5 of the best: Formula E races

jean eric vergne

Whether it features two or four wheels, motorsport is defined by unforgettable moments of drama, sporting rivalry and spectacular feats of skill or stupidity and the world's premier electric-powered single-seater series is no exception.

Since launching in 2014, Formula E, has gone from strength to strength, attracting some of the world’s best drivers and most iconic manufacturers, and has evolved into a fast and furious proposition with races hosted in cities across the globe featuring cars that have evolved technologically at a breakneck pace.

Season seven of Formula E is scheduled to kick off in the Chilean capital Santiago in January 2021 and it will be a battle between the likes of Jaguar, Audi, Porsche, BMW, Nissan and Mercedes and top driving talent such as Le Mans winners André Lotterer and Sébastien Buemi, DTM champion René Rast and ex-Formula One drivers like Stoffel Vandoorne, Jean-Éric Vergne and Pascal Wehrlein/

As Formula E enters its seventh season with new rivalries certain to emerge and new race winners to be crowned, here are five of the most memorable moments from the groundbreaking all-electric series so far...

Beijing 2014: season 1
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From the very first few laps of the very first Formula E race there was a classic battle and a massive shunt that dramatically announced the introduction of the new all-electric form of motorsport to the world.

In race one of the inaugural 2014-15 season, hosted at Beijing’s Olympic Green Circuit, Team e.dams Renault’s Nicolas Prost held the lead right up until the final corner of the final lap of the race. Desperate to snatch the win, Venturi driver Nick Heidfeld made a bold overtaking attempt under braking into the final turn and as Prost moved over to block the German two collided, sending Heidfeld spinning towards a kerb only to be launched high into the air and into the catch fencing.

Heidfeld walked away uninjured and the spectacular incident paved the way to give Lucas Di Grassi the accolade of winning the first ever Formula E race and triggered the first massive argument of the Formula E era.

London 2016: season 2
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Season two of Formula E would be decided in the leafy surrounds of London’s Battersea Park in a high- voltage duel between Lucas Di Grassi and Sébastien Buemi. With the title up for grabs, the second race of the July weekend echoed the Prost V Senna incident at Suzuka in 1991 as Di Grassi crashed into the back of Buemi effectively taking both drivers out of the points. For a moment it looked as if Di Grassi would take the Formula E crown

Buemi however wasn’t done. With two points available for fastest lap the championship was far from decided, prompting Buemi and Di Grassi to jump into their spare cars and go about setting the fastest lap. After Di Grassi’s Audi team attempted to baulk Buemi’s pace, the Swiss driver eventually triumphed, bagged the two points and became Formula E’s second ever champion.

Mexico City 2019: season 5
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One of the most intriguing aspects of Formula E is the art of teams and drivers conserving the amount of energy needed to get through a full race. At round four of the 2019-20 season during the Mexican E Prix, a red flag halted the race following a crash between Nelson Piquet Jnr and Jean Eric Vergne to set up an afternoon of glorious chaos. 

At the restart Pascal Wehrlein, Oliver Rowland and Lucas Di Grassi all went for it at full tilt, and while the battle was close, the frantic pace meant the trio of drivers needed to save energy as the race entered its last few minutes. As Di Grassi overtook a defensive Rowland, Wehrlein was forced to defend from the Brazilian and in his desperation cut a chicane on the final lap, incurred a five second penalty, and joined Rowland and Sébastien Buemi in running out of energy with metres to spare. This left Di Grassi to play the percentages perfectly and win again in Mexico with 0% energy left in a virtual photo finish.

Marrakesh 2019: season 5
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Round two of the fifth Formula E season took place in the Moroccan capital and witnessed a stack of drama at the front of the pack with a coming together between Jean Eric-Vergne and Sam Bird allowing two BMW’s of Antonio Felix Da Costa and Alexander Sims to lead on the tight street circuit. It looked as though the German manufacturer was nailed on for a second one-two finish of the year...

That was until Sims challenged his team-mate Da Costa for the lead on the outside as both drivers locked up their brakes and the inevitable collision sent both drivers backwards through the field. This left Mahindra Racing’s Jérôme D’Ambrosio to take the lead with the Belgian ex-Formula One driver fending off Robin Frijns to win a crazy race which ended with a manic one lap dash as the safety car peeled off and released the pack.

Santiago 2020: season 6
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Andretti Autosport’s Maximilian Günther scored his first ever Formula E race victory in the second race of season six in the Chilean capital of Santiago, becoming the youngest ever E Prix victor. The German had to wait until the final lap and was forced to duel with eventual champion António Félix da Costa.

Günther’s maiden win was an artful one as he used the fanboost sparingly, passing Edoardo Mortara to snatch third before passing Wehrlein for second, and with bags of extra boost remaining Günther went for the lead, passing Mitch Evans on the approach to Turn 9 to cap a stellar drive to the front of the field.

However, the pressure wasn’t off for Günther and with 14 minutes of the race remaining, Jean Eric Vergne and his teammate António Félix da Costa surged to the top three before damage to Vergne's front wing finally forced the reigning champion into the pits leaving Da Costa to pass Evans and chase down Günther for the win. 

On the final lap, Da Costa forced Günther’s BMW driver wide and forced his way into first place only to be put under pressure from a determined Günther who sailed past  Da Costa at Turn 9 and winning by just over two seconds.