Formula E will introduce a new trophy that will reward the most successful driver in a mini-championship formed from the category’s European races from next season.
Although FE’s official 2018/19 calendar is yet to be revealed, the championship recently announced that its European events will be sponsored by Voestalpine, an Austria-based supplier of electrogalvanised steel strip, which is used in electric motors.
At the end of the ‘Voestalpine European races’ leg of the next championship, the most successful driver will be presented with the new trophy.
“If you do well in all the European races you have a good chance to win the whole championship, but the fact there’s an extra prize the from Voestalpine is like an extra boost,” said Mahindra Racing driver Nick Heidfeld.
Voestalpine’s deal to sponsor FE’s European races will run for an initial period of two years.
FE’s current calendar has 10 cities hosting 12 races – Hong Kong and New York are double headers – and it has been suggested that next year’s schedule could expand to a possible 12 cities, including potential races in Doha and Riyadh, which would take the championship to the Middle East for the first time.
The series does not possess world championship status from the FIA, but the governing body’s president Jean Todt recently explained that granting FE that title is currently being assessed.
“Of course it’s part of the possible options but it is not a game-changer for the championship,” Todt said.
“We will peacefully take our time and when the proper time comes why not?”
When asked about the possibility of adding more races to FE’s schedule beyond the current season, Todt said: “At the moment we have 12 [races] – I think it’s a good number.
“But if for me it’s not the quantity that matters, it’s the quality. So as long as we have the quality we are happy.
“And if we can manage quality with one or two more races, why not?”
Previous ‘European champions’
Had the European mini-championship trophy been in place during FE’s first three campaigns, then the Renault e.dams squad would have taken a clean-sweep in those seasons.
The totals of all the drivers that scored points during the 2014/15 season’s European leg – Monaco, Berlin, Moscow and two London events – reveal that Sebastien Buemi (88 points) would have been the inaugural winner, ahead of Jerome D’Ambrosio (71) and that season’s champion Nelson Piquet Jr (70).
From the Paris, Berlin, London-double of the 2015/16 FE season, Nico Prost (77 points) would have been the European champion ahead of Buemi (55) and Lucas di Grassi (52).
Buemi (81 points) would have regained the prize last season after races in Monaco, Paris and Berlin, which was a double-header. Felix Rosenqvist (66) would have been second ahead of di Grassi (54).
The current European points leader from the two recent races in Rome and Paris is Virgin Racing’s Sam Bird (40 points), ahead of actual standings’ leader Jean-Eric Vergne (38) and di Grassi (37).