Ho-Pin Tung became the first Chinese driver to test one of the racecars competing in the all-electric racing series to debut in September. That's appropriate because the first race of the FIA Formula E Championship will take place on his home turf in Beijing, and it's never too early to try to gain a little advantage.
If you've been looking forward to Formula E kicking off its inaugural season of electric racing and holding an event in Brazil, you were probably pretty stoked to see that the calendar included a race in Rio de Janeiro. As well you should: while Brazil has been a mainstay of the Formula One calendar for decades, the Brazilian Grand Prix has been held at Interlagos – closer to São Paulo than Rio – since 1990.
Until the first Formula E race takes place in Beijing come September, all the hype surrounding the new electric racing series will remain exactly that: hype. But the series has taken a big step toward reality with the first test session of the Spark-Renault SRT_01E that is set to form the backbone of the tree-hugging motorsport discipline.
The FIA is serious about developing environmentally friendly forms of motorsport. But while its premier series – Formula One – is implementing new measures like regenerative braking and heat-energy recuperation, F1 remains a fossil fuel-powered sport. That's where Formula E comes in.