Pascal Wehrlein: Shanghai circuit doesn’t suit Formula E

Wehrlein shares his view that the Shanghai International Circuit, used in the Formula 1 Chinese Grand Prix, poses a tough challenge for the Formula E Gen3 car

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Pascal Wehrlein was less than impressed with Formula Es Shanghai debut following a Shanghai E-Prix determined by energy saving strategies. 

Going against the Formula E blueprint in a move that is becoming ever more common for the electric racing series, the Shanghai E-Prix saw the grid take to the Shanghai International Circuit, as opposed to racing around a street circuit. 

Although Shanghai is a new addition to the Formula E calendar, and a novel track to much of the grid, Wehrlein had driven here once before during his time racing in Formula 1

Speaking after the race, Wehrlein was asked for his opinion on the Shanghai circuit, within the context of his previous outing there. While Wehrlein was complimentary of the revised track layout that Formula E used, he was also quick to point out that the characteristics of the circuit don’t suit the Gen3 car

“I’ve been here once… I like the track,” said Wehrlein. “But it’s maybe not fitting the car perfectly, to be honest. But I like the track, it’s a good challenge.

“We are struggling quite a lot with grip here, and especially the faster corners, it feels like they never end. You’re just fighting the car constantly through that.” 

Mitch Evans leads the Shanghai E-Prix | Formula E
Mitch Evans leads the Shanghai E-Prix | Formula E

A revised Shanghai circuit for Formula E

The Shanghai E-Prix takes place on a shortened version of the Shanghai International Circuit, spanning a length of 3.051km, as opposed to the 5.281km raced in Formula 1.

Whilst it features 12 corners instead of 16, the Formula E circuit still includes the unique swirling corner at Turns 1, 2 and 3. 

“I think the shortcut is good, it would be interesting to do the whole track in these cars and see how it would go on the long back straight,” added Wehrlein.

“Like I said, I think overall it’s nice to be here and to drive here on this track, just certain corners are very tricky in our cars.”

The first round of the Shanghai E-Prix saw another peloton-style race, with a slow burn leading up to a frenetic dash for the lead in the final laps of the race.

Whilst Wehrlein had led the majority of the Round 11 race, he was only able to finish as high as P2, losing out on the top step to Jaguar’s Mitch Evans

Wehrlein surpassed Evans’ teammate Nick Cassidy to take P2, with a controversial last-lap move on the Jaguar driver.

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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