Officially called the much-less-fun National Stadium, the Bird's Nest will not let the all-electric race cars chase each other around a running track. Instead, the EVs will race outside the stadium on a 3.44-kilometer (2.14-mile) course with 20 turns that was designed by Rodrigo Nunes. One notable aspect of the course is a U-shaped pit that will have spectator space inside. That's the plan, anyway, as long as it passes final FIA Homologation.
The 60-minute race will happen on September 13, 2014 with 20 drivers on 10 teams competing. After the Beijing event, the series moves to Malaysia and then to locations in the Americas and Europe before ending in London in June 2015. There are more details in the press release below. The Bird's Nest hasn't been empty since the 2008 Olympics. Tourists come to visit every day and the stadium has been used for concerts and soccer matches in recent years.
- Olympic Stadium to provide backdrop for championship opener and world's first fully-electric single-seater race
BEIJING, CHINA (13, March 2014) – Organisers of the FIA Formula E Championship have today revealed the location and circuit layout of the Beijing Formula E Grand Prix – exactly six months ahead of the opening round of the new global electric race series.
Taking place on Saturday, 13th September 2014, the inaugural Formula E race has been set around the grounds of China's iconic Olympic Stadium, more commonly known as the 'Bird's Nest' and venue for the 2008 Olympic Games. At 3.44km in length and featuring 20 turns, the anti-clockwise temporary circuit has been custom made by designer Rodrigo Nunes, working in close cooperation with the FIA, Formula E, the Republic of China Motor Sport Federation (FASC), the Olympic Park Committee, the Beijing Mayor, the Chinese Government and event organiser Team China Racing.
The circuit, which remains subject to final FIA Homologation, boasts an impressive cityscape backdrop taking in both the Beijing National Aquatics Centre and the Olympic Stadium itself. It will see the 20 Formula E drivers tackle a mix of tight left-hand turns - offering late braking and overtaking opportunities - together with twisty chicanes and two main straights. In addition, the track features a unique 'U-shaped' pit lane with spectator areas located inside giving fans an incredible close-up view of the action.
The Beijing Formula E GP circuit is the first of 10 city-centre races on the inaugural 2014/2015 Formula E calendar to be revealed. Formula E is a new FIA Championship using fully-electric single-seater race cars capable of speeds in excess of 225km/h. Ten teams, each with two drivers, will go head-to-head to create a unique and exciting racing series designed to appeal to a new generation of motorsport fans, whilst accelerating the electric vehicle market and promoting sustainability.
Alejandro Agag, CEO of Formula E, said: "Today's unveiling of the Beijing circuit marks a very special moment in the evolution of the FIA's Formula E Championship. From the series' official launch back in August 2012, we have since confirmed our 10 host cities, 10 international teams, leading partners, global TV broadcasters and signed drivers. Now people can visualise where all the aforementioned will come together to put on the world's first fully-electric race, which we're sure is going to be an amazing spectacle. Getting to this stage has taken an enormous effort from everyone involved and I'd like to personally thank them for helping us turn the FIA's vision into a reality. The track looks fantastic and we're looking forward to going racing come September."
Mr JuQing Tian, Executive Director of the Beijing Olympic Park Management Committee, said: "We are pleased to welcome the FIA Formula E Championship to our beautiful Beijing Olympic Park on 13th September 2014. The race has been classified as one of the top five Beijing Municipal Sport Events. As the venue management department and race supporter, we will try our best to provide local support and assist the Formula E race operation. I would like to take this opportunity to remind all motorsport fans about the 2008 Beijing Olympic Games glory and proudly present the development of sports and culture industry in the post-Olympic times. All these have given full expression to the sincerity and determination of the Beijing government and people to protect the environment. Finally, I would like to wish the event a great success and many more years in the city of Beijing."
Lucas di Grassi, one of the signed drivers for the Audi Sport ABT Formula E Team, commented: "The Beijing track is an amazing facility. For the drivers, it will be a tremendous challenge to learn the limits of this track quickly, as well as to understand the best overtaking opportunities. The most obvious places are likely to be the first and last corners. The circuit will also require lots of traction and braking stability, while the energy recuperation at braking zones will help to stabilise the car. The pit lane is also unique and requires some special practice to get right."
Formula E races will be held over a single day in order to minimise disruption to each host city with the practice session, qualifying and 60-minute race taking place on Saturday followed by a live music concert.
Further details, including ticket prices, will be available via the official Formula E website – www.fiaformulae.com – and via the forthcoming official Beijing Formula E GP website and social media channels.
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About FIA Formula E Championship:
Formula E is a new FIA championship featuring Formula cars powered exclusively by electric energy. It represents a vision for the future of the motor industry over the coming decades, serving as a framework for research and development around the electric vehicle, accelerating general interest in these cars and promoting sustainability. Commencing in September 2014, the Championship will compete in the heart of 10 of the world's leading cities - including London, Beijing and Los Angeles - racing around their iconic landmarks. For the inaugural season, 10 teams, each with two drivers, will go head-to-head creating a unique and exciting racing series designed to appeal to a new generation of motorsport fans. Operating as an 'open championship', the series gives car manufacturers and constructors the opportunity to showcase their electrical energy innovations in a racing environment, designing cars to the technical specifications set out by the FIA.
About FIA & Michelin - Today's partners for tomorrow's mobility:
As well as being the official Formula E tyre supplier, Michelin is an official partner, at the international level, of the FIA Action for Road Safety campaign. This programme is designed to support the Decade of Action for Road Safety initiated by the UN, the aim of which is to save five million lives over the next ten years. This program is set up to educate and advocate for safer roads, vehicles and behaviours around the globe.