We’re almost there! On 28 January the 2022 ABB FIA Formula E Championship gets off to a scorching start in Diriyah, Saudi Arabia. And our TAG Heuer Formula E drivers and crew can’t wait for the adrenalin-charged two-day event.
What makes the Diriyah circuit so remarkable? For starters, the historic setting is as dramatic as the race itself. The 2.495km track skirts the ancient town walls of the original Saudi capital - a UNESCO World Heritage Site – built in the 15th Century. Against this timeless backdrop the Diriyah circuit promises to put drivers and their crew under pressure from start to finish. Each challenging lap throws out 21 twists and turns, every one of them potentially a game-changer as the drivers battle it out wheel-to-wheel. As the cars jostle off the grid, their first challenge is a highly technical dog-leg bend. Coming out of that, it’s a hard right turn into a high speed straight. The course allows no margin for error; whether red-lining it down the straights or white-knuckling it through the snaking Bobsled Run, a series of fast direction changes in dizzying succession.
Adding to the drama, both races will be run at night. This follows the precedent set last season when Saudi Arabia hosted the first-ever Formula E night race. The track will be lit up with low consumption LED lighting, powered by fully renewable energy – cutting electricity consumption by up to 50%. The rest of the energy required to power the floodlighting is also fully renewable: it’s derived from high performing low-carbon certified hydrogenated vegetable oil. Just the type of sustainable energy management you’d expect to find in Formula E, right?
Speaking of energy management, Season 8 is set to be more competitive than ever, with exciting new changes to the technical specs. It’s all about power. An extra 20 kilowatts in race mode to be precise. It will guarantee faster acceleration and higher top speeds. But, there’s one catch: the regulated battery capacity will remain fixed at 52kWh. Which means, strategic energy management is going to be even more critical than ever.
The other big change in Formula E this year is a brand new knockout qualifying system that will leave every race wide open for the unexpected. This will make it the most electrifying race season yet. But, there’s another reason Diriyah has a very special meaning for the TAG Heuer Porsche team: It was here in 2018, at the inaugural race of Season 5, that our own André Lotterer clocked the fastest lap of the race. Will history be repeated? We just can’t wait to see.