JAKARTA: The ABB FIA Formula E World Championship will debut in Indonesia on June 4 when the first-ever Jakarta E-Prix takes place in Round 9 of the 16-race season.
Eleven teams and 22 drivers will compete at the Jakarta International E-Prix Circuit, in Ancol Beach, with the fight for the championship title on a knife-edge as just 16 points – comfortably less than is on offer for a single victory – split the top three drivers.
With eight rounds and five different race winners in the books, leader Stoffel Vandoorne of Mercedes-EQ, heads ROKiT Venturi Racing’s Edoardo Mortara and DS TECHEETAH’s double champion Jean-Eric Vergne.
Mercedes-EQ has stolen a march in the team championship after a dominant second win of the season for reigning champion Nyck de Vries in Berlin. Add to that a pair of podiums courtesy of teammate Vandoorne and it was some haul for the German giants on home soil on the weekend the team’s future became clear, with McLaren taking the reins of the title-winning squad from Season 9.
Vergne continued his scoring streak, now at eight races and the only driver with a 100 percent record in 2021-22. The Frenchman is desperate for that first race win of the season, but Formula E’s only double and consecutive champion is just 16 points shy of leader Vandoorne with eight rounds to come.
Jaguar TCS Racing’s Mitch Evans’ strong form continued with more points in Berlin, following up on a Rome win-double and silverware in Monaco.
Robin Frijns (Envision Racing) qualified down in 20th for race one at Tempelhof which proved to be costly – the Dutchman having top-six pace at worst all weekend. Still, he is just two points back from Evans in fifth, though the pair have fallen 12 behind third in the standings.
Reigning world champion De Vries pulled a dominant drive out of the bag on home soil for Mercedes-EQ in Round 8 to hit back after a run of two points from four races in the best way possible.
The Jakarta E-Prix represents unchartered territory for the Formula E field with high humidity, searing heat, and the Jakarta International E-Prix Circuit’s unique banked sections and a mix of technical and high-speed sections set to provide a real test.
The 2.37-kilometer, 18-turn circuit kicks off with a tight opening sector after a long run down the start/finish straight before a series of fast, long straights and natural high-speed corners.
There will be plenty of room for maneuvers into the right-hander at Turn 1 before the drivers head into a flowing series of turns that swoop by Ancol Beach City. The final sector is a tricky complex following a fast right-hander at the cambered Turn 12 and another long straight into what will no doubt be a busy Turn 13 hairpin come the race. Another banked corner at Turn 16 comes before a tricky left-hander at Turn 18 which rounds out the lap with a strong slingshot down the long home straight.
The unique circuit has been constructed in arguably the fastest time in Formula E history and will leave a new platform for motorsport in Jakarta to grow.
Formula E has had a regular presence in Asia since the championship’s outset in 2014-15, with 16 races at five locations so far in the region. The very first Formula E E-Prix was held in Beijing while the 50th race was in Hong Kong, with Sanya in China, Putrajaya in Malaysia, and Diriyah in Saudi Arabia all hosting races.
This season will climax in Asia with a double-header of races in Seoul, South Korea, another debut city for the championship.