Mayor of London Boris Johnson keen to make Formula E race annual event

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LONDON – Mayor of London Boris Johnson has expressed his desire to bring an FIA Formula E race to the city every year after trying out one of the cars ahead of this weekend’s season finale.

Johnson played a pivotal role in securing an ePrix in London’s Battersea Park, which will play host to two races this weekend as the inaugural Formula E campaign comes to a close.

In an entertaining publicity event on Friday, Johnson got behind the wheel of the Spark-Renault SRT_01E car for a lap of the circuit, running behind a safety car.

Speaking to reporters just minutes after getting out of the car, the Mayor spoke about the experience and praised series CEO Alejandro Agag for his involvement in setting up the championship.

“It was amazing, amazing!” Johnson said. “I thought I hit a squirrel at one stage but he was quite nimble.

“It’s a wonderful event for London and I congratulate Formula E and Alejandro for everything they’ve done.

“Wandsworth [council] have played a blinder in getting it here in Battersea and let’s make sure we have it every year.”

Johnson also praised the series for the way in which it publicizes electric vehicles, believing it to embody the bid to make London a greener city and reduce carbon emissions.

“What it showcases is our drive to get low carbon vehicles on the street,” Johnson said.

“We’re going to have an ultra-low emission zone in the heart of the city by 2020, taxis by 2018, buses are some of the greenest in the world and it’s part of our campaign to get London electric.”

This weekend’s race in London is the first motorsport event in the capital in over 40 years, and it is shaping up to be one of the highlights of the inaugural Formula E season as one of six drivers is crowned champion.

Formula 1: Ricciardo on Monaco pole, Verstappen to start last

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Red Bull Racing’s Daniel Ricciardo has dominated all weekend long at the Monaco Grand Prix, leading every single practice session prior to qualifying.

And qualifying was more of the same for the Australian driver, whose quick lap in Q3 came in at 1:10.810, a new track record, to take the pole by more than two tenths of a second over Ferrari’s Sebastian Vettel.

Meanwhile, Ricciardo’s teammate Max Verstappen endured a much more difficult day, which started with a hard crash in FP3.

Verstappen’s Red Bull RB14 suffered extensive damage to the right side, and even more damage was later found in the car’s gearbox. Such repairs ultimately proved too time consuming, and Verstappen will start Sunday’s Monaco Grand Prix from last.

Mercedes’ Lewis Hamilton filled out the top three by qualifying third, with Ferrari and Mercedes also taking the fourth and fifth spots on the grid, with Kimi Raikkonen in fourth and Valtteri Bottas in fifth.

Force India’s Esteban Ocon, McLaren’s Fernando Alonso, and Renault’s Carlos Sainz Jr. take up spots six, seven, and eight on the grid. Sergio Perez made it two Force Indias in Q3, qualifying ninth, while Toro Rosso’s Pierre Gasly qualified tenth.

Full qualifying results are below. Sunday’s Monaco Grand Prix kicks off at 9:00 a.m. ET.