Tokyo E-Prix preview: The biggest race in Formula E’s history

[ad_1]

The race which has been worked on for several years is finally upon us this weekend, as Formula E heads to Japan for the inaugural Tokyo E-Prix.

There is no doubting the fact that this weekend is the biggest in Formula E’s history, given how hard the all-electric series has worked to make a race in Tokyo happen.

For many, the Japanese capital is seen as the perfect host city, with its reputation for being a world leader in technology.

As for EV cars, they are on the rise in Japan, with a record-breaking 88,535 electric vehicles having been sold in 2023.

It’s incredible to think that Formula E has gone from building circuits in the likes of Battersea park, to the dazzling electric streets of Tokyo.

This weekend must be a success for Formula E, as an exciting E-Prix in Tokyo could propel the championship like never before.

A hero’s welcome for Nissan

Of course, with this weekend being Formula E’s first trip to the Land of the Rising Sun, Nissan will finally have a true home race. The Japanese manufacturer had previously counted the Paris E-Prix as a home event, due to their HQ in the French capital.

An emotional weekend lies ahead of Nissan – the official partner of the event – who in their sixth season of Formula E, have never found themselves in a more competitive position.

Oliver Rowland has returned to the team for Season 10 and has claimed back-to-back podiums, whilst he also claimed pole for Diriyah race two.

As for Sacha Fenestraz, Japan is effectively a home race for him too without even taking Nissan into consideration, as he spent four years racing in the nation.

The Japanese outfit will have thousands of supporters behind them at the sold-out E-Prix, in what would be a fairy-tale weekend for Nissan to claim a first victory in the Gen3 era.

			© Simon Galloway / Formula E


© Simon Galloway / Formula E

The venue

Formula E’s inaugural trip to Tokyo takes place on the Tokyo Bay waterfront, around the Big Sight Convention centre in the Ariake district. A spectacular backdrop of the Tokyo metropolis will greet the teams.

The circuit is a highly technical one consisting of 20 corners, following the last-minute introduction of a chicane in the final sector. According to The Race, this has been done as a safety measure.

Coming in at 2.585 km in length, the circuit looks set to be extremely challenging. The first sector is extremely tight and technical, before the circuit speeds up considerably in second sector. The final sector starts at high-speed, before slowing considerably courtesy of two chicanes.

			© Formula E


© Formula E

Favourites for victory

With overtaking expected to be difficult due to the tight nature of the circuit, a peloton race like the recent São Paulo E-Prix is not expected. Because of this, is it difficult to look beyond the championship leader Nick Cassidy for victory.

The opening three races of the season were relatively flat out, something that worked in Cassidy’s favour. Having finished on the podium in the opening three events – including victory in the second race in Diriyah – Cassidy is a clear favourite if he qualifies well.

In terms of qualifying, it is Pascal Wehrlein who has been the strongest this year, with the factory Porsche driver having started on pole in 50% of the races in 2024. With Porsche’s excellent efficiency, the German could be impossible to beat if he qualifies towards the front.

Following his São Paulo heroics, Sam Bird is a serious contender for back-to-back victories. The Briton has always been strong over one-lap, but with his McLaren package having the strongest efficiency recently, he could be a safe bet for at least a podium.

			© Simon Galloway / Formula E


© Simon Galloway / Formula E

Dark horses

A clear dark horse is reigning world champion Jake Dennis, who is a dark horse rather than a favourite due to his frustrating start to Season 10. Dennis has lacked consistency but did win by the second-biggest margin in the history of Formula E in Diriyah race one.

Mitch Evans is another driver to watch as he has shown strong pace in all four completed races this year. However, the Kiwi has had something go against him in every event in 2024. To win, this unwanted streak will need to end.

Rowland’s impressive start to the season has already been mentioned, and having shown pace over one-lap and in race trim, a home win for Nissan cannot be discounted. If overtaking is tough, that could actually work in DS Penske’s favour, as both of their drivers have shown pace.

How do the championships look?

After Cassidy crashed in São Paulo, the championship leader heads to Tokyo with his advantage having been cut to just four points. Wehrlein enters the fifth round as Cassidy’s main rival currently, whilst just two points separate Evans, Vergne, Dennis and Bird.

In the teams’ championship, it is the factory Jaguar outfit in complete control on 96 points, with Porsche sitting 35 points behind. DS Penske sit in third, just two points ahead of McLaren. In the manufacturers’ championship, Jaguar comfortably lead.

[ad_2]

Source

Leave a Comment