The inaugural Formula E world championship heads to Putrajaya in Malaysia for the 2nd round of the season after a dramatic first race in Beijing. Lucas Di Grassi took the first ever ePrix win after inheriting the lead at the final turn. Nick Heidfeld and Nicolas Prost had been out front before a desperate defence saw Prost launch Heidfeld into the air and subsequently the barriers.
After his win, Lucas Di Grassi leads the drivers’ championship ahead of fellow podium finishers Franck Montagny and Sam Bird. Andretti Autosport lead the teams’ championship and are 4 points ahead of Audi Sport ABT. Virgin Racing are 3rd in the standings, but are 15 points off of the lead.
Only 2 drivers have changed for the second round. Antonio Felix da Costa will take Takuma Sato’s place in the Amlin Aguri car that set the fastest lap in Beijing. The Portuguese driver missed the first round of the season as he had prior commitments in the DTM championship. The second driver substitution sees Matthew Brabham take the Andretti Autosport car of Charles Pic, who finished 4th in the season opener. Matthew, son of three-time F1 champion Sir Jack, has had recent open wheel success in the United States driving for Andretti Autosport over the last two years in the Pro Mazda Championship (where he won the title in 2013) and in the Indy Lights championship supporting the IndyCar series.
The Putrajaya circuit is a 2.5km, 12 turn circuit and is located just south of the Malaysian Prime Minister’s office. The circuit features a combination of long straights into turns 1 and 3, along with a very tight hairpin near the end of the lap. Audi Sport ABT driver Daniel Abt, who had finished on the podium in the first round before being penalised into 12th, gives his thoughts on the circuit:
“Malaysia is a very special country for racing. The track layout looks very interesting and has a lot of different corners. You have a chicane at Turn 1 after the main straight which gives a good first opportunity for overtaking and slipstream battles. Then you have a mix of slow and medium speed corners which is good for keeping the field very tight and will ensure close racing. I think the next very good overtaking spot will be T6 which is in front of the Fan Zone and should give the spectators a great view of the action. T9 meanwhile reminds me of the very tight hairpin at Macau. All in all the layout looks really promising and will for sure provide great racing.”
The 20 drivers will hit the track on Saturday for the one day event, with the race scheduled to take place at 6:00BST.