The 3 hardest aspects of being a Formula E driver
You guys probably know by now that I am pretty happy being a racing driver. If I have a weekend off, I find somewhere to go karting or drive something. I’m never happier than being in a racecar but, of course, there are things that I would change if I could in the championships we race in. So here I explain to you the three hardest aspects of being a Formula E driver.
1. The tight schedule
One of Formula E’s unique selling points is that everything happens in a day. The fans can arrive in the morning, see two free practice sessions, qualifying and the race, all within the space of nine hours.
It’s an action-packed day and really intense for us drivers as we also have our engineering commitments and PR activities such as the e-Race, meeting the fans and sponsors and all the usual stuff that is spread over three days in one of the more traditional race championships! I don’t mind the fast pace of the day but, what it does mean is that if something goes wrong with the car it puts an incredible amount of pressure on everybody to fix it ready for the next session.
There isn’t really a margin for error and it can add a lot of stress to the day. If the car gets damaged or something big needs replacing, it’s a real race against time to get it ready. I guess though it all adds to the excitement and contributes to what makes Formula E special but I think I would like to see a change into a two-day weekend!
2. Not enough races
I think we should be working our way to having 16-18 races per season. This season we have 12 races over 10 weekends and next season it will be 13 races over 12 weekends so it’s going in the right direction. The calendar for next season is looking really good with some of the now staple venues still included such as Mexico City, Hong Kong, Paris, Berlin and New York.
We’ll be returning to Rome and Zurich, which I think is great as they were both good new cities to add to the calendar and we’ll also be going back to Monaco again for the third time, which is a track I like and it’s my home race. We’ve got a couple of new additions in Saudi Arabia and Sanya in China, so it will be interesting to get to those tracks and see what we can do there.
3. Better presented paddocks
Due to the nature of how Formula E arrives in a city centre, sets up, goes racing and breaks down in as short a time as possible, it means we use things like white tents for the garages and other operational areas.
What this means is that although we are racing in the centre of some of the best cities in the world, the paddock doesn’t look as good as it could do and sometimes we are working in incredibly tight garages that aren’t really big enough for what we need to do.
So I think it would be great to have a better looking paddock so it’s more impressive to look at for guests attending and for on the TV and to have a better solution to enable the teams to have bigger areas to work in.