DIRIYAH, Saudi Arabia—The 8th Formula E season kicked off here recently with a pair of night races through the streets of a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The competitive races included a field of 22 next-generation cars that each feature 220 kilowatts of power vs. 200 kilowatts in 2021. Because the power level is increased by 10 percent, operating temperatures can go up 20 percent.
Mercedes-Benz dominated the races with a pair of victories. A Mercedes-EQ driven by Nyck de Vries won the first event on the 1.5-mile circuit that featured 21 turns tracing the curves of ancient city walls. The second race was captured by Edoardo Mortara driving another Mercedes-powered car for Rokit Venturi Racing.
“Since its debut season in 2014, Formula E stands for technological innovation and characterizes a positive change in mobility,” says Bettina Fetzer, head of marketing at Mercedes-Benz AG. “We are shaping this change in a responsible and sustainable way, utilizing this unique platform to drive curiosity and excitement for our electric brand with our customers and fans.”
In addition to Mercedes-Benz, other automakers involved in Formula E include BMW, Citroen, Jaguar, Mahindra and Porsche. The world’s leading electric racing series, which is sponsored by ABB, takes place in urban centers around the world. The next round will take place on Feb. 12 in Mexico City.