20 identical driverless robot cars will compete as a prelude to Formula E races next year, likely beginning in October in Beijing.
Lucas Di Grassi
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.
For every new driver who makes his way into Formula One, there's another who ends up flunking out, left to find a drive in another racing series. Fortunately there's no shortage of racing disciplines eager to lure a former grand prix pilot to their ranks. And soon there'll be one more.
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.
Doughnuts. They're not just those delicious disks of deep-fried delight sometimes stuffed with custard or jelly, and perhaps lightly dusted with confectioners sugar (mmmm... doughnuts). No, they are also a time-honored, tire-smoking way of demonstrating automotive power and virility.
We've seen lots of camera angles from close to an Formula One driver's point of view, but we don't think we've ever seen the actual thing – a genuine driver's-eye view. Pirelli F1-tire test driver Lucas di Grassi has changed that, placing a camera on his helmet over one of his eyes while doing a hot lap in the wet around Belgium's Spa-Francorchamps circuit. So, yes, that means he drove with just one eye 'open.'
As much as we may wish otherwise, the vast majority of those reading this will never find themselves behind the wheel of a Formula 1 race car. And even if they did, actually piloting one of these beasts at speed around a real race track (video games don't count) is a practice best left to the professionals.