In just over 24 hours the FIA Formula E Championship will return to life in Malaysia, following a 10 week break after the inaugural event in the series in Beijing.
Having been postponed from its originally-scheduled date at the request of the Malaysian Prime Minister’s Office, the Putrajaya ePrix will take place on Saturday November 22.
|2014 FORMULA E PUTRAJAYA E-PRIX
|Date:||22 November 2014|
|Free Practice Session 1||Sat 07:45-09:00|
|Qualifying Group 1||Sat 10:00-10:10|
|Qualifying Group 2||Sat 10:15-10:25|
|Qualifying Group 3||Sat 10:30-10:40|
|Qualifying Group 4||Sat 10:45-10:55|
|FanBoost Winner||Sat 13:50|
|Race (31 laps)||Sat 14:00-15:00|
* Session times are quoted in Malaysia Standard Time (UTC +08:00 hrs)
The 12 turn, 2.5km, clockwise Putrajaya Street Circuit features a range of challenges for the teams and drivers, with the predicted 200km/hr front straight quickly closing down into a tight right-left chicane. Another straight follows before the 90⁰ right-hand Turn 3, which is likely to provide a passing opportunity.
A series of medium speed corners follow before Turn 10, a right hand hairpin which has been described by Audi Sport ABT driver Daniel Abt as reminiscent of Macau’s iconic Melco hairpin. The ‘straight’ between turns 11 and 12 is actually a constant radius sweeper, which may also open up the possibility of a pass into the final corner.
António Félix da Costa will join the series in Malaysia, taking up his role as driver of Amlin Aguri 55 car. His existing DTM racing commitments forced the Portuguese youngster to miss the inaugural Beijing event, where the car was instead driven by Takuma Sato.
Joining Félix da Costa as a debutant this weekend will be Australian Indy Lights sensation Matthew Brabham, grandson of the late Sir Jack Brabham, the three-time Formula 1 World Champion. The American-born driver will race alongside Franck Montagny for Andretti Autosport in the second race of the season, replacing Charles Pic.
Ho-Pin Tung (China Racing) and Daniel Abt (Audi Sport Abt) will both race in Malaysia, with each driver deciding to prioritise their Formula E outings over roles in the Asian Le Mans series (Tung) and the final round of the GP2 Series in Abu Dhabi (Abt).
The Form Guide
As winner of the Beijing ePrix winner, championship leader Lucas di Grassi is likely to remain a competitive force in the Putrajaya event. Of his goals for the second race, Audi Sport ABT driver di Grassi said: “Our aim remains the same before each race: we’re set on winning. And if that shouldn’t be possible, then we’d at least like to finish on the podium and score valuable points. Our victory in Beijing is a fond memory – but no more than that. That’s why we’re now preparing for Malaysia with the same concentration and will try and pull off an impeccable weekend with the whole squad.”
Also likely to be strong in Malaysia are both edams.Renault cars, driven by Nicolas Prost (who led the majority of the inaugural event) and Sébastien Buemi who dominated pre-season testing. Nick Heidfeld also showed in Beijing that he is likely to challenge throughout the season, his late-race charge almost resulting in a race win before contact with Prost on the final lap sparked a spectacular roll over and eliminating both drivers.
As with every ePrix, all the on-track action in Putrajaya will occur in one day. Practice will begin at 07:45 local time (UTC +08:00) before qualifying at 10:00 and the 31-lap race at 14:00. Online voting for the FanBoost is currently underway, with the three drivers who will receive the additional energy boost to be revealed 10 minutes before race start.
Images via FIA Formula E Championship