10-race schedule confirmed for inaugural Formula E season

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The all-electric FIA Formula E championship has announced a 10-race schedule for its inaugural 2014-2015 season that will start September 13, 2014 in Beijing.

As expected, two North American races are part of the docket. For Round 6, F-E will look to win the hearts of Los Angeles race fans on Valentine’s Day, February 14, 2015, before heading off to Miami for Round 7 on March 14, 2015.

So far, eight teams – including American outfits Andretti Autosport and Dragon Racing – are set to compete for the championship. The series says a ninth team will be revealed tomorrow morning.

“It’s a great feeling to be able to confirm our calendar for the inaugural Formula E season and we’re very thankful to all the cities, and candidate cities, for showing their commitment to sustainable mobility,” said Alejandro Agag, CEO of Formula E Holdings.

“The level of interest we have received from cities all over the globe has been overwhelming and choosing the final 10 has been a challenging and meticulous process.

“We’re confident our final 10 cities will provide an array of fantastic backdrops to showcase electric cars in their favoured urban environments, as well as allow us to put on a great spectacle for the fans.”

After the opening race in Beijing, the series will then go to Malaysia for Round 2 and then Rio de Janeiro for Round 3. According to a press release, Rio replaces Hong Kong, which is now considered a candidate for races in future seasons.

Rounds 4 and 5 continue the series’ stay in South America with stops in Uruguay and then Buenos Aires, followed by the aforementioned two races in North America. F-E will finish out the year with three races in Europe – Monte Carlo, Berlin, and the finale in London on June 27, 2015.

2014-2015 FIA Formula E Championship
Final Schedule
Sept. 13, 2014 – Beijing, China
Oct. 18, 2014 – Putrajaya, Malaysia
Nov. 15, 2014 – Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
Dec. 13, 2014 – Punta del Este, Uruguay
Jan. 10, 2015 – Buenos Aires, Argentina
Feb. 14, 2015 – Los Angeles, California, USA
Mar. 14, 2015 – Miami, Florida, USA
May 9, 2015 – Monte Carlo, Monaco
May 30, 2015 – Berlin, Germany
June 27, 2015 – London, England
All events remain subject to FIA Track Homologation.

Sergio Perez wins rain-delayed race in Singapore over Leclerc; Verstappen seventh

Sergio Perez Singapore
Clive Rose/Getty Images,
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SINGAPORE — Max Verstappen’s Formula One title celebrations were put on hold after the Red Bull driver placed seventh at a chaotic Singapore Grand Prix, won by his teammate Sergio Perez on Sunday.

Perez’s second win of the season saw him finish 7.6 seconds ahead of Ferrari’s Charles Leclerc, with Leclerc’s teammate Carlos Sainz Jr. in third place.

Perez was investigated for a potential safety car infringement but still kept the win after a 5-second time penalty for dropping too far back after being warned.

Verstappen had won the past five races but needed to win here and finish 22 points ahead of Leclerc to be crowned champion for a second straight season. That could happen next weekend at the Japanese GP.

Verstappen made a mistake after the second safety car restart, following AlphaTauri driver Yuki Tsunoda’s crash on Lap 36. When Verstappen tried to overtake Lando Norris’ McLaren, he locked his tires and needed to pit again.

Leclerc started from pole position with Verstappen going from eighth after a team blunder in qualifying.

The race start was delayed by more than an hour to clear water off the Marina Bay Circuit track following heavy rainfall. Drivers had to finish the 61-lap race within a two-hour window; 59 laps were completed.

Tricky conditions saw the virtual safety car deployed three times and DRS was allowed with about 30 minutes remaining.

Perez made a good start and jumped past Leclerc while Verstappen dropped several places. The first safety car was on Lap 8 when Zhou Guanyu’s Alfa Romeo was cut off by Nicholas Latifi’s Williams.

Perez got away cleanly at the restart, while Verstappen climbed into seventh behind Fernando Alonso – whose 350th F1 race ended disappointingly when his engine failed on Lap 21, bringing out the first VSC.

With the track still damp, drivers decided against changing to quicker tires – apart from Mercedes’ George Russell, who struggled for grip.

Hamilton made a rare mistake on Lap 33 and thudded into the crash barrier. Soon after, the leading drivers changed tires in a flurry of stops. They did so just before the safety car was deployed again following Tsunoda’s error.

Verstappen overtook Sebastian Vettel’s Aston Martin right at the end for seventh place.