Just seven days after Sébastien Buemi’s victory in the Monaco ePrix, the FIA Formula E Championship has moved straight on to its next event, the Paris ePrix.


The Circuit

Paris street circuit

Circuit des Invalides
Location Paris, France Circuit Length 1.930 km / 1.199 mi
Opened 2016 First Formula E Event 2016
Direction Clockwise Lap Record 1:02.323 – Nick Heidfeld (2016)

Set around Les Invalides in the heart of Paris, the 1.93-kilometre circuit combines a mix of corners, a mix of track surfaces, and an incredibly tight pit lane.

According to António Félix da Costa, the Paris circuit provides a technical challenge to the Formula E drivers and teams.

“It’s one of the most technical tracks of the season and it’s very low grip in general. If it’s cold again like it was last year, it’s going to be hard for us to get the heat into the tyres and into that optimum area but just adds to the challenge,” the Portuguese driver said.

The key overtaking areas are Turn 1, the hairpin at Turn 7, and Turn 8 at the end of the back straight. All three of these locations have their challenges however, as da Costa explains.

“Turn 1 is a pretty straight forward, 90-degree right hander. It’s pretty smooth but it’s hard to get the braking right and hit that apex.

“You kind of have to compromise the minimum speed of Turn 6 a little bit to try to carry as much speed as possible through Turn 7. It’s the slowest corner of the whole track and important to have a really good exit because it’s the longest straight of the track after that.

“Turn 8 is one of the most difficult corners of this whole championship – a very bumpy braking area and turn in – and it’s very easy to make a mistake and hit the wall there – and also there is a surface change so the grip that you are used to all around the track is different there, it’s a little bit lower.”


The Form Guide

There are two changes to the field for Paris, to cover for drivers with clashing DTM commitments. Former GP2 Series racer Tom Dillmann will make his Formula E debut with Venturi in place of Maro Engel, while Mike Conway makes a return to the series, driving for Faraday Future Dragon Racing to cover for Loïc Duval.

Speaking following the shakedown session in Paris on Friday, Conway – who raced for the Venturi team in the 2015-16 season – feels comfortable ahead of his return.

“It felt familiar, which was good. My memory of circuit was very similar as well. It’s hard to say [how I will do] at the moment with very slow speeds – only 110kw – but I’m looking forward to tomorrow. I feel like it’s nice to get a few laps and settle into it on the shakedown and be more prepared for the race.”

There were concerns for Jean-Éric Vergne’s participation this week following a hand injury sustained in his crash with Nelson Piquet Jr in Monaco, however the Frenchman will race in his home event.

The main battle this weekend is likely to again be between championship leader Buemi and Lucas di Grassi. Last year’s winner in Paris, di Grassi will want to repeat the result this year to regain the handful of championship points he lost by finishing second to Buemi last weekend.

Vergne, Piquet and Mahindra Racing’s Nick Heidfeld have all shown podium speed over the past few events, and will likely be in the mix again, along with the DS Virgin Racing pair of Sam Bird and José María López who will be targeting a strong result in DS Automobiles’ home event.

The French contingent is strong in the Formula E field, with Vergne and Dillmann competing alongside Stéphane Sarrazin and Formula E’s man of consistency, Nicolas Prost – both of whom could spring a podium challenge in Paris.

The Paris ePrix is scheduled to begin with Practice 1 from 08:00 local time (UTC+02:00), ahead of Practice 2 at 10:00. Qualifying and Super Pole commences at 12:00, with the green flag set to wave for the race at 16:00.

2016-17 FIA Formula E Championship – Qatar Airways Paris ePrix
Date 20 May 2017 Free Practice Session 1 Sat 08:00-08:45
Qualifying Draw Sat 10:00-10:20 Free Practice Session 2 Sat 10:30-11:00
Qualifying Group 1 Sat 12:00-12:06 Qualifying Group 2 Sat 12:10-12:16
Qualifying Group 3 Sat 12:20-12:26 Qualifying Group 4 Sat 12:30-12:36
Super Pole Sat 12:45-13:00 Race (45 laps) Sat 16:00-17:00

Session times quoted in Central European Summer Time (GMT +02:00)


Images via FIA Formula E Championship


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Mitch Timms

Journalist at MotorsportM8
Professional motorsport engineer and all-round tech head.
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