The 2021 London E-Prix was a landmark event for the FIA Formula E World Championship, and as Season 7 continued, we returned to the UK capital for the first time since 2016.
As a double-header event, the 2021 edition of the race marked its third running to date and brought about an end to Formula E’s five-year absence in London.
The ExCeL arena was our field of competition and as the series’ newest circuit, the docklands-based track was one of the most unique we’ve ever raced on.
Featuring 22 corners, the circuit is the most technical to ever appear on the Formula E calendar and it is also the first-ever international motorsport race to take place both indoors and outdoors.
After getting our first taste of the track on Friday afternoon, we continued to advance our understanding on Saturday before taking part in qualifying to settle the grid for Race 1.
In the first group of runners, Edoardo Mortara set the pace in the opening stages, but as a result of poor weather, was at a disadvantage from the outset.
As track conditions improved, however, Norman Nato took advantage and with strong pace in Group 4, the 29-year-old progressed to the Super Pole shootout.
This marked Norman’s third Super Pole appearance to date, and after briefly holding provisional pole position, the Frenchman qualified in P6 – the third row of the grid.
Unfortunately, a five-second time penalty and an energy overuse in the first 45-minute + 1 lap affair of the weekend eliminated Norman from contention and left Edo as our sole runner in Race 1.
In a fighting drive, however, Edo showcased his expertise and battled forward from P16 on the grid to P11 at the flag, performing a total of six overtakes.
When Sebastien Buemi and Oliver Rowland were disqualified post-race, Edo was then promoted to the top 10 and by taking P9, secured his 20th points finish for ROKiT Venturi Racing.
In the face of what was a challenging day, there was underlying pace, but on Sunday we were left with an uphill battle from P13 and P20 on the grid.
After a difficult start that saw Norman and Edo lose seven positions combined, the pair bounced back and showed that overtaking was possible on the ExCeL’s winding roads.
Norman performed a total of nine overtakes to move into the top 10 while 10 passes from Edo allowed our two-time race winner to lurk on the verge of the points-paying positions.
Running in P10 and in hot pursuit of P9, Norman was set for his third points finish of the season before a collision with Sam Bird with only three laps to go brought his race to an early end.
Edo, meanwhile, completed a difficult weekend for the team by taking P11 in Race 2, continually playing catch up after facing technical difficulties on the opening tour.
Over the course of Friday, Saturday and Sunday, we turned a total of 258 laps around the 2.25-kilometre venue to drive the equivalent of 580.5-kilometres using fully electric power.
This brought our total running distance for Season 7 up to 4,175-kilometres – the equivalent of driving from the ExCeL to Tempelhof Airport in Berlin (the next race of Season 7) five times.
With 96 points on offer to teams and 60 for drivers, everything is still to play for in the final race weekend of Season 7 as Formula E’s first World Championship campaign edges ever closer to its conclusion.