LB Fe Entrance

Welcome to Media Day for the Long Beach Formula Electric Race. Drivers, teams, principals and media met in a relaxed melieu.

Among the invited guests for Media Conferences were the two American team owners Michael Andretti of Andretti Autosport Formula E Team and Jay Penske of Dragon Racing Formula E Team. Also present was Dario Franchitti, the FIA Formula E Ambassador.

Michael Andretti & Dario Franchitti

Formula e  Platform

Jay Penske

Drivers included points leader Nicolas Prost/Teams e.dams Racing Renault of France, American Scott Speed/Andretti Autosport and Salvador Duran of Mexico/Amlin Aguri of Great Britain.

Nicholas Prost

Scott Speed

Salvador Duran & Jay Penske

One feature of the fully electric Formula e races is the mandatory pit stop to change cars. The minimum time is determined by FIA, and in the case of Long Beach, it has yet to be decided. This is the first race of the new series where the pit stops will be done in Pit Lane instead of the garages.

Formula e will run a shortened version of the current IndyCar track used at the Toyota Grand Prix of Long Beach in two weeks. Formula e’s race will be 1.324-miles/2.131 km. The modification includes cutting out what is known as the Turn One area at the end of the front straight. Instead, there will be a chicane at Pit Exit. This looks like it will be quite tight, so the standing start and rush to the chicane should prove quite interesting. Watch it live in the US on Fox Sports 1 Saturday. The race starts at 4pm PDT.

As Ambassador, Franchitti has been and will travel to all the Formula e races except those in the Merry Month of May – Monaco and Berlin – because of his involvement with the IndyCar Indianapolis Grand Prix and the Indianapolis 500 races.

Dario Franchitti & Leah

Franchitti, retired IndyCar driver, is really enjoying being with the series – “the racing’s been great. It’s absolutely first class.

“I’m excited to see next year with the new motors. I’ve been following the evolution and them really working on the power train. Every single seater has the same basic whatever you call it. I’m excited to see how it performs.

“I know the track intimately. I’ve seen the chicane. I don’t think it will be tight. You know drivers, they will straighten it out. I think it will put a lot of stress on the cars – the suspension. It ought to make for really good TV.”

As with other FIA series, there comes a certain amount of pomp and circumstances. Stay tuned for the glamour and glitz.