Formula E returns to China as it takes on the Shanghai International Circuit

Formula E will visit Shanghai for the first time in the championship's history

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The drivers are certainly being kept on their toes this season. Formula E is heading to yet another new circuit, as the series makes its first return to China in five years with the upcoming Shanghai E-Prix

Formula E has roots in China. The first Formula E race in history was hosted in Beijing back in 2014, before the series switched locations to Haitang Bay, located on the Chinese island of Hainan.

Although China is a familiar destination for Formula E, Shanghai presents a brand new location for the series, giving the drivers another new circuit to grapple with as the championship battle continues to heat up. 

What to expect in Shanghai

The Shanghai E-Prix is set to be a double header, with Round 11 of the championship taking place on Saturday and Round 12 following on Sunday. 

The circuit hosting the E-Prix might prove familiar to some motorsports fans. Continuing with the recent trend towards purpose-built circuits, as opposed to Formula E’s usual street circuits, the Shanghai E-Prix will take place at the Shanghai International Circuit — the same venue as the Formula 1 Chinese Grand Prix.

The E-Prix will take place around a shortened version of the Grand Prix circuit. Spanning 3.051km, with 12 turns and lasting 29 laps, it’s expected that energy saving will be key in Shanghai

The Attack Zone will be located around the outside of Turn 2, a long right-hander which feeds into a tight corner at Turn 3. There are a series of long straight around this circuit, as well as a fiddly chicane at Turns 10 and 11, which lead the drivers out onto the start/finish straight. 

With energy saving vital in Shanghai, it’s likely that we will have another peloton-style race on our hands. Expect numerous overtakes and a late-race dash for the lead, as well as continued discourse amongst the drivers as to whether peloton races are any good.

The championship as it stands

After Rounds 9 and 10 at the Berlin E-Prix, it’s Jaguar’s Nick Cassidy who sits at the top of the Drivers’ Standings. Taking the race win on the Saturday and second on the Sunday, Berlin was a successful weekend for Cassidy, who outperformed his closest championship rival Pascal Wehrlein on both days. 

Nick Cassidy clinched victory in Berlin. (Image: Sam Bagnall)

Wehrlein’s teammate, Antonio Felix da Costa, clinched victory in Sunday’s race, helping Porsche take a step closer to Jaguar in the Teams Championship. However, Jaguar’s lead remains substantial, with the British team 54 points ahead of Porsche

Cassidy’s lead over Wehrlein isn’t quite as mighty. Just 16 points separate the two drivers, meaning the championship is far from decided. However, one mustn’t forget Oliver Rowland, the underdog in this championship battle. The Nissan driver sits only six points behind Wehrlein, the championship well within his reach. 

Who to look out for

Sam Bird is back in the cockpit this weekend, the McLaren driver making his first return to racing since picking up a wrist injury at the Monaco E-Prix. McLaren reserve driver Taylor Barnard had been standing in for Bird in the Brit’s absence, and did well to pick up five points for the team across the Berlin race weekend. 

There will be eyes on Jake Dennis and Pascal Wehrlein this weekend too, as we look to find out whether any tension remains between the pair after their on-track battles in Berlin. It looked as if the pair’s mini-feud – which sparked amidst the flames of the 2023 championship battle – had been rekindled, with the two Porsche-powered drivers racing each other hard around the Tempelhof Circuit

Quarrels aside, the ERT team will hope to impress this weekend as it races on home soil. After a string of points-less races, ERT will seek to replicate the success it enjoyed at the Misano E-Prix in April, which saw the Chinese team achieve back-to-back points across the double header. 

Shanghai E-Prix 2024 Schedule

Expect some early mornings this weekend. The action in Shanghai gets underway from Friday 24 May, with Free Practice 1 at 10:00 (BST). 

The first race day kicks off on Saturday 25 May, with FP2 at 01:00 in the UK. Qualifying follows a couple of hours later at 03:20, with lights out for the E-Prix at 08:04. 

Sunday 26 May follows a similar pattern, with FP3 taking place at 01:00 and qualifying commencing at 03:20. Again, it’s lights out at 08:04 as the action resumes for a second day. 

All times shown in BST. 

Jasmine Hughes
Jasmine Hughes
Experienced in digital content creation, Jasmine Hughes has written for a number of online publications, joining Total Motorsport in 2024. She previously served as FormulaNerds' Formula E Editor, leading coverage of the 2023 Formula E season. She has been watching Formula 1 since the age of 4, after falling in love with Fernando Alonso's blue-yellow Renault R25.
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