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Celebrating 50 Formula E races

Next weekend in Hong Kong Formula E will celebrate its 50th race. To commemorate the occasion, FormulaSpy is looking back at the series’ best races.

As the all-electric series is now in its fifth season, the adolescent days of the championship seem an eon ago. It is staggering how much the category has matured from being considered a “joke series for failed Formula 1 drivers” to the being the one that drivers, teams and manufacturers all want to be involved in.

It’s been an incredible journey with some amazing stories along the way, so here are the best races from each season of Formula E so far.

2014/15 – Season One – Moscow

The 2015 Moscow race remains the only Russian round in FE’s history, but it definitely put on a show that became critical once the championship battle came to the London finale. Jean-Eric Vergne once again was strong in qualifying with Andretti, as he often was in his early FE career, but the champion-to-be Nelson Piquet got a better start from the front row of the grid to take the lead into the first corner for Team China Racing.

But Sebastien Buemi became the focal point of the race when his e.dams team incorrectly believed the minimum pit stop time to be 68 seconds, when in fact it was 58 seconds.

Buemi then clashed with Vergne on the final lap to score a podium, but he was then handed a drive-through penalty after the race for an unsafe release which dropped him to ninth, which ultimately became crucial when he lost the drivers’ title in London.

2015/16 – Season Two – Buenos Aires

This is remembered as one of FE’s best race finishes. Sam Bird was hauling praise from the paddock when he put his ailing DS Virgin car on pole position and then fended off a hard-charging Buemi in the closing stages of the race for the lead.

Buemi had risen from 18th on the grid after he spun in qualifying and survived a lairy moment on the first lap where he passed three cars in one corner.

The final laps tense as Buemi hunted Bird who was having to overcome the wayward handling of his car, but he managed to do so to take his third FE win.

2016/17 – Season Three – Mexico City

The second Mexico City race was one of the craziest we can remember. Having just made FE history by winning three consecutive races, no one expected Buemi to suddenly have a scruffy race that would cost him the lead in the championship he had just built.

After contact on the opening lap, Lucas di Grassi was forced to pit for repairs but luckily a caution period kept him in play. A safety car period then prompted a very early pit stop from the ABT driver, but he emerged in the lead and somehow made it to the finish for sweet redemption after having the win at the same race taken away from him by a disqualification the year before.

Behind there was action aplenty as Jerome d’Ambrosio is an underperforming Dragon desperately tried to defend a rare opportunity for a podium finish.

2017/18 – Season Four – Rome

FE’s first visit to Italy was on a much-praised circuit that offered an incredible race. After leading the initial stages, Felix Rosenqvist suddenly slowed when his rear suspension failed and gave the lead to Bird.

Bird did not have it easy, however, as he came under mammoth pressure from cars on different strategies in the closing stages of the race that offered some of the best wheel-to-wheel combat the series has seen, which ended in joy for some and heartbreak for others.

2018/19 – Season Five – Marrakesh

The second round of the new Gen2 era of FE will be one many will remember for years. After Vergne made a clumsy move at the start in a bid to pass polesitter Bird, he spun and dropped to the back of the field.

Bird then came under pressure from the two BMW Andrettis with Antonio Felix da Costa first making his way through for the lead, followed swiftly by team-mate rookie Alexander Sims. He then pressured da Costa in the lead battle before they came together and dropped them both out of victory contention.

That gave the lead to d’Ambrosio, who had worked his way up from 10th on the grid. But he had to stave off the challenge of Robin Frijns in the Virgin on the final lap, taking the win by mere meters.

What are some of your favourite Formula E memories? Get in touch in the comments or on Twitter @formulaspy.

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Chris Stevens

Chris is a member of the Autosport Academy and has been writing about motorsport professionally since 2015. He has been one of the top Formula E journalists since he went to Donington Park for pre-season testing a week after picking up his A-Level results.

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