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Formula E drivers prepare for wet/dry London E-Prix double-header

Formula E drivers are set to deal with the challenge of racing in both dry and wet conditions at the same time during the London E-Prix double-header this weekend. 

Jake Dennis, Andretti Motorsport, BMW iFE.21, Stoffel Vandoorne, Mercedes-Benz EQ, EQ Silver Arrow 02, Nyck de Vries, Mercedes-Benz EQ, EQ Silver Arrow 02

Photo by: Sam Bloxham / Motorsport Images

The ExCeL London venue is unique on the Formula E calendar, and in world motorsport, as it consists of elements both indoor and outdoor. 

The opening three turns and final bend are sheltered inside the ExCeL building, while the remainder of the track is open to the elements along the service roads surrounding the venue. 

Although the track has been on the Formula E calendar for the last two seasons, none of the four races to be held at the venue have been run in the wet. 

But the forecast for the weekend remains mixed, with a slight chance of rain on Saturday and a greatly increased probability for Sunday.  

“It’s going to be an absolutely massive challenge [if it does rain],” said Jaguar’s Sam Bird

“This track is already tricky enough without it raining, so I can see it being incredibly difficult if it does rain.” 

Jake Dennis, Andretti Motorsport, BMW iFE.21 Stoffel Vandoorne, Mercedes-Benz EQ, EQ Silver Arrow 02 Nyck de Vries, Mercedes-Benz EQ, EQ Silver Arrow 02 start of race

Jake Dennis, Andretti Motorsport, BMW iFE.21 Stoffel Vandoorne, Mercedes-Benz EQ, EQ Silver Arrow 02 Nyck de Vries, Mercedes-Benz EQ, EQ Silver Arrow 02 start of race

Photo by: Sam Bagnall / Motorsport Images

Drivers have had limited running in the wet this season, with the only notable running coming during qualifying for the second Berlin E-Prix. 

With the new-for-2023 Gen3 cars providing more power, managing that torque and systems constantly throughout the lap will pose a challenge. 

“It’s how you adapt, not only the driving but the systems in the car, how they react to the different conditions throughout the lap,” said NIO 333’s Dan Ticktum

“We can obviously map how the car behaves from corner to corner, so adapting to that and getting that right will definitely be a challenge if it rains. 

“But I think that’s pretty cool, to be honest, it will be exciting to watch.” 

Unlike other single-seater formula, Formula E uses a treaded Hankook tyre which can be used in both dry and wet conditions meaning there will not be an issue with regard to the race taking place if it does rain.

“It’s unique, but I guess it’s Formula E so we’re used to being unique let’s say – I mean the track itself is obviously very unique,” said McLaren’s Jake Hughes

“I think it will be fine, obviously we’ve got a treaded tyre which is designed to work in dry and wet so I don’t think that will be an issue and then as racing drivers, we just drive to the level of grip we’ve got so it will be about adapting.” 

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