Samba vibes for the Hankook iON Race as Formula E goes racing in Brazil
- After debuts in Mexico, India and South Africa, Brazil will now host the fully-electric racing series for the first time on 25th March
- Season 9 will spotlight two home-grown, Brazilian drivers Lucas di Grassi and Sergio Sette Camara
- The Samba race follows historic finish at Cape Town E-Prix, the fastest race in the history of Formula E
Neu-Isenburg, Germany, March 21, 2023 – The ABB FIA Formula E World Championship returns from its short four-week break with another premiere. After debuts in Mexico, India and South Africa, Brazil will now host the fully-electric racing series for the first time on 25th March. The drivers and the Hankook iON Race, the new standard Formula E tire, are heading to the metropolis of São Paulo, with its population of 12 million. The circuit in Brazil’s largest city will once again pose some new challenges for the teams and Hankook’s premium product. “So far, the Hankook iON Race has demonstrated its quality and performance on every Formula E track, and has supported the drivers with the grip they require. With this in mind, we are optimistic ahead of our trip to South America. Like Cape Town, the circuit is very fast with long straights,” says Hankook Formula E race engineer Jiwoong Choi.
The 22 drivers lining up in Season 9 will whip up a samba atmosphere among the crowds in the grandstands. Special focus will be on the two Brazilian drivers Lucas di Grassi and Sergio Sette Camara. As in previous races, the fans can look forward to exciting battles and spectacular overtakes. Despite recording a DNF in Cape Town, German Pascal Wehrlein still tops the overall standings. Britain’s Jake Dennis and Frenchman Jean-Éric Vergne are hot on his heels. Meanwhile, the TAG Heuer Porsche Formula E Team has dominated the Team competition so far. Their lead over second-placed Envision Racing stands at 42 points after five races.
Hankook makes it possible: Despite a safety car and two Full Course Yellow phases, the Cape Town E-Prix was still the fastest race in the history of Formula E, with an average speed of 132.199 km/h. The previous record stood at 132.116 km/h and was set at the 2022 Mexico City E-Prix. Antonio Felix da Costa is the first driver to win Formula E races with four different teams. The podium has featured at least one Porsche driver after each of the first five races of Season 9. No other team has ever made such a successful start to the season. The same three drivers occupied the podium at both the Hyderabad E-Prix and the Cape Town E-Prix – another first in Formula E. The pole-sitter failed to win the race for the eighth time in a row.
The FIA is acting on drivers’ requests for better vision to the rear of the car. As of the Formula E races in Berlin, the Gen3 cars will be equipped with new rear-view mirrors. They will give the drivers a better view to the rear, thus improving driver safety.
Dutchman Robin Frijns is finally back in the driving seat. After his crash at the season-opener in Mexico, and the subsequent operation on his wrist, the 31-year-old has now made a full recovery. He lines up alongside team-mate Nico Müller for the ABT Cupra Formula E Team in Brazil.
As official presenting partner, Hankook is pleased to be promoting the FIA initiative Girls on Track since the start of Season 9. After Mexico City and Diriyah, São Paulo is now the third of four stops, at which the program will be implemented on site. The goal is to encourage gender equality in an innovative, committed and positive manner in motorsport. Roughly 400 girls will take part in the program live at the racetracks this season. Furthermore, it is also possible to participate virtually for the first time. The fourth Girls on Track event will take place during the race weekend in Jakarta, Indonesia.
The absolute highlight of the Cape Town E-Prix was Antonio Felix da Costa’s spectacular overtaking maneuver shortly before the end of the race. The Portuguese driver went on to claim his first victory for Porsche to a standing ovation from the crowds. You can watch the most colorful, exciting and impressive scenes from South Africa here in the Hankook Highlight Clip. As well as on YouTube, fans can also find regular news and information on Hankook’s involvement in Formula E on Twitter and Instagram.