Where are the races?
So far eight ePrix have been confirmed. This weekend the season kicks off with a double header in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia. In April, Rome and Valencia will host an ePrix, followed by Monaco at the start of May. From the Principality, the tour will then move to Marrakesh before another double header in Santiago, Chile in early June. Berlin, London, Sanya, Mexico City and New York are provisional and do not have confirmed dates, while Paris has been cancelled. Crucially, the London ePrix's venue is the ExCel Centre in the east of the city, which was set up as a temporary field hospital for the Covid-19 pandemic and is now being used as a mass vaccination centre in the UK capital.
What teams are involved?
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Once again 12 teams will compete in the Championship, with the only change coming in the form of GEOX Drag renaming itself to Dragon / Penske Autosport. Its drivers Nico Muller and Sergio Sette Camara are still with the team.
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Sam Bird has moved from Virgin to Jaguar to replace James Calado, with Nick Cassidy his replacement after successfully competing for them in the 2020 Rookie Test in Marrakesh. Former Ferrari F1 star Felipe Massa has left Venturi after two seasons, with Norman Nato coming in. Rene Rast, who competed in six races last year, has been promoted to become the permanent driver of Audi, with Daniel Abt dismissed. Pascal Wehrlein replaces Neel Janie at TAG Heuer Porsche, Alexander Sims has left BMW i Andretti Motorsport to join Mahindra Racing to replace Jerome d'Ambrosio, with Jake Dennis coming it at the American outfit. D'Ambrosio is now the Team Principal at Venturi. Finally, Tom Blomqvist has replaced Ma Qinghua at NIO 333.
Who are the favourites?
DS Techeetah's Antonio Felix da Costa is the defending champion but he will face plenty of competition from the Mercedes duo Stoffel Vandoorne, the former McLaren Formula 1 driver, who finished as runner up last year, and Nyck de Vries, the 2020 season's rookie of the year. Vandoorne is feeling confident:
I would say there’s big ambitions for the whole team, partly because of the success we’ve had in Season Six. And obviously that win in the last race has put a bit of additional pressure on us to perform.
Audi Sport ABT Schaeffler boast a star roster of Lucas di Grassi, the 2017 champion, and Rene Rast, the three-time DTM winner. BMW i Andretti have youth on their side, with Max Gunther and Jake Dennis both showing considerable promise. And you can never count out Jean-Eric Vergne, who will have a point to prove after losing his crown last season after two straight championships.
British interest aplenty
There are several British racers in the running this year, with two teams boasting all-English rosters. Oliver Turvey and Tom Blomqvist represent NIO 333 and Alexander Sims and Alex Lynn will both turn out for Mahindra Racing. Oliver Rowland is contracted to Nissan and Jake Dennis to BMW i Andretti Motorsport. There are two British teams, Envision Virgin Racing and Jaguar Racing, but only the latter will have a Brit, Sam Bird.
HOW TO WATCH THE EVENT
You can watch the 2021 Formula E season live on Eurosport, eurosport.co.uk and the Eurosport app. You can subscribe here.
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