Formula E returns to the world-famous streets of Monaco next weekend. The championship race has been re-ignited by Lucas di Grassi’s victory in the last round, which narrowed the gap between him and Sébastien Buemi to just five points.
Both men enjoyed a successful visit to Monte-Carlo when the championship last visited in the 2015 season. Buemi took first place, two seconds ahead of his rival. In the first three races of this season, Buemi has repeated this finish, but a 14th-place finish in Mexico City ended his dominance of the title battle.
A number of driver changes will be taking place over the next few rounds of the season. Esteban Gutierrez will drive only his second race for Techeetah having replaced Ma Qing Hua. Amlin Andretti’s Robin Frijns is a doubt for Monaco due to an injury he picked up in the Blancpain GT Series. Clashes with other race series will see further changes at the Paris ePrix on 20 May.
The Monaco ePrix circuit is significantly shorter than the Formula 1 track. A right-turn at Beau Rivage takes drivers back onto the marina-side, omitting the world-famous hairpin turn and tunnel sections. It’s also one of the shortest tracks in Formula E, at just 1.8km. This gives teams greater flexibility when deciding on strategy, but the tight streets and lack of run-off areas will punish mistakes, so drivers must also exercise caution.
Behind the two at the top, a number of drivers are involved in a battle for points. Two Frenchmen, Nicolas Prost and Jean-Éric Vergne, have made strong starts. To be as close as they are given the difference in the teams behind them is developing into a fascinating story. Vergne’s Techeetah car is fast, but the formidable expertise of Renault means they can never be under-estimated.
At DS Virgin, Sam Bird will be looking to build upon his podium place last time out. It will also be worth watching Mitch Evans, whose fourth-placed finish was a fantastic boost for him and the Panasonic Jaguar garage in their maiden season.
When to watch
Qualifying for the race starts at 12 noon local time (6am Eastern / 11am UK) followed by the race at 4pm local (10am Eastern / 3pm UK). A full qualifying and race report will be posted here after each session.
Image: Season 1 Monaco ePrix © Formula E