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.

Valtteri Bottas takes pole position for season-opening Austrian GP

Leonhard Foeger/Pool via Getty Images
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SPIELBERG, Austria — Valtteri Bottas upstaged Mercedes teammate Lewis Hamilton to take pole position Saturday for the Formula One Austrian GP.

The Finnish driver edged out the world champion by 0.012 seconds to claim the top spot for the season opener at the Red Bull Ring in Spielberg. He clenched his fist as he climbed out of his car and shared a hug with Hamilton.

“It’s something special when you push the car to the limit,” said Bottas, who is chasing an eighth career win. “Feels so good. It’s very impressive (from the team).”

Red Bull’s Max Verstappen was third, and Lando Norris gave McLaren a boost by finishing fourth. Verstappen has won the past two years here, including 2019 when he started third behind Hamilton and Ferrari’s Charles Leclerc.

“It’s going to be interesting quite a bit warmer tomorrow and hopefully this will play to our advantage,” Verstappen said. “Today, Mercedes was on a different level, unfortunately. Last year we were also a little bit off in qualifying so I expect we will be a bit better in the race.”

Bottas had the leading time when drivers embarked on their final laps and beat his own mark before sliding off the track into the gravel.

Hamilton was chasing a record-extending 89th career pole. He was ahead but then dropped off slightly as Bottas secured a 12th career pole.

“Great job by Valtteri. It’s a great start to the season,” Hamilton said. “We show year on year that we continue to be the best team. We’re open-minded … constantly learning from each other and pushing the boundaries.”

Ferrari struggled for speed, with Leclerc nearly one second behind in seventh and Sebastian Vettel failing to make it into the third and final part of qualifying, known as Q3. He starts the race from 11th on the grid.

Vettel is leaving Ferrari at the end of the season with his future in F1 uncertain.

Earlier, Hamilton posted the fastest time in morning practice. The 35-year-old British driver was also quickest in both sessions on Friday.

Midway through third practice, F1 newcomer Nicholas Latifi misjudged the exit of a turn and spun his Williams car into a protective tire wall.