The electric racing series Formula E has just made its world debut on the streets of Beijing, and some motorsports have gone whole seasons between crashes as dramatic as the last-lap scrap between Nick Heidfeld and Nicolas Prost in China.
Perspective is everything. Take, for example, the inaugural FIA Formula E championship. To us it's notable as the first global electric racing series. But to racing drivers, it presents a new opportunity. Because while most single-seater racing series occupy one rung or another on the motorsport racing ladder, Formula E is developing a clout all its own. A pioneering one that is apparently very attractive to emerging talents and old hands alike as an alternative to Formula One.
The 16th Petit Le Mans Powered By Mazda, in the final year of the American Le Mans Series presented by Tequila Patrón, was run on Saturday. Even though many of this year's championships had already been decided, the last ALMS race ever would be a 10-hour, 1,000-mile slog around Road Atlanta to get names in the record books and decide a few series trophies.
The sidelining of Robert Kubica left big shoes to fill at the Lotus Renault GP team. After the Polish driver crashed out in a pre-season rally, the team was left scrambling to find a replacement. But rather than dip into its own considerable reserve of back-up drivers, the higher-ups opted to bring in Nick Heidfeld to fill Kubica's seat.
Filling the proverbial shoes of Robert Kubica is no easy task. The grand prix winner – one of only 102 in history – is the first Polish driver to make it in Formula One, and he is rated as one of the best in the business. Fill his space, though, is exactly what Renault has had to do after Kubica's unfortunate crash in an Italian rally left him severely – if not critically – injured. But if anyone's up to the task, it's Nick Heidfeld.
Not that BMW's Sauber F1 car has anything more than three letters in common with cars that bear the propeller logo on public streets, but who's going to argue with the opportunity to lay down the tools early? Hotshoe Nick Heidfeld recently treated a crowd of laborer's at BMW's Munich factory to the spectacle of a big-dollar race car being treated like a hand-me-down Reliant, complete with a body-damaging finale. The shriek of a high-strung F1 racer while it slides around doing lurid donuts is a