RIYADH: The ABB FIA Formula E World Championship on Saturday returns to Monaco, home of the most iconic street circuit in motorsport, on the glamorous French Riviera for round six of the season.
It will be the fifth time in eight seasons that Monaco has featured in the all-electric Formula E World Championship, with dozens of overtakes on the historic Circuit de Monaco’s turns and vistas a hallmark of previous races.
The field of 11 teams and 22 drivers will once again race up the hill, and through the famous Casino Square from Sainte-Devote, round the Grand Hotel Hairpin and through the inimitable Monaco tunnel ahead of the Nouvelle chicane, this year in its traditional configuration.
DS TECHEETAH’s Antonio Felix da Costa claimed victory last season in one of the most exciting races in the history of Formula E, capping a first outing on the full Monaco circuit with an audacious overtake at the exit of the tunnel on the final lap of the race for the win.
The race saw 28 overtakes between the top six runners alone, with the lead changing six times. The 2021 track incorporated a modified chicane at the T11, which will disappear this year to make way for the track design to revert to that of the traditional Circuit de Monaco.
Currently, Jean-Eric Vergne of DS TECHEETAH tops the pile in the Drivers’ World Championship on the way to Monaco, following a strong weekend in Rome, finished off in style with second place in round five and silverware.
The Frenchman is Formula E’s only double champion and the only driver this season to have scored points in every race so far. Although he left Rome claiming he could and should have had more out of the double-header in the Italian capital, he has to be happy at the start he has made to season eight.
Vergne was a winner in the Principality back in 2019, and he will be hoping his record on the Monegasque streets helps him steal a march on the tightly bunched pack heading into the second half of the campaign.
Just two points back is Envision Racing’s Robin Frijns. The Dutchman has three podiums under his belt – more than any other driver – and he has been as quick as any in the opening rounds of this season.
Stoffel Vandoorne is another two points adrift of Frijns in third as it stands, with Mercedes-EQ the Teams’ World Championship leaders, though reigning champion Nyck de Vries has not had it all his own way early on with the Dutchman winning the opening race in Diriyah but managing a best of just sixth position since.
Jaguar TCS Racing enjoyed an unparalleled weekend in Rome last time out with a win-double for Mitch Evans firing the Kiwi right up to fourth and within touching distance of the top of the standings. He missed out on the final lap to Da Costa last year in Monaco but proved and continues to show he has the pace to go one better this time around.
Edo Mortara sits sixth for home squad, Monegasque outfit ROKiT Venturi Racing, which recently announced it is to partner with Maserati from 2022/23.
TAG Heuer Porsche Formula E Team could not quite mirror its Mexico City glory in Rome. Nevertheless, Andre Lotterer and Pascal Wehrlein sit a strong sixth and seventh in the running with Porsche second only to Mercedes-EQ in the teams’ contest.
With three different winners in Monaco in four races, and just a handful of points splitting the championship’s top five, the 2022 Monaco E-Prix in the ABB FIA Formula E World Championship is the jewel in the crown any number of drivers will have their eyes on.
The week will also see the new Formula E’s Gen3 all-electric race car unveiled at the Yacht Club de Monaco on Thursday ahead of the Monaco E-Prix race weekend.
The Gen3 car, set to race from season nine, will be officially revealed to the world at a special event for manufacturers, teams, drivers, partners, and VIP guests. Fans will be able to experience the show via the championship’s digital channels and get a first in-depth look.
Formula E chief executive officer, Jamie Reigle, said: “Formula E’s Gen3 race car represents a leap forward for motorsport and electric mobility. Designed to demonstrate that high performance, efficiency, and sustainability can be packaged together without compromise, the Gen3 car is our most powerful, lightest, and fastest race car to date.
“We look forward to finally taking the covers off the Gen3 in Monaco, a location steeped in motor-racing history, and seeing the car light up city streets around the world next season.”