All you need to know about Formula E in 2022
Next week, Formula E is going to hit the track – the first big series to do so for their 2022 series. After a scorching 2021 season, which saw Nyck de Vries clinch the title in the final race, the teams are getting ready to bid farewell to the Gen 2 cars in their final outing.
If you don’t know about Formula E, first of all: shame on you. Second of all, if you’re reading this, it means you are probably interested in the series. In that case: welcome! If you wanted to learn about Formula E, you could’ve read its Wikipedia entry or you could’ve gone on the official Formula E website. But, you came here, and I’ll tell you: you’re at the right address.
In this post, not only will I bring you up to speed with all you need to know about Formula E and what is new to Formula E for 2022 to be ready for the upcoming season, but I’ll also tell you why I think you should!
Use the links below to quickly jump to a section;
- What is Formula E?
- What is new to Formula E in 2022?
- 2022 Teams and Drivers
- 2022 Calendar
- Where to watch Formula E
What is Formula E?
Formula E is an open-wheel racing series, much like Formula 1. The big twist being that the “E” stands for “Electric”. Formula E’s cars use electricity for their propulsion. Yes, this series does not have roaring combustion engines, but a high-pitched electric whine.
They use 385kg battery pack capable of outputting 250kW, or 335bhp. In race mode, these numbers are down to 220kW or 297bhp. They can get from zero to 100km/h or 62mph in 2.8 seconds, to reach a listed top speed of 280km/h (174mph). For a full rundown of the car, read Formula E’s specsheet.
While the teams use identical bodywork and many other ‘spec’-parts, Formula E cars are not equal: the powertrain can be developed by manufacturers. Even though it is limited by the spec battery and output limits, a manufacturer can change how power is delivered and regained.
What I think is the best part of Formula E and which is often understated and misunderstood about the sport: the cars do not have enough energy in them to make it to the finish line. Instead, drivers have to manage and regenerate their battery levels during a race. They can recharge them under braking, or save energy by lifting and coasting on the straights.
This means that Formula E is not just about being the fastest driver, it is about being the smartest driver.
The driver who can most efficiently manage their battery level will be the one with the most power left by the last few laps of the race. In turn, the final stages of a race will often be quite chaotic. Drivers who have managed their battery better than others are able to make a last-ditch effort to power through the field of competitors who managed theirs less well.
And another thing: in order to accommodate energy regeneration, Formula E exclusively drives on short and tight tracks with big braking zones. These tracks also have one other thing in common: they have a ‘long lap’ which drivers can take to unlock a temporary (4-minute) power boost. Combine this with the cars being quite sturdy, and you’ve got a recipe for shithousery.
To say that Formula E does not have the cleanest of overtaking maneuvers is quite an understatement. But, that is what makes the series fun and exciting.
What is new for Formula E in 2022?
This paragraph can be brief. The 2022 season (which is, confusingly, officially branded as the 2021-’22 season) will much like the 2021 Formula 1 season be an ‘in-between’ season. There will be a new generation of the Formula E car (dubbed Gen 3, as it will be the third generation) coming for the 2022-’23 season. This means that the cars this year will be near-identical to last year’s, with powertrain development at a minimum.
And yes, unfortunately, that means the upcoming season will still have fanboost.
Last year’s qualifying system was kind of a mess, giving drivers who were placed low on the points scoring list an unreasonable advantage during qualifying. On the other hand, this created a lot of fun races to watch and a lot of unexpected results.
To combat this, Formula E has devised a new “knockout” system, as per the infographic below;
Phase 1 will have drivers set a single lap divided over 2 groups based on their championship standing (A for evens, B for unevens). The top 4 of each group moves on to Phase 2.
The first of Group A (A1) will then do a knockout single qualifying lap against the fourth from Group B (B4). The fastest of the two moves on the semi-finals, where they’ll meet the winner of A2 versus B3. That winner, in turn, will move on to the final.
What else is different is that for the quarter-, semi-, and final the cars can use the maximum amount of power, 250kW, instead of the limited 220kW they are allowed to race with.
This new system is sure to create a lot of excitement, but it should also seed the drivers better for the race – potentially making the races less chaotic. And maybe, less fun. However, we’ll have to see it in practice before I can pass judgment.
Formula E 2022 Teams and Drivers
Formula E has 11 teams and 22 drivers. Unfortunately, that’s 1 team less over 2021: Audi pulled out of the championship. However, Audi is still somewhat represented in 2022: Envision will still drive with the Audi e-tron FE07 powertrain. Similarly, BMW sold its share in the Andretti Formula E team to Avalanche, with the team still using its BMW powertrain.
Besides the team swaps, there are 3 new rookie drivers to the championship: Oliver Askew, Dan Ticktum and last year’s Alfa Romeo Formula 1 driver Antonio Giovinazzi.
Below, you can see a full overview of the teams, drivers, and a short description of what to expect from them in the upcoming season. The car liveries are expertly created and provided to me for free by HUN-AndrewT, check out his awesome content on Reddit!
Mercedes-EQ Formula E Team
|Nyck de Vries (DEV)||17||🇳🇱 Netherlands||26||1st|
|Stoffel Vandoorne (VAN)||5||🇧🇪 Belgium||29||9th|
Mercedes are 2022’s defending champions, with an unchanged lineup of 2019 Formula 2 champion and 2021 Formula E champion Nyck de Vries and former McLaren-driver Stoffel Vandoorne.
Although they might not always be at the front of the field, often qualifying near the rear of the pack, they always see themselves finish strongly. Last year, they had some bad luck, both on track and due to the now revised qualifying format. Mercedes-EQ FE team will most likely be one of the teams to beat for the 2022 season.
Jaguar TCS Racing
|Sam Bird (BIR)||2||🇬🇧 Great Britain||35||6th|
|Mitch Evans (EVA)||20||🇳🇿 New Zealand||27||4th|
Jaguar always look strong, but are often inconsistent – they either finish on the podium, or not at all. The pairing of Sam Bird (6) and Mitch Evans (4) had a combined 10 DNFs last year, the highest of all teams.
Bird is one of the most experienced Formula E drivers: he’s one at least one race in each of Formula E’s 7 seasons and I will not be surprised if he will make that 8 this year. Evans is himself a double racer winner and a bit more consistent than his teammate, finishing just ahead of his teammate in 2021. Both could very well be in contention again this year for the title.
|Antonio Felix da Costa (DAC)||13||🇵🇹 Portugal||30||8th|
|Jean-Eric Vergne (JEV)||25||🇫🇷 France||31||10th|
One of the regular staples in Formula E, DS Techeetah is a strong outfit with 2019-2020 series champion Antonio Felix da Costa and the winner of the two seasons (’17-’18, ’18-’19) before: Jean-Eric Vergne.
Since its first season in 2015-’16, DS Techeetah hasn’t finished lower than 5th. Regardless of their disappointing – for them, at least – 3rd place last year, they are still the team to beat. They are always fighting for one or more podium positions and I expect them to do so in 2022 as well.
|Robin Frijns (FRI)||4||🇳🇱 Netherlands||30||5th|
|Nick Cassidy (CAS)||37||🇳🇿 New Zealand||27||15th|
For a long time in 2021, it looked like Robin Frijns would be the highest finishing Dutchman in Formula E, until a string of disappointing results saw him finish in 5th, whereas his teammate only made it to 15th despite two second-place finishes.
With the Audi team gone, Envision Racing will have to set the standard for Audi-powered Formula E cars. They are capable of setting great race pace and making good strategic decisions, but will they overcome their problems with their qualifying pace? Envision could be an outsider for the title in 2022 if they do.
avalanche andretti formula e
|Jake Dennis (DEN)||27||🇬🇧 Great-Britain||26||3rd|
|Oliver Askew (ASK)||28||🇺🇸 United States||25||Rookie|
Andretti saw BMW pull its support for Formula E, with the team rebranding to Avalanche. They have a great consistent driver with Jake Dennis, whereas rookie Oliver Askew is yet to prove himself in the sport.
Andretti has been a good subtop-tier team, capable of pulling the occasional upset scoring 3 race wins last season. If luck falls their way, they have a slim chance of a shot at glory this year, but I’m not reading it in the stars. They will probably perform solidly, but won’t turn any heads in doing so.
rokit venturi racing
|Edoardo Mortara (MOR)||48||🇨🇭 Switzerland||35||2nd|
|Lucas di Grassi (DIG)||11||🇧🇷 Brazil||37||7th|
7. That’s the number of seasons Lucas di Grassi rode for Audi in Formula E. Champion of 2016-2017 and runner-up of both 2015-2016 and 2017-2019, di Grassi never finished lower than 7th in the championship. And, now that Audi has pulled out, he’s gone to Venturi.
Edo Mortara on the other hand will start his 5th season with Venturi, a team that is slowly improving its performance. This year, d’Ambrosio replaced Susie Wolff as team principal. Will the Mercedes-powered team continue its upward trajectory from last year? Time will tell, but they certainly have the ingredients.
tag heuer porsche formula e team
|André Lotterer (LOT)||36||🇩🇪 Germany||40||17th|
|Pascal Wehrlein (WEH)||94||🇩🇪 Germany||27||11th|
Last year’s 8th place for Porsche was beneath them, end of story. Lotterer was involved with too many incidents at the back of the field, while Wehrlein was often just ‘there’ in the middle of the pack.
Porsche will have to do better this year. They seem to have faith in their driver line-up, retaining both drivers and making André Lotterer the oldest driver in the field at 40. Whether they have it in them to bounce back from last years disappointment remains to be seen, although a brand like Porsche must have the know-how and expertise to make it happen.
|Oliver Rowland (ROW)||30||🇬🇧 Great-Britain||29||14th|
|Alexander Sims (SIM)||29||🇬🇧 Great-Britain||33||19th|
Mahindra is one of those underdog teams you’d love to do well. If you are one to cheer on an underdog, Mahindra will not let you down as they are capable of pulling offsets by winning races – they’ve won 5 over their 7 seasons in Formula E.
With Rowland coming over from Nissan E.DAMS to replace Alex Lynn, the team has traded quality for quality. But will it be enough to make a jump forward in terms of results? I doubt it. I reckon you are more likely to see the Mahindra’s at the back at the field as the new qualifying system is bound to hurt their chances of pulling offsets.
|Sebastien Buemi (BUE)||23||🇨🇭 Switzerland||33||21st|
|Maximilian Günther (GUE)||22||🇩🇪 Germany||24||16th|
Nissan E.DAMS is usually a top-tier team, one of the mainstays of Formula E like DS Techeetah. Last year they were utterly unable to continue that form. After the season had ended it was communicated that Buemi had been battling a technical problem in the final half of the season. However, his results in the first half were nothing to write home about as well.
With Günther coming over from Andretti to replace Rowland it will be interesting to see whether the team can recover its place at the head of the field, or if the Nissan powertrain is wholly incapable of achieving top results.
|Sergio Sette Camara (SET)||7||🇧🇷 Brazil||23||22nd|
|Antonio Giovinazzi (ITA)||99||🇮🇹 Italy||28||Rookie|
The Dragon team has been gradually sliding backwards over the years. They came 2nd in Formula E’s inaugural season, but now find themselves at the bottom. Now partnered with Penske, they’ve been trying with their in-house developed Penske EV-powetrains, until this season in which they will be using NIO’s powertrain.
Although the team now has two quality drivers, with former F1 driver Antonio Giovinazzi joining Sergio Sette Camara, their new powertrain is unlikely to cause a rigorous improvement. If you are an F1 fan coming to Formula E to see Giovi-Jesus destroy the Formula E competition, you might be in for a bad time.
NIO 333 Racing
|Oliver Turvey (TUR)||8||🇬🇧 Great-Britain||34||23rd|
|Dan Ticktum (TIC)||33||🇬🇧 Great-Britain||22||Rookie|
NIO is the only true backmarker of the Formula E field, placing dead last in the team’s championship for the past three seasons. The Chinese team has added Dan Ticktum to their roster for the upcoming season. Although talented, I would put him squarely in the “shithousery”-column of racing drivers, meaning that he’ll feel right at home in Formula E.
If it will be enough to lift them away from the bottom of the field remains to be seen. They will at the very least finish one place higher than last year.
Formula E 2022 Calendar
Formula E has a total of 16 rounds, taking place at 10 venues. There are 6 doubleheaders this year, and 4 singular events. New for this year are the events at Jakarta (Indonesia), Vancouver (Canada), and Seoul (South Korea), with the other 7 venues being returning tracks.
|1||Friday, January 28th||🇸🇦 Saudi-Arabia||Diriyah||Diriyah ePrix Circuit|
|2||Saturday, January 29th||🇸🇦 Saudi-Arabia||Diriyah||Diriyah ePrix Circuit|
|3||Saturday, February 12th||🇲🇽 Mexico||Mexico City||MC Formula E Circuit|
|4||Saturday, April 9th||🇮🇹 Italy||Rome||Circuito Cittadino dell’EUR|
|5||Sunday, April 10th||🇮🇹 Italy||Rome||Circuito Cittadino dell’EUR|
|6||Saturday, April 30th||🇲🇨 Monaco||Monaco||Monte Carlo ePrix Circuit|
|7||Saturday, May 14th||🇩🇪 Germany||Berlin||Tempelhof ePrix Circuit|
|8||Sunday, May 15th||🇩🇪 Germany||Berlin||Tempelhof ePrix Circuit|
|9||Saturday, June 4th||🇮🇩 Indonesia||Jakarta||unconfirmed|
|10||Saturday, July 2nd||🇨🇦 Canada||Vancouver||Vancouver Street Circuit|
|11||Saturday, July 16th||🇺🇸 United States||New York||Brooklyn ePrix Course|
|12||Sunday, July 17th||🇺🇸 United States||New York||Brooklyn ePrix Course|
|13||Saturday, July 30th||🇬🇧 Great Britain||London||ExCeL ePrix Circuit|
|14||Sunday, July 31st||🇬🇧 Great Britain||London||ExCeL ePrix Circuit|
|15||Saturday, August 13th||🇰🇷 South Korea||Seoul||Seoul Street ePrix Circuit|
|16||Sunday, August 14th||🇰🇷 South Korea||Seoul||Seoul Street ePrix Circuit|
Where to watch Formula E in 2022?
Formula E is broadcast worldwide on a variety of networks through individual broadcasting deals. For instance, Ziggo Sport holds the rights to broadcast Formula E in the Netherlands. You can see a full list of Formula E broadcasters to find out where to watch Formula E here.
If your country is not included on the list, chances are you can watch the world feed for free on Youtube, on Formula E’s own Youtube channel. And, you can join a viewing party in the race threads on the Formula E subreddit or its discord server.
Talking of said Youtube channel: if (after reading this season preview) you got excited for Formula E, I highly suggest you watch some highlight reels of past races and seasons. The channel is an excellent source of insightful content, even more so than Formula 1’s channel. Some video’s to get you started:
- The Battle to become the first Formula E World Champion (2021 season review)
- The Best Overtakes of 2021
- The Best Last Laps of the Year (2021)
- Every dramatic moment from Season 7 (2021)
If you missed a race, the channel will also have a highlights video for you to (re)watch the race within a matter of hours. I highly recommend subscribing!
What do you think?
Are you looking forward to the upcoming Formula E season? Who do you think will do well? Please, let me know your opinion on the upcoming season or this season preview in the comments below!