Formula E Season 11 calendar reveals return to Saudi Arabia at new circuit

Formula E Season 11 calendar reveals return to Saudi Arabia at new circuit
The Diriyah E-Prix will return for seventh season at a new circuit on Feb 14-15, 2025. (Formula E)
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Updated 11 June 2024
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Formula E Season 11 calendar reveals return to Saudi Arabia at new circuit

Formula E Season 11 calendar reveals return to Saudi Arabia at new circuit
  • The electric car event’s longest championship season to date will include 17 races at 11 locations
  • The Kingdom will host races in Diriyah for a seventh time on Feb. 14-15 on a new track, details of which are yet to be announced

RIYADH: The provisional calendar for Season 11 of the ABB FIA Formula E World Championship, unveiled on Tuesday, confirms a return to Diriyah early next year and reveals the event’s longest season, with the largest number of races and locations to date.
It once again includes a race double-header in Saudi Arabia on Feb. 14-15. This will be the seventh time the Kingdom has been part of the Formula E championship and the races will take place on a new track in Diriyah, the precise details of which will be announced later.
The 11th season of the pioneering all-electric racing event will for the first time consist of 17 races at 11 locations. In addition to the new track in Diriyah, the provisional calendar, subject to validation by the FIA World Motorsport Council, reveals a new race location in Miami; a double-header of races in Monaco, marking a first for the principality in any motorsport championship; a double-header in Tokyo; and the return of Jakarta to the calendar.
“For Season 11 we’re taking electric racing to the next level and doing things that have never been done before in motorsport,” said Jeff Dodds, the CEO of Formula E.
“Our world-leading GEN3 EVO will debut in front of hundreds of millions of fans around the globe, while adding two brand new locations and combinations of double-headers to grow our sport further.
“The new and improved calendar offers a perfect blend of circuits for drivers to push their upgraded cars to the limit, while staying true to our street-racing DNA and the on-track action it produces.”
The Season 11 campaign will begin in Sao Paulo on Dec. 7, following preseason testing from Nov. 4-7 in Valencia, as the all-new GEN3 EVO race car — capable of going from 0-60 mph in just 1.82 seconds, 36 percent faster than the current GEN3 vehicles — is put through its paces and tested in public for the first time.
The new circuit in Diriyah will host the first double-header of the season, and on April 12 the championship returns to Miami for the first time since the first season, at the Homestead-Miami Speedway venue, which has hosted NASCAR and IndyCar races for decades.
Monaco will will host back-to-back races on the full Circuit de Monaco for the first time, and following the inaugural Tokyo E-Prix in March this year, for which public roads in the world’s most populous city were closed for an automotive event for the first time, it will host a double header of races on May 17 and 18.
Jakarta returns to the calendar after a one-year hiatus, and the season will conclude with a double-header finale at ExCeL London. One location is yet to be confirmed, as final discussions with a new venue continue ahead of final confirmation of the calendar following the FIA’s World Motor Sport Council Meeting.
“We’re thrilled to offer a calendar with some fresh new highlights while building on our legacy locations,” said Alberto Longo, co-founder and chief championship officer of Formula E.
“Returning to Miami gives us a home in one of the US’s most iconic and sports-mad cities, while securing a double-header in Monaco is a dream come true. We can’t wait to build on the success of Tokyo and deliver a double-header, while returning to Jakarta and entertaining our huge Indonesian fanbase, too.
“With 17 races across the season and our most advanced race car debuting on-track, we’re offering our fans cutting-edge sport we could only have hoped for when founding the championship just over 10 years ago.”
Marek Nawarecki, director of the FIA Circuit Sport Department, said: “The 2024-25 ABB FIA Formula E World Championship calendar features a range of circuits that will truly showcase the qualities of the brand new GEN3 EVO car, set to be introduced next season.
“I’m glad that Formula E capitalizes on the success of the Tokyo and Shanghai races while also returning to some of its iconic venues and retaining a good amount of street circuits, which is in its core DNA. I’m also hopeful that this new season will again play host to some fascinating action on track.”


Da Costa reveals team talk after Diriyah Formula E races is behind recent success

Da Costa reveals team talk after Diriyah Formula E races is behind recent success
Updated 11 July 2024
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Da Costa reveals team talk after Diriyah Formula E races is behind recent success

Da Costa reveals team talk after Diriyah Formula E races is behind recent success
  • TAG Heuer Porsche driver sits fourth in the standings ahead of season-closing double-header in London

RIYADH: Formula E’s Antonio Felix da Costa has revealed he spoke with his team after the Diriyah races in Saudi Arabia, which has helped him to build momentum going into the season-finale races in London.

The TAG Heuer Porsche driver delivered a spectacular double victory in Portland, marking his third consecutive win amid a sea of enthusiastic fans at the Hankook Portland E-Prix last month, and will be searching for more victories in the last two races on July 20-21.

Having picked up no points in the first three rounds, the Portuguese driver has turned around his season to sit fourth in the standings after winning both races in Portland and the second Shanghai race. He revealed that discussions after the Diriyah race had been key to his impressive recent form.

“For every athlete, you need to build momentum,” said da Costa. “You don’t start winning and get to first place overnight. After the Riyadh race in the third round where we had zero points at that moment, it was then where I said that we need to starting building momentum slowly and I think we have done just that. In Sao Paulo, we finished sixth and been doing well since. We managed to win in Berlin and Shanghai and that set us up nicely mentally, but also worked on what worked for me and have been strong in races.”

With London set to host the final two races next weekend, da Costa is heading to the UK capital with an outside chance of winning the world championship. He is 34 points adrift of championship leader Nick Cassidy, however he will assess his options once the first qualifying session is over.

He said: “At the moment, we have been putting all our eggs in the basket to help our team win the championship and we still have a chance. We need to keep going with that mentality, but having said that, I would say let’s do the first qualifying in London and see where we stand and then take decision afterwards. We will prepare for London like as we do for every weekend.”


Three cheers for Brits: Russell beats Hamilton to take Silverstone F1 pole with Norris third

Three cheers for Brits: Russell beats Hamilton to take Silverstone F1 pole with Norris third
Updated 06 July 2024
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Three cheers for Brits: Russell beats Hamilton to take Silverstone F1 pole with Norris third

Three cheers for Brits: Russell beats Hamilton to take Silverstone F1 pole with Norris third
  • Russell is perfectly poised to aim for a second straight F1 win following his victory at the Austrian GP last weekend

SILVERSTONE, England: The home crowd had three reasons to cheer when George Russell narrowly beat Mercedes teammate Lewis Hamilton to take pole position for the British Grand Prix, and Lando Norris was third quickest for McLaren on Saturday.
It was all about the Brits at Silverstone, with Formula 1 leader Max Verstappen taking a rare back seat and qualifying in fourth for Red Bull.
“The crowd gives us so much energy. I don’t think Silverstone could have dreamt of (this),” a jubilant Russell said. “Three Brits in the top three, we love the support and we can’t wait for the race tomorrow.”
Russell is perfectly poised to aim for a second straight F1 win following his victory at the Austrian GP last weekend. Mercedes is showing signs of closing the gap in terms of speed, and team principal Toto Wolff clenched his fist after his drivers secured a 1-2.
“What a feeling. This is just mega,” Russell said. “The car at the moment is feeling so, so good. We are riding this wave and absolutely buzzing.”
Russell arrived at the track wearing an England soccer shirt ahead of the national team’s European Championship quarterfinal against Switzerland later Saturday, and said his own nerves were on edge.
“Probably the most pressure I’ve ever felt in a qualifying session,” he said, praising the crowd for uplifting him. “I wasn’t feeling that confident with myself.”
Hamilton just missed out on a record-extending 105th F1 pole by .171 seconds while Norris was .211 seconds behind Russell, who secured his second pole of the season and third of his career.
“Three Brits in the top three is incredible,” said Hamilton, who has won at Silverstone a record eight times. “This is huge for us (Mercedes). The car felt great.”
Sergio Perez’s poor run of form for Red Bull continued. He went off track at Copse corner and into the gravel during Q1 — the first part of qualifying — prompting team principal Christian Horner to shake his head. Perez’s car was removed by a crane as the Mexican driver looked on.
Since being given a two-year contract extension last month, Perez has not finished higher than seventh in three races and faces a difficult task to score points from 19th spot.
When qualifying resumed dark clouds were forming over the six-kilometer (3.7-mile) circuit.
Verstappen uttered an expletive over the team radio after momentarily sliding off track and riding over some gravel. He was way off the pace in Q1, which was led by Hamilton, and again in Q2, which Norris led.
Verstappen missed out on a ninth pole of the season. But he praised his team for fixing damage to the car floor from going over the gravel.
“I gave it everything. Guys, thank you very much,” the Dutchman said on radio. “We’ll go at it tomorrow.”
It was a frustrating day for Ferrari’s Charles Leclerc, who failed to make it into Q3, the top 10 shootout, and starts 11th.
“I had huge problems with balance,” said Leclerc, who won the Monaco GP from pole in May.
McLaren’s Oscar Piastri goes from fifth followed by Haas driver Nico Hulkenberg, with Carlos Sainz Jr. (Ferrari), Lance Stroll (Aston Martin), Alex Albon (Williams) and two-time F1 champion Fernando Alonso (Aston Martin) rounding out the top 10.
French driver Esteban Ocon qualified in 18th and called qualifying “embarrassing” for the Alpine team. He is leaving at the end of the year and reportedly could join Haas.
Earlier Saturday, a rainy third session saw an early red flag when Alpine driver Pierre Gasly went into the gravel.
Russell led P3 narrowly ahead of Hamilton in a sign of things to come.
“To compete with the McLarens and Red Bulls is a great feeling, a massive boost,” said Hamilton, who won the last of his record 103 F1 races in the penultimate race of 2021.
Norris led the two practices on Friday with Verstappen finishing out of the top three both times.
In Sunday’s race, the start could prove crucial.
Norris has to get past two Mercedes and hold off Verstappen alongside him, one week after Verstappen and Norris crashed into each other late on in Austria.
“I can bring the fight to George and Lewis so I’m excited to put on a good show,” Norris said. “I’m confident we can execute a good race.”


Friends again: Norris, Verstappen make up after Spielberg drama

Friends again: Norris, Verstappen make up after Spielberg drama
Updated 05 July 2024
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Friends again: Norris, Verstappen make up after Spielberg drama

Friends again: Norris, Verstappen make up after Spielberg drama
  • The Red Bull driver said he and Norris had spoken last Monday, following their controversial collision in the Austrian Grand Prix at Spielberg
  • The 64th lap collision came with Norris attempting to pass the three-time world champion and series leader for the race lead and resulted in both cars suffering punctures

SILVERSTONE, United Kingdom: Max Verstappen on Thursday welcomed the restoration of his friendship with Lando Norris after the Briton had said he did not expect any apology from the three-time champion following their crash last Sunday.

The Red Bull driver said he and Norris had spoken last Monday, following their controversial collision in the Austrian Grand Prix at Spielberg, and had quickly agreed that they should continue to race each other hard in the same way.

“I said after the race that there’s no point in discussing it now because emotions are running high,” said the Dutchman.

“And then I woke up early and immediately because I wanted to talk to Lando, of course, but he had already texted me in the morning on Monday.

“So on the day afterwards, your emotions are a bit lower so actually I respected that a lot — and we are great friends and he’s a very nice guy, honestly.

“So I was really upset and disappointed that we had got together because on the track we race each other hard, but as a friend you are disappointed that this could happen.

“But we very quickly said that we had to race each other hard because that is what we like to do and we have always done that not only in Formula One but also on-line and stuff and that’s what we enjoy with each other — battling hard and that is what we will continue to do.”

The 64th lap collision came with Norris attempting to pass the three-time world champion and series leader for the race lead and resulted in both cars suffering punctures.

Verstappen rejoined after a pit-stop and finished fifth after being given a 10-second penalty for causing the crash while Norris pitted and retired.

McLaren’s Norris, who trails Verstappen by 81 points in the drivers’ title race, had taken the sting out of their argument by admitting he had over-reacted.

But, he said, he still held reservations about the incident and how it was managed by the race stewards.

“Honestly, I don’t think he needed to apologize,” the 24-year-old Briton conceded.

“Some of the things I said in the pen after the race were more because I was frustrated at the time.

“(There was) a lot of adrenaline and emotions and I probably said some things I didn’t necessarily believe, especially later on in the week. It was tough. It was a pretty pathetic incident, in terms of it ended both of our races.

“It wasn’t like a hit. It wasn’t like an obvious bit of contact. It was probably one of the smallest bits of contact you can have, but with a pretty terrible consequence for both of us, especially for myself.”

“I don’t expect an apology from him,” said Norris.

“I don’t think he should apologize. I thought it was, as a review, good racing. At times, maybe, very close to the edge, but like I said, we’ve spoken about it, we’ve talked about it and we’re both happy to go racing again.”

Verstappen, asked by Sky Sports F1 if he was concerned by the reaction to the incident, Verstappen added: “No, the only thing I care about in my life is that I am getting on well with Lando.”

“Naturally, I always said to Lando, when you go for moves up the inside, outside, you can trust me that I’m not there to try and crash you out of the way.

“Same the other way around because we spoke about that as well. There’s always a human reaction when someone dives up the inside or outside that you have a bit of a reaction to it, but I felt everything that I did was nothing massively over the top.

“Like how you design a car, you try to go to the edge of the rules, maybe you find some grey areas here and there as a car — and that’s the same how you race, otherwise you will never be a top driver and you will never succeed in life anyway.”

Asked if he felt it was possible to remain friends with a rival driver, he said: “It depends a bit on your personalities.

“I know Lando. He’s a great guy, a really nice person who loves F1, very passionate about it. You have to realize he’s fighting for his second potential win, I’m fighting for my 62nd.

“I think naturally your emotions are a little bit different. I know that from myself, when I was fighting for these first wins in F1, but that’s fine.”


George Russell gifted Austrian Grand Prix victory after Max Verstappen in late collision

George Russell gifted Austrian Grand Prix victory after Max Verstappen in late collision
Updated 30 June 2024
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George Russell gifted Austrian Grand Prix victory after Max Verstappen in late collision

George Russell gifted Austrian Grand Prix victory after Max Verstappen in late collision
  • It was the British driver’s second career victory
  • Helped by late collision between series leader Max Verstappen of Red Bull and his nearest rival Lando Norris

SPIELBERG, Austria: George Russell claimed a dramatic victory for Mercedes on Sunday after a sensational late collision between series leader Max Verstappen of Red Bull and his nearest rival Lando Norris of McLaren in the closing laps of an action-packed Austrian Grand Prix.
It was the British driver’s second career victory, endorsing the improved form of the Mercedes team in recent races, as he made the most of Verstappen’s impulsive and aggressive move against Norris, to finish 1.9 seconds clear of Oscar Piastri in the second McLaren.
“Incredible!” said Russell, who had registered Mercedes’ last win in Brazil in 2022.
“I think it was a tough fight out there at the beginning of the race just to hold on to that third place and I saw on the TV that Max and Lando were getting pretty close — and I knew Lando would want to try to get that race win.
“The team has done an amazing job to put us in this fight and you’ve got to be there in the end to pick up the pieces.”
Carlos Sainz finished third for Ferrari ahead of seven-time champion Lewis Hamilton in the second Mercedes and Verstappen, who was fifth, despite collecting a 10-second penalty for causing the crash with Norris, who was forced to retire his damaged car.
On a hot day in the Styrian Alps, with air temperatures touching 29 degrees and the track at 49, Verstappen made his now customary flawless start from pole.
Russell also made a good start from third and fought Norris for second on the opening lap.
Verstappen pitted on lap 23, followed by Norris and the rest, passing the race lead to Piastri until he pitted on lap 25. Piastri rejoined sixth and order was restored with everyone on hards, except Russell who took a second set of mediums.
“He launched straight into me — I couldn’t turn right into the box,” said Norris, complaining about Verstappen’s alleged unsafe release by Red Bull.
“Yeah, we’re on it,” came the reply.
By lap 41 Verstappen was grumbling about his tires.
“I don’t know what’s happening,” said the champion who had only a fresh set of hards or used mediums left to run.
By lap 44, Verstappen’s lead was down to 6.4 seconds before Russell, also struggling, pitted for fresh hards, re-joining sixth. He swiftly set a fastest lap and passed Sainz for fifth behind Hamilton, who was behind the two McLarens.
With the leaders extending their stints to make a two-stop strategy work, back-markers like Leclerc in 12th on three stops were faster on track, but stuck behind Verstappen until he pitted again with Norris on lap 51.
The Dutchman suffered a slow stop due to a ‘sticky’ left rear and Norris on fresh mediums was only 2.2 behind as they rejoined in P1 and P2. Verstappen was on used mediums, delivering the prospect of a thrilling duel to the flag.
Norris was three-tenths adrift before passing him on lap 59, but ran wide and off-track. He gave the position back and received a warning for exceeding track limits before attacking again only for Verstappen to run wide and rejoin.
The battling pair eventually collided on lap 63 at Turn Three where Verstappen moved across to hit Norris’s car and both suffered punctures, gifting the lead to Russell as they limped back to the pits.
Verstappen’s front left was damaged and Norris’s right rear, with sufficient damage for the McLaren to retire as Verstappen rejoined in fifth, only to receive a 10-second penalty for causing the crash which led to a brief Virtual Safety Car.
Nico Hulkenberg came home sixth for Haas ahead of Sergio Perez in the second Red Bull, Kevin Magnussen in the second Haas, Daniel Ricciardo of RB and Pierre Gasly of Alpine.
Leclerc finished 11th in the second Ferrari after a race of four pit-stops following a first lap incident.


Imperious Max Verstappen takes pole for Austrian Grand Prix

Imperious Max Verstappen takes pole for Austrian Grand Prix
Updated 29 June 2024
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Imperious Max Verstappen takes pole for Austrian Grand Prix

Imperious Max Verstappen takes pole for Austrian Grand Prix
  • The series leader and three-time world champion clocked a best lap in 1 minute 4.314 seconds

SPIELBERG, Austria: Max Verstappen continued his imperious form in Red Bull’s homeland on Saturday when, after winning the sprint race, he claimed a convincing pole position for Sunday’s Austrian Grand Prix.
The series leader and three-time world champion clocked a best lap in 1 minute 4.314 seconds to outpace nearest rival Lando Norris of McLaren by 0.404sec for his fourth Austrian pole at the Red Bull Ring.
It also ended a run of three races where he was beaten in qualifying in Monaco, Canada and Spain and brought him his 40th career pole position.
“That went really well,” said Verstappen.
“We tried to adjust things a bit after this morning and it went well. It was warmer than yesterday and a bit tricky but the car felt good and I could attack the corners much more. It felt on point and really good out there.
“It’s been a while since we’ve been on pole and we have worked hard to be more competitive.’
Norris said: “I think that was the best we could do today and Max was in a league of his own — but I am happy and I’ll take that.”
George Russell took third for Mercedes ahead of Ferrari’s Carlos Sainz and seven-time champion Lewis Hamilton in the second Mercedes, Charles Leclerc in his Ferrari and Oscar Piastri in the second McLaren.
Piastri’s best flying lap was deleted for exceeding track limits in the closing minutes when he briefly went third.
Sergio Perez was eighth in the second Red Bull, continuing his struggles, ahead of Haas’s Nico Hulkenberg and Esteban Ocon of Alpine.
Verstappen led the way out of the pit lane for the opening of Q1 with the Styrian Alps simmering in the heat with a track temperature of 47 degrees and the air at 32.
The conditions, however, did nothing to quell the enthusiasm of the Dutch champion’s ‘orange army’, massed in the grandstands.
With everyone on softs, Verstappen set the pace in 1min 6.054sec on his first lap — he took pole in 1min 04.686sec last year — before the Ferraris and McLarens made their opening forays, Leclerc emerging as the early pace-setter in 1min 05.901sec.
Mercedes left their first runs until later, but Russell temporarily took over top spot with Hamilton slotted in seventh.
Verstappen and Sainz both responded as the times tumbled. Only half a second separated the top nine drivers as Hamilton dropped to 16th and needed a new set of softs to avoid an early exit.
As he survived, Alex Albon of Williams, Aston Martin’s Lance Stroll, Valtteri Bottas of Sauber, Logan Sargeant of Williams and Zhou Guanyu in the second Sauber were eliminated.
The Q2 session began with Leclerc posting a best time to go top with a lead of just 0.050sec ahead of Ocon only for Verstappen, in imperious mood, sweeping to the top in 1min 04.577sec.
He took a fresh set of softs for a final run in 1min 04.469sec, half a second clear of the pack led by Sainz, Russell and Hamilton with two-time champion Fernando Alonso of Aston Martin among those to drop out.
Norris and then Hulkenberg took command in Q3 before Verstappen flexed his muscles, clocking 1min 04.314sec to consolidate his position and take pole.