As Lewis Hamilton heads towards his third Formula One championship in Austin, over the other side of the world in Beijing, preparations for season two of the Formula E championship are well under way! The season, as it currently stands, will comprise of eleven rounds in ten cities, but if rumours are to be believed, we could see eleven turn to twelve or thirteen any time soon. Already, early announcements are being made for season three, which shows how far the series has come in a short space of time.
The good news for viewers of the series is that the World Feed team remains exactly the same as season one. Jack Nicholls returns as the lead commentator, with Dario Franchitti joining him to provide expert analysis. Nicki Shields remains pit lane reporter. Things remain static for ITV too, as Jennie Gow is back as presenter with Mark Priestley joining her in the studio. Gow will be presenting coverage of Beijing, despite the clash with the Formula 1. Alongside Gow and Priestley for Beijing will be ex Mahindra Racing driver Karun Chandhok. It is important for Formula E to retain personnel for season two, which is why I’m incredibly glad to see the duo of Nicholls and Franchitti continuing (not that it was ever in doubt).
In terms of scheduling, the only change for ITV is that highlights are now being broadcast on their main channel. Even if that is only say 250k more than what the highlights were delivering on ITV4, that is 250k extra new faces and any new face that gets their eyes on the championship at this stage is great news. As for Formula E, I assume the live streaming will continue on their website, but they have been conducting some live stream testing on YouTube recently, which may be an indicator of what is going to happen for Beijing (although this may be for countries without TV deals). Elsewhere, Formula E Holdings have teamed up with Grabyo to deliver clips faster and quicker to social media platforms which will only boost their following.
Whilst this blog is predominantly UK based, it should be mentioned that Formula E have announced a whole host of TV deals recently (such as the Eurosport deal), these deals helping to increase their reach across Europe and the remainder of the world. The overall calendar for season two looks similar to season one, and has been criticised for spacing – but actually the spacing is better than last season. The average gap between races is 28 days compared with 31.9 days for the inaugural season. In season one, two races had a gap of over 50 days between that and the previous race, whereas this season has no races with a gap that big. Some of the gaps are still too big for my liking to be honest, but overall the calendar distribution is more evenly spread out than last season.
If Donington testing is anything to go by, season two should be as good, if not better, than season one. And here, are all the scheduling details for Beijing…
NOTE: Clocks go back one hour on Sunday 25th October, with the change from British Summer Time to Greenwich Mean Time. The times listed are for BST on Saturday and before; GMT for Sunday and afterwards…
Formula E – Beijing (online via FIAFormulaE.com)
24/10 – 02:10 to 03:10 – Practice 1
24/10 – 03:25 to 04:10 – Practice 2
24/10 – 04:45 to 06:10 – Qualifying
Formula E – Beijing
24/10 – 08:00 to 10:30 – Race (ITV4)
25/10 – 09:25 to 10:25 – Highlights (ITV)
As always, if anything changes, or if there are any media appearances on the run up to Beijing worth noting, I will update the schedule.