season, each driver will use just a single car per race, rather than the current two.

The number and the quality of manufacturers that has requested and obtained homologation for their powertrain for three seasons (from 2018-19 to 2020-21) is further confirmation that the championship is constantly growing and is proving very attractive both in terms of its audience figures and the partnerships it is attracting.

This round of homologations means that the powertrains will thus fall into line with the new cycle of homologation for the chassis and battery, which will remain standard up to the end of season Seven (2020-21.)

Therefore, any new manufacturer wishing to homologate their powertrain will be able to do so for season 6, for a two year period and for the next one with an annual duration.

The manufacturers are:

  • ABT Formel E
  • BMW AG
  • DS Automobiles
  • Jaguar Land Rover
  • Mahindra Racing
  • NextEV NIO
  • Penske Autosport
  • Renault 
  • Venturi Automobiles

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Lucas di Grassi is the first driver to interrupt Renault e.Dams’ run of six consecutive wins – three at the end of season 2 and the first three of the current championship. At the Autodromo Hermanos Rodriguez in Mexico City, the ABT Schaeffler Audi Sport driver took his first win in this championship at the end of a day that was really action-packed and exciting for him and the team.

It would be hard for any motor racing series to provide a driver with such a mix of opposing feelings as experienced by the Brazilian driver today. After a poor qualifying which saw him line up on the third from last row of the starting grid, he had to pit immediately after the start to change the front wing, damaged in a collision with Sarrazin, so that no one would have bet on his winning.

However, the German team did not lose heart, even though it had also seen its other driver Daniel Abt lose his pole position, having to start right from the back, because of a rule infringement relating to tyre pressures. It adopted a brave strategy, bringing Di Grassi in for the car change as early as lap 18. From then on Lucas was superb, driving in magisterial and effective fashion reaching the finish line with far less energy left than all his rivals bar one.

That one other driver was Jerome d’Ambrosio who actually changed cars two laps before the Brazilian. Passed by the ABT driver when they were still battling at the back of the pack, D’Ambrosio found himself in second place when the leaders, with Lopez in front, ahead of Heidfeld and Vergne, came in for pit stops.

The Faraday Future Dragon Racing driver repeated the display of defensive driving that he’d put on at this track last year and kept ahead of the pack almost to the very end, until he was overtaken by Vergne and then finished out of the points with barely a single kilowatt left in his car.

The French Techeetah driver took a bitter-sweet second place, because everything seemed to be in place for his first win, but strenuous resistance from the Belgian meant he was unable to exploit his full potential, although he proved to be a rising force who could play a major role in this championship.

Sam Bird made it to the third step of the podium, having put in a gritty drive, always among the front runners. There was suspense for the Englishman right to the end because of an investigation for an unsafe release: however, the two second penalty handed out did not affect his final result. It was a good weekend for DS Virgin Racing, with Lopez coming home sixth: however, the Argentinian cannot be that pleased with the result given that he was leading for much of the time, dropping to third at the start of lap 35, after he spun at turn 1, which put him out of the running for the podium.

The biggest loser on the day was undoubtedly Sebastien Buemi. The Swiss had only arrived in Mexico City the previous night, along with Lopez and Sarrazin, all three having taken part in the FIA WEC Championship prologue at Monza. He managed to score just a single point for putting in the race fastest lap.

He started from sixth on the grid and it looked as though he would be able to haul himself up the order to a point where he could be in the fight for the win, but a spin just a few seconds after Lopez’s saw him drop to the back of the pack. For Renault, a fifth place for Nico Prost was not enough to make up for the disappointment of a day that didn’t live up to the team’s capabilities.

Delight in the Jaguar camp, with Mitch Evans fourth and Adam Carroll eighth, while there were opposite emotions in the Mahindra squad, which looked to be heading for a good points haul until a close scrap in the closing stages prevented Heidfeld and Rosenqvist making it into the points. There was disappointment also for NEXTEV NIO, with Oliver Turvey sidelined with a technical problem when leading, while Nelson Piquet Jr. drove conservatively on his way to ninth place.

The final point up for grabs went to the debutant, Esteban Gutierrez, who finished tenth. The local hero – over 36 thousand spectators turned out at the circuit named after the Rodriguez brothers – endured a difficult maiden qualifying, but then produced a calculated performance to fight his way into the points.

After four races, Buemi now has just a five point lead (76 to 71) over Di Grassi in the Drivers’ championship, with Prost third on 46 and Vergne closing in on 40. In the teams classification, Renault e.Dams still has a solid lead on 122 points, even though the gap to ABT Schaeffler Audi Sport, now on 91, has come down by 20, with DS Virgin Racing third (43) and Techeetah fourth (41.)

The next round of the championship takes place on 13th May, with the second Monaco ePrix being the first European race of the season.

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Today’s victory sees the reigning champion pull away in the classification and he now heads Di Grassi, his closest rival, by 29 points (75 to 46.) The Brazilian had started from pole position, but in the race he soon had to give best to the superiority of the Renault powertrain – the Chinese team also uses the Z.E. 16 produced by the French manufacturer – and so he was overtaken first by Vergne and then Buemi.

The Swiss driver then immediately put on a spurt to pass the Frenchman and from then on, he built up enough of a lead to manage the rest of the race relatively comfortably. Vergne was second for almost all the race, managing to close slightly on Buemi in the second half, but he never looked like getting the better of him.

Di Grassi’s race did not go as smoothly in the initial stages, but with his second car, the Brazilian managed to haul himself up to third place on the podium, surrounded by the French power unit, given that behind him came Nicolas Prost (Renault e.dams.)  Nelson Piquet Jr. (NextEV NIO,) was fifth, having  had a strong race day.

Behind the top five, who all crossed the line covered by ten seconds, there was a tight battle that went on all race long. Making the best of it to finish in the points were Loic Duval (Faraday Future Dragon Racing,) Daniel Abt (ABT Schaeffler Audi Sport,) Jerome D’Ambrosio (Faraday Future Dragon Racing’) Oliver Turvery (NextEV NIO) e local hero José Maria Lopez. The DS Virgin Racing driver had some bad luck, crashing in qualifying, but in the race, he staged a spirited climb up the order, especially in the second part: a second championship point was his reward for all the hard work and it went down very well with a crowd in excess of 21,000 who watched the race at the Puerto Madero circuit.

Of the others, there was a noteworthy performance from Mitch Evans (Panasonic Jaguar Racing,) who shone in qualifying with a fine seventh place, but in the closing stages, he saw his chances of bringing home the Big Cat’s first ever points slip from his grasp.

“Today, with the heat, there were many other things to manage,” said Buemi. “Especially the temperature of the battery. So at the start of the race, I took it pretty easy for a couple of laps to see where we were, and we had the pace to pass the other guys. I have to say I had everything under control and I got quite a bit of a margin.

“Then on the second car we had some more issues on the brakes so it was quite difficult to actually drive the car, the car was not breaking straight. At the end of the day, you know in this category there is no point in having a big gap, because if you use energy to create a gap and then you have a safety car, all the energy is gone. So the best thing is to have a little bit of gap, that makes you feel safe, so if you made a little mistake you could get it back.”

Despite never getting close enough to pressure Buemi for the win, Vergne was very pleased to take second – the first podium finish for the new TECHEETAH team.

“Obviously I am really happy, we are a new team and we came from very far away and didn’t have any testing like all the other teams had,” said Vergne. “New beginnings, new engineers, new powertrain, new everything. We solved the struggles we had in Hong Kong and Marrakesh. I think the whole team did a fantastic job, working really, really hard, sometimes many hours overnight and in the end it paid off. I had a good car and I’m really happy so a big thank you to the team and I think if we can have a weekend without a mistake, I’m sure we can put the focus into getting a win.”

Another podium for di Grassi – his 15th in total – keeps him in second place in the championship, but he knows he and his Abt Schaeffler Audi Sport team will have their work cut out to overthrow the dominant Buemi.

“In the end, it was a good weekend and a good day for us,” said di Grassi. “Clearly we are not on the pace of the Renaults. I had the opposite of what Seb had. My first car was a bit of a mess, going everywhere, oversteering much more than expected, it was quite low on grip overall and I couldn’t drive it I just tried to carry it to the pits and then after the car change, the second car was good. I managed to catch back Nico and I overtook him, I opened a gap and caught JEV (Jean-Eric Vergne) a little bit. It’s part of this Championship, the cars sometimes they change for very little reason or a very little change makes a big difference.”

Behind Buemi and Di Grassi, in the drivers’ classification, we now have Prost, third on 36 points, and Vergne (22,) while in the teams’ championship, Renault e.dams has consolidated its lead on 111 points, ahead of ABT Schaeffler Audi Sport (60) and Mahindra (37.)

The fourth round of the FIA Formula E Championship takes place on 1st April at the Autodromo Hermanos Rodriguez in Mexico City.