The Hankook iON Race on safari: Next stop Cape Town, South Africa, for Formula E
■ ABB FIA Formula E welcomes the debut of the fast and beautiful Cape Town circuit
■ Summer heat and potential surprises expected to further test the drivers and Hankook iON Race
■ Pascal Wehrlein maintains his lead in the overall standings as Formula E arrives in South Africa
Neu-Isenburg, Germany, February 21, 2023 – The African continent hosts round five of the ABB FIA Formula E World Championship. The 22 drivers in Season 9 head to race number five in Cape Town, South Africa, where high summer temperatures and the inevitable surprise or two will again await the Hankook iON Race – the new standard tire in the fully-electric series.
The Cape Town E-Prix is making its debut on the Formula E calendar, meaning the teams drivers and Hankook tire experts have no reference values, on which to call. In the most recent race in India, the huge amount of dust and a long dry spell prior to the race weekend made for a slippery track. Thomas Baltes, Hankook Formula E race engineer: “Our premium product has mastered all the different demands so far, so we travel to Cape Town full of confidence. We will get a better impression of what awaits us when we are able to inspect the circuit on site. As far as the layout is concerned, the circuit around the 2010 World Cup stadium will definitely provide the drivers with good overtaking opportunities, thanks to the fact that there are several long straights. The Hankook iON Race will need to deliver plenty of grip, particularly when braking into corners.”
Germany’s Pascal Wehrlein (TAG Heuer Porsche Formula E Team) continues to top the overall standings, although he finished fourth and narrowly missed out on the podium in Hyderabad. At the end of a thrilling race with many battles and overtaking maneuvers, victory eventually went to Frenchman Jean-Éric Vergne from the DS Penske team, ahead of Nick Cassidy (Envision Racing) and António Félix da Costa (TAG Heuer Porsche Formula E Team).
With 13 corners, long straights and views of Table Mountain, the World Cup stadium and the South Atlantic, the street circuit in Cape Town is both one of the fastest on the Formula E calendar and the track with the most beautiful vista in Season 9. The 2.927-kilometer circuit runs in an anticlockwise direction, and over the course of the track, the 22 drivers must turn left on ten occasions and negotiate just three right turns. After the start, they head into a fast section with three left turns. The chicane, which incorporates turns four, five and six, and the 90-degree left-hander T7 take the drivers into the long back straight, which is driven flat-out and offers good overtaking opportunities. Corners eight to eleven are followed by another very fast passage, which leads into the start/finish straight.
The first free practice session takes place on Friday, February 24, from 14:30 to 14:45 (local time). This will be preceded by the Shakedown session, which also takes place on Friday from 14:30 to 14:45. The second 30-minute free practice will begin early on Saturday at 09:10. Qualifying follows from 11:40 to 12:55. The race will start at precisely 16:04.
In a fascinating turn of events, New Zealand's Mitch Evans secured his fourth career pole position in the Hyderabad E-Prix. So far, however, starting from the front of the grid has not brought him any luck. Evans has won none of the four races. Incidentally, the race in Hyderabad was the seventh time in a row that the pole-sitter had failed to convert the best grid position into victory.
Pascal Wehrlein, leads the overall standings with 80 points after the Hyderabad E-Prix. Remarkably, he has already scored more points in the first four races of 2023 than in any of his previous four seasons.
Nico Müller set the fastest lap of the race in India for the second time in his Formula E career. The first time he achieved this feat was with Dragon Racing in race six of the 2020 Berlin E-Prix
Andre Lotterer gained an impressive eleven places in Hyderabad, more than any other driver.
The first Formula E race weekend in India delighted fans around the circuit on the banks of the Hussain Sagar lake. The race was a great advertisement for the fully-electric series, with spectacular action and many changes in position. Best images from round four of the season can be found here in the Hankook Highlight Clip.
Stay up-to-date with all of the latest news and information about Hankook's involvement in Formula E by following Hankook Motorsport on Instagram (@hankooktire.motorsports) and Twitter (@hankook_sport).