Formula E completed its first testing session at the Donington Park circuit, where the electric racing series' headquarters are located. Lucas di Grassi, driving for Audi Sport Abt, was kind enough to attach a GoPro video camera to his helmet to give us a pilot's-eye view of what its like to steer Formula E's Spark-Renault SRT_01E around the track at full speed.

Formula E rules state there is to be an FIA-limited maximum speed of 225 kilometers per hour (140 miles per hour), and an estimated 0-100 kph (0-62 mph) time of 2.9 seconds. It appears the cars are capable of a little better. According to the video's description, the car can do 0-62 mph in 2.8 seconds, and reaches speeds of over 230 kph (143 mph) on this track. It's not quite Formula 1 speeds, but it's not slow either, which is clear in the video. Also, with many of the drivers being Formula 1 veterans, we can look forward to some ace driving this season.

During the five days of testing, drivers got used to the cars, worked out some of the kinks and got the chance to shave seconds off their lap times. Lucas di Grassi was the second fastest, with a lap time of 1:31.2. Sébastien Buemi was best over all, with a lap of 1:31.083.

Check out the video below for a lap around the circuit with di Grassi. Maybe start with the volume turned low. There's quite a bit of wind noise. It is an open cockpit, after all. If you're curious about the sound of the car, check out the video in this article.


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    • 1 Second Ago
  • 11 Comments
      Neil Blanchard
      • 10 Months Ago
      Now we're talkin'! The earlier videos were being run on limited power, it seems. The only time you can hear the motor/gears is near the end of the video, accelerating out of a slow corner. Shifting an EV will take some getting used to.
        • 10 Months Ago
        @Neil Blanchard
        The Formula E cars have two different modes: - an 133 bhp race mode - a 200 bhp full power mode The full power mode can only be used during the qualifying and for short periods of time in the race (push-to-pass).
          • 10 Months Ago
          Sorry meant kW not bhp. The bhp equivalents would be: 268bhp and 178bhp
      danfred311
      • 10 Months Ago
      faster. closed cockpit and covered wheels would also help. and of course battery swap
      Grendal
      • 10 Months Ago
      How is it that these cars can race around the track yet a Model S goes into a low energy mode? Are these people somehow supercooling the batteries or the motor?
        Cavaron
        • 10 Months Ago
        @Grendal
        I would say money isn't the issue here, so they can: 1. install the newest(expensive) heat-resistant battery chemistry 2. ignore ware out of the batteries, wouldn't be surprised if they change them every several races.
        GoodCheer
        • 10 Months Ago
        @Grendal
        Cooling isn't a tough problem, I mean heck, we can keep a 400hp gasoline engine cool, when it is emitting 1200hp worth of heat (thus 25% efficient). It's just a question of how much space, design effort, cost, weight etc you want to dedicate to cooling.
        itsme38269
        • 10 Months Ago
        @Grendal
        The same way most road cars would overheat if ran around a track for a little while. This is a race car, the Model S is a road car.
          Grendal
          • 10 Months Ago
          @itsme38269
          So how do they keep it cool? I'm not complaining or dissing Tesla at all. I am just curious how the Formula E cars solve the problem.
          danfred311
          • 10 Months Ago
          @itsme38269
          Model S is simply not built with adequate cooling for track use. perhaps particularly because it's always tested at an LA desert track where it's ridiculously hot. if it's the batteries in Model S that get too hot, that's not easily fixed. if it's the electronics it's easy enough.
      Dave D
      • 10 Months Ago
      I would love to drive that thing and feel the torque it has.