Motorsport

Formula E: The new kid on the grid

Published 1240 GMT (2040 HKT) January 5, 2016
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Formula E is the world's first fully electric racing series. The cars share similar chassis to Formula One cars but how do the two sports differ? Adam Warner/Formula E
F1 has been leading the way in motorsport since 1950. Guiseppe Farina, seen here winning at Silverstone for Alfa Romeo, won the inaugural drivers' world championship. Hulton Archive/Hulton Archive/Getty Images
Going down in history as the first Formula E champion is Brazilian Nelson Piquet Jr. The former F1 racer -- son of a three-time F1 champion -- won the 2014/2015 title by a single point for the NEXTEV TCR team. Formula E
"People love to know what the differences are with an electric car but it does feel like driving a normal single-seater," Sebastien Buemi, one of eight former F1 drivers now racing in Formula E, tells CNN. Getty Images
Formula E's cars, like the Renault e-dams racer pictured, run on rechargeable batteries with a maximum power of 200 kilowatts. F1's hybrid racers rely on a turbocharged 1.6-litre V6 engine and an Energy Recovery System (ERS). Sam Bloxham/Sam Bloxham
Formula One is a sport for those with deep pockets -- like billionaires Bernie Ecclestone and Mexico's Carlos Slim Domit (pictured). A team's budget for a season begins at $44 million while Formula E's annual team budget is capped at $3.5m. Mark Thompson/Getty Images North America/Getty Images
F1 cars are still much faster than Formula E's chargers. World champion Lewis Hamilton clocked his top speed of 2015 when his Mercedes peaked at 225 mph (362 kph) at the Mexico Grand Prix. Formula E cars can hit top speeds of 140 mph (225 kph). Mark Thompson/Getty Images North America/Getty Images
Formula E races -- called ePrix -- take place in the heart of city centers around the globe, including just outside the famous domes of the Kremlin in Russia's capital Moscow. "It's easy to access the pit lane, the paddock and to nearly touch the cars," says Buemi. Zak Mauger/Formula E
F1 drivers have to stop to change tires but in Formula E drivers must swap cars! PHILIPPE LOPEZ/AFP/AFP/Getty Images
Formula E aims to bring fans closer to the sport. The Fan Boost vote means the audience can even give their favorite driver a 100-kilojoule surge of power during the race. Frenchman Jean-Eric Vergne, pictured, proved popular with the fans in Uruguay. Adam Warner
But some things never change. The grid girls add glamor to Formula E as well as F1's world tour. Adam Warner