Why Audi has to treat Formula E like it tackled Le Mans
Audi enters its first season as a fully-blown Formula E entrant with #1 on its leading car, but that doesn't mean it arrives at the top of the pile. It has no choice but to treat the electric series like its formerly dominant LMP1 programme.
Winning at the slowest possible speed is an old racing philosophy espoused to great effect by Alain Prost in his Formula 1-conquering days, so there's some irony in how last season he watched a Formula E rival put it into practice.
The Renault Z.E.15 was the pick of the powertrains in the first season of open motor/gearbox/inverter competition, and the evolutionary Z.E.16 kept the Prost/Jean-Paul Driot-run Renault e.dams team atop the pack in performance terms. But Lucas di Grassi and Abt Audi Sport, with a sprinkling more Audi assistance than before, managed to steal the title at the final round... despite being slower throughout most of the season.
Maserati will make a full-factory return to racing, joining the Formula E grid in 2023 with a view to electrifying its road car portfolio. In that regard it makes sense for Maserati - but it's also a win for the series as it seeks to rebound from losing three of its heavyweight German giants in the space of a few months
As Formula E prepares to enter its new Gen3 era, many have pondered the prospect of its existing machines continuing in a feeder category. But before such a programme could be embarked on, there are several important questions that must be satisfactorily answered.
OPINION: The 2021 Formula E campaign was wide open until the final race after its most unpredictable season yet. Eventual champion Nyck de Vries explains why this made his title-winning experience such a different experience to conquering F2 in 2019
Formula E welcomes a mix of past, present and future for the 2021-22 season. The old guard facing off against a sprinkling of newcomers, a fresh qualifying format amid a sporting rules shake-up and a range of minor tweaks to the existing all-electric machines are all subplots to the final campaign before the next generation arrives
Electing not to share data with its competitive customer team would have been a straightforward means of gaining an edge on at least one of Mercedes' Formula E rivals last season. But by reciprocating the relationship forged under its initial HWA guise, when it was a customer to Venturi, both teams have reaped the rewards
With its ultra-successful sister team in Formula 1 and a support network providing some of the best minds and resources in the business, Mercedes Formula E team principal Ian James knew his squad had all the winning ingredients. But mixing it together was no easy feat and required key attributes to be grown from within
OPINION: Few figures in racing today divide opinion like Dan Ticktum. The Formula 2 race winner now has the chance to wipe his professional slate clean with his move into Formula E, but it won't be easy at the squad which has brought up the rear for the past three years. Here are the three key criteria he must meet to make a lasting impression on the series.
By virtue of its Formula 1 success, Mercedes was expected to rise to power in Formula E before long. That it won both the drivers' and manufacturers' championships this year, after only two seasons as a full works effort, belies a tricky path littered with potential pitfalls
Valencia Formula E test: Buemi sweeps second day
Valencia Formula E test: Turvey retakes lead on final day