The first batch of Gen 3 Formula E cars have touched down in Hyderabad as special charter flights ferrying the FIA Environmental Accreditation racing cars landed at the Rajiv Gandhi International Airport on Thursday.
The racing cars, which will be vrooming around the street circuit alongside the picturesque Hussain Sagar lake for the Season 9 of the FIA Formula E World Championship, have been parked at a designated slot in the airport. The cars will be wheeled into the circuit after obtaining the required clearance from customs and other government bodies.
Sportstar had earlier reported that Hyderabad got a special automobile air clearance for the to and fro shipment of the racing cars along with garage-related sophisticated electric charging equipment for the highly anticipated race on February 11.
“The first batch of cars has reached the city, and they are currently parked at the airport. They will undergo inspection, and get the required customs clearance along with other formalities before being taken into their respective garages in the circuit. It has been hassle-free and we are looking forward to hosting a successful Formula E event next week. The second set of cars will arrive soon,” a top official involved in hosting the race told this publication.
Drivers participating in the Hyderabad E-Prix have already received the digital version of the racing circuit as India gears up to host its maiden Formula E World Championship, to be held on February 11. Greenko has been named the title sponsor for the championship, as 11 teams and 22 drivers will be racing wheel-to-wheel in one of the fastest street circuits in the world.
“All Formula E teams have high-end simulators where the drivers will get the feel of how the track is. The quality of the tarmac is also sent to them and once the driver steps into the track his muscle memory is already in the know of the track. He knows exactly where to turn, all the marker boards are done and by now they have would have practised at least 40 races in the simulator and those are very high-end simulations. And between the simulation and what we see in real-time is just less than one second faster or slower,” said Dilbagh Gill, the CEO of Ace Nxt Gen.
The former team principal of the Mahindra Racing Formula E team, Dilbagh, explained what goes behind hosting a successful E race.
“In motorsport, data is very important as we are talking about one-tenth and a thousand of a second. The Hyderabad track is very exciting. It’s got some of the long straights where drivers will enjoy and the simulation that we have done is amazing. Acceleration will be the key and the drivers will enjoy racing in this track,” Dilbagh said.
“This is a fast track and the drivers’ skills will be put to test as the circuit is challenging. On this particular track, a driver can make a difference, rather than the car and that’s the fascinating part. The track will have both lateral and longitudinal effect on the tyres which means the cars will slide both sideways and forward,” he added.
Conditions and Performance
To maintain timing while driving at incredible speeds, the routine of a racing driver is immaculate. From losing body weight to facing nervous moments before a race, a racer goes through his paces before sitting in the cockpit.
“The drivers and the engineers will go through all the possible simulations and teams buy some of the most high-end and costliest weather data to check how exactly the day’s weather will be in terms of rain, humidity, which direction the winds will be. We actually buy data from top meteorologists because weather plays a key role as strategies will change accordingly. A lot of data will be collected on Friday practice and then the engineers will set up the car according to the driver’s style of driving and the data they have collected,” said Dilbag.
Chaos marred the inaugural edition of the Indian Racing League (IRL) that Hyderabad hosted as a test run for the Formula E event. However, the CEO assured the upcoming event would 8be different.
“In terms of safety, there won’t be any compromise. There are certain international standards mandated by the FIA and the Hyderabad Street Circuit track will meet and exceed every safety standard that is required. The drivers’, fans’ and marshals’ safety won’t be compromised at any cost. The barricades are ex-F1 which we have imported from Jakarta and also the safety fences. We have three lines of defence and this is going to be a different experience for the fans.”
Adding further, the top official said, “It’s not fair to compare Hyderabad E Prix with IRL. The standard of racing and hosting the E race will be of very high quality. All international specifications have been followed to host a successful race.”
The pit lanes will be devoid of fuel as it’s an E-Prix and Dilbagh said that all necessary arrangements have been made. “There is a standard Formula E charging unit that we use across the world and the high-speed chargers will be coming in along with the cars and the charging is also going to be fast. The unique thing that we will be doing in Hyderabad is Greenko will be supplying only renewable energy that will be used for the charging of the cars. It will be the first time that a promoter is going to provide supply just not only for the cars but everything that is involved in and around the race track.”
A huge fan village is being constructed on the perimeter of the race circuit to keep the fans engaged during the race weekend.
“It will be a seven-minute walk from the race track and there will be shuttle services that will ferry fans to the village that will have special products and also a lot of learning experiences regarding the race will be imparted. In NTR Park, we are planning a lot of activities including food, music, and entertainment. There will be content going on in the large screens along with race tracks also. So we have planned a lot for the fans and their eight hours won’t be a waste. It will be a thrilling experience,” he said.