Formula E

FIA Formula E

Robin Frijns sidelined after suffering ligament injury in training

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Robin Frijns has been sidelined from the upcoming Blancpain GT race at Monza after suffering a ligament injury while training.

Frijns balances his racing commitments between the Blancpain series and Formula E, racing for Andretti in the latter.

The Dutchman revealed that he had torn the ligament in his right knee after uploading a picture of himself in a wheelchair to Instagram, confirming also that he will not be racing at Monza this weekend as planned.

“Unfortunately I will have to sit out this weekends Blancpain GT Series in Monza,” Frijns wrote.

“While training my right knee collapsed. Cut my ligament in half. Recovery starts today! Will be back in the car in two weeks’ time in Brands Hatch.”

Frijns’ next Formula E outing with Andretti is scheduled for May 13 in Monaco, one week after the next GT event at Brands Hatch.

Rome approves plans to stage Formula E race in 2018

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Rome has given the green light to plans for a Formula E race in 2018 following a vote by city officials, who offered unanimous approval.

Rome was first set to stage a Formula E race during its inaugural season (2014/15), with the event being announced back in 2012 before a change in the city government caused the idea to be shelved.

The election of mayor Virginia Raggi led to a resumption of talks including Formula E CEO Alejandro Agag and FIA president Jean Todt, leading to the plans being put to the authorities on Thursday.

A unanimous vote was returned, giving the green light for a Formula E race to be staged in Rome as early as next year.

Formula E officials have completed feasibility studies in Rome, but a track layout has not been confirmed, with the series still yet to make a final call on whether to go ahead with the race. A final decision is set to be made in the coming months as the calendar for season four is compiled.

“The prospect of Rome hosting an ePrix is an exciting one, especially as that’s where the first concept of the original Formula E car ran on the streets past the Colosseum only five years ago,” Agag said.

“We are grateful to the city of Rome to grant the required permits, and now we are one step closer to bringing electric street racing to the capital of Italy – a country with strong culture and deep roots in motorsport.

“We are continuing to assess the possible inclusion of Rome on next year’s calendar in spring 2018, and I’m sure Rome can assert itself as a flagship event along with the likes of Hong Kong, Paris, New York and Montreal.”

Mike Conway to fill in for Loic Duval at Paris ePrix

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Open-wheel veteran Mike Conway will make yet another open-wheel comeback in a one-off fill-in role for Loic Duval at the upcoming FIA Formula E Championship Paris ePrix, May 21, with the Faraday Future Dragon Racing team.

With Duval on DTM duties that weekend for Audi, Conway will step into the team’s No. 6 Penske-03EV chassis for that weekend, the second of Formula E’s back-to-back weekends in France. Monaco takes place the week before on May 14, two weeks before the Grand Prix.

Duval will be back on his Formula E duties at the Berlin weekend June 10-11.

Conway’s past Formula E experience came last year with Venturi, when he took over for Jacques Villeneuve from Round 4 of the season at Buenos Aires. He scored seven points with a best finish of eighth at Berlin.

“I’m honored to be given the opportunity to compete with Faraday Future Dragon Racing,” Conway said. “The team has showcased fervor and technical prowess this season and I am confident of the positive results we can achieve together in Paris.”

“We are thrilled to have Mike Conway join us next month for the Paris ePrix,” said Jay Penske, Team Owner and Principal of Dragon Racing. “He’s an experienced driver whom I have always respected and I believe his talent and tenacity will contribute to the team’s overall performance in Paris.”

Conway’s just come off a fourth place finish in the FIA World Endurance Championship season opener at Silverstone, although he and Kamui Kobayashi qualified their No. 7 Toyota TS050 Hybrid on pole position before fellow Formula E driver Jose Maria Lopez crashed during the race. He won races in both IndyCar and GP2 prior to his sports car career.

Marchionne: Formula E ‘a good idea’ for brands like Maserati

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Ferrari president and Fiat-Chrysler CEO Sergio Marchionne has once again expressed his interest in Formula E, saying the all-electric series is “a good idea” for brands such as Maserati.

Maserati last enjoyed a works operation in Formula 1 in 1957, but has since shied away from single-seater racing.

Marchionne hinted that a return may be considered when talking to reporters last Sunday, saying that Formula E would be a good fit for some of Fiat-Chrysler’s brands.

“Formula E is a good idea for many,” Marchionne told Italian newspaper La Repubblica over the Chinese Grand Prix weekend.

“I see it being good for other brands also, Maserati too.”

Marchionne has previously stressed the need for Ferrari to monitor Formula E’s progression and consider a possible entry, but felt the Italian marque could not join the series in its current form.

This does not rule out another Fiat-Chrysler brand entering the series in some form, though, with at least one slot still free on the grid in the next couple of years should a move into Formula E be desired.

Other FCA brands include Fiat, Chrysler, Alfa Romeo and Dodge.

BMW confirms full works Formula E entry for season five

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After dipping its toe in the FIA Formula E Championship waters in a technical partnership with MS Amlin Andretti, BMW has confirmed it will be a full works entry from the series’ fifth season of 2018-2019, as part of BMW’s overall motorsport program.

The German manufacturer will enter the FIA World Endurance Championship in 2018 with a new GTE entry and will then see this program come online later in the same year. BMW AG was confirmed a little more than a week ago as one of nine homologated manufacturers for the fifth season of Formula E, when the series is expected to make its largest technological gains, yet.

“Since its inaugural season, Formula E has enjoyed rapid development and is now regarded as a high-level racing series,” said BMW Motorsport Director Jens Marquardt.

“BMW i has contributed actively as Official Vehicle Partner from the word go and has left its mark on the series. Other manufacturers have now followed suit.

“Everyone involved is delighted to be taking steps to get involved on the sporting and technological side of Formula E. Planning is underway to compete with a works team in season five. This required our registration as a manufacturer. This was completed by the required deadline.”

As noted, BMW i has been involved with Formula E since the series’ inception as the Official Vehicle Partner. In September last year, it formally confirmed its technical partnership with Andretti Autosport.