One year after their official presentation in Monaco, the new single-seaters of the ABB FIA Formula E World Championship, named GEN3, will finally be on track this Saturday. More powerful, lighter and faster, they break records and ensure more overtaking in races. The show will therefore be intense on Saturday for this 6th visit of the most innovative category of modern motorsport. Not to mention a line-up of top drivers who will try to reach the Holy Grail: a prestigious win in the Principality.
Since the beginning of this Season 9, the GEN3s have been breaking records. We are already halfway through the season and the numbers are staggering. During the South African round in Cape Town, rookie Sacha Fenestraz (Nissan) achieved the highest average speed in the history of the discipline, at 154.987 km/h, to obtain his first pole position in his first full season. In Berlin last month, at the atypical Tempelhof Airport circuit, the record for the number of overtaking maneuvers in a single race was broken (190), as was the number of lead changes (20, over 43 laps) and the number of different leaders in the same race (8).
With this GEN3 “made for Monaco”, as can be seen on banners all around the circuit, Formula E is more animated, more disputed, more open, and therefore a greater number of drivers have a chance to win. The proof is in the pudding: six drivers have won in the first eight rounds of this Season 9, and many more can follow suit in Monaco. As for the quest for the world title, it will be fierce right up to the end, judging by the lengthy CVs of the candidates for the crown.
Wehrlein and Cassidy lead the championship
Pascal Wehrlein (TAG-Heuer Porsche) is leading the way, but Nick Cassidy (Envision Racing) is only four points behind. The Kiwi has just scored 68 points in four races, compared with 20 only for Wehrlein, who started the season on a high. And 20 other drivers are ready to take advantage of the Monegasque stage to score big points and move up the championship standings, starting with Jean-Eric Vergne (DS Penske), the only two-time champion in the category, who has already won in 2019 on the streets of the Principality.
On the list of winners of an electric single-seater race in Monaco, we also find Sebastien Buemi (Envision Racing), the only one to have won here twice. The Swiss driver has already won the FIA Formula E championship with Nissan and the World Endurance Championship with Toyota (three victories at the 24 Hours of Le Mans). He has been one of the major players of the category since its creation (16 pole positions) and has only one desire: to win again, for his new team.
Vandoorne wants to bounce back
On the grid at 3.03pm on Saturday, there will be five championship winners, starting with Stoffel Vandoorne (DS Penske). The Belgian, world title holder and Monaco resident, won the 2022 edition, but has not yet managed to climb on a podium in 2023. There will also be Antonio Felix da Costa (TAG-Heuer Porsche), crowned in 2020 and Monaco winner in 2021. Jean-Eric Vergne (DS Penske), Sebastien Buemi (Envision Racing) and Lucas di Grassi (Mahindra Racing) round out the list of champions.
Maserati and McLaren, 54 years later…
Among the many challenges of this 6th Monaco E-Prix, there is also the reunion at the highest level of Maserati and McLaren, two mythical brands of motorsport. The former Venturi team is back in Formula E under new colors, thanks to an already successful partnership with the Monaco Sports Group. The Maserati MSG driver duo is made up of Edoardo Mortara and Maximilian Günther, who just finished on the podium in Berlin.
On the McLaren side, the Woking-based team has put together a very promising tandem with Jake Hughes and René Rast. This Saturday, for the first time since the 1969 Monaco Grand Prix, McLaren and Maserati will be on the same starting grid in the Principality. And their reunion promises to make sparks fly.
Last but not least, two other drivers have to be watched closely this weekend: Mitch Evans and Sam Bird, in the fast-growing Jaguar TCSteam. Evans, the other Kiwi on the grid, has just won two of the last three races, making a spectacular recovery in the championship standings. To be continued?
6th Monaco E-Prix, 9th round of the ABB FIA Formula E World Championship, Saturday at 15:03 CET
Your tickets: www.monaco-eprix.com