The Monegasque Formula E event has been held three times in the series’ seven seasons thus far. For the first five years it ran alternating years with the Monaco Vintage Grand Prix event, existing in 2019, 2017, and 2015. The event is back for 2021, running on May 8th, but unlike previous events this time the electric open wheelers will race on the full Monaco GP circuit.
The previous circuit was much shorter, taking a cut out between Beau Rivage and the Nouvelle Chicane. Formula E cars of past seasons were not up to the rigors of running flat-out for long segments, and needed more hard braking zones to regenerate enough energy to make it to the end of an E Prix. In this generation, the series has been pushing for more battery density and regen strategy to make a full race track event a possibility.
Obviously a series like F1, Monaco is considered a rinky dink track with slow average lap speeds and few places for overtakes to happen, but that’s only because modern F1 cars are massive and hugely aero-dependent. Because Formula E cars are so closely matched, and produce far less downforce altogether, I’d be willing to bet that Monaco will actually be a riot of a race to watch this year. The cars are going to be making some serious overtaking maneuvers into Massenet, Casino, Mirabeau, Nouvelle, Tabac, and La Rascasse. This is going to rule!
While the EPrix will be run on a track much closer to what you see at Formula One races, it still won’t be a one-to-one comparison. FE will be running a different chicane layout, slightly changing the T11 curbing. Further, the curbs at Sainte Devote will be placed in a different location, exactly as they were in the circuit’s first Grand Prix in 1929.
Formula E is the most fun form of motorsport on the planet right now, and it’s finally getting developed enough to use full-scale race tracks. I’m pumped!