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Formula E premiere in Japan for the Hankook iON Race

2024. 03. 26

- The final round of the ABB FIA Formula E World Championship continues to the next highlight in Japan, where it marks a debut for the full-electric series with Hankook iON Race
- Hankook Director of Motorsport shows full confidence in the reliability and technicality of the Hankook iON Race, notwithstanding a very technically demanding circuit
- With the support of Hankook iON Race, the grand stage of the fully electric World Championship will be the unique opportunity for the reserve drivers in the respective teams to demonstrate their competency

Seoul, Korea, March 26, 2024 – After the Hankook iON Race’s excellent performance in the Brazilian heat in the latest round of the ABB FIA Formula E World Championship, the official Formula E tire now moves on to the next highlight. On March 30, the full electric series will make its debut in Japan. The capital and global metropolis Tokyo, home to roughly 10 million people, hosts this landmark event. Race five of the seasons will take place on the 2.585-kilometer street circuit around the Tokyo International Exhibition Centre “Tokyo Big Sight”. Awaiting the 22 drivers and the Hankook iON Race is a very technically demanding circuit with tight corners and three high-speed straights.

Manfred Sandbichler, Hankook Director Motorsport: “For the first time this season, we are unable to call on any reference values, as Formula E has not previously held any races in Japan. However, that was the situation in every race in our first season, and the Hankook iON Race was still impressed with its high degree of reliability and performance. The circuit in Japan is fast, technically demanding, and promises to be a real highlight on the World Championship calendar. The location right on Tokyo Bay is unique.”

After four races, New Zealander Nick Cassidy from the Jaguar TCS Racing team tops the overall standings with 57 points. His closest rival, Germany’s Pascal Wehrlein (TAG Heuer Porsche Formula E Team) trails him by just four points. They are followed in third place with 39 points by Cassidy’s compatriot and team-mate Mitch Evans, and Frenchman Jean-Éric Vergne (DS Penske).

The demanding 2.585-kilometer street circuit features 20 corners and encircles the Tokyo International Exhibition Center, also known as Tokyo Big Sight, which is just a few minutes from the center of Tokyo and is the largest event venue in Japan. The circuit has three long straights and technically demanding sequences of tight corners and high-speed combinations.

Maximilian Günther from the Maserati MSG Racing team demonstrated the excellent performance of the Hankook iON Race in Brazil. A penalty meant the German had to start the São Paulo E-Prix from the back of the grid. However, he then produced an impressive fightback to storm through the field, thanks in part to the plentiful grip provided by the Hankook iON Race. The German overtook 11 drivers in just seven laps. In the end, Günther crossed the finish line in ninth place and secured two valuable points for his efforts.

Also, there were some fascinating facts about the São Paulo E-Prix. With just 0.002 seconds separating the top two drivers, qualifying at the São Paulo E-Prix was the second closest in Formula E history. Pole position in Brazil was Pascal Wehrlein’s fifth success in qualifying. The other four have all come to Mexico. Victory in Brazil saw Sam Bird become the second driver to win a Formula E race with three different teams. Oliver Rowland produced a spectacular maneuver in the final corner to overtake two drivers and climb from fifth to third place. The spectators in Brazil witnessed a total of 212 overtaking maneuvers during the race.

Saturday’s race at the German E-Prix in Berlin clashes with the World Endurance Championship (WEC) race at Spa-Francorchamps. Those affected requested an amendment to the regulations to allow the drivers to at least race on Sunday. However, this was rejected in an online vote. As such, the reserve drivers in the respective teams now have the unique opportunity to show what they are capable of on the grand stage of the fully electric World Championship, with the support of the Hankook iON Race.

Formula E had a fiery samba feel to it at the São Paulo E-Prix in Brazil. The drivers in the ABB FIA Formula E World Championship produced a thrilling race in hot temperatures at the 2.93-kilometer circuit. The result of the fourth race of the season was only decided in the final few corners when Sam Bird (GBR/NEOM McLaren Formula E Team) launched a spectacular attack on race leader Mitch Evans (NZL/Jaguar TCS Racing). The successful maneuver saw the British driver claim his first win of the season and presented McLaren with its maiden Formula E victory.

The most colorful, exciting, and impressive scenes from Brazil can be found here in the Hankook Highlight Clip. However, YouTube is not the only place for regular news and information on Hankook’s involvement in Formula E. There is also plenty of content on X and Instagram.

You can find the latest Hankook press kit for the ABB FIA Formula E World Championship, which includes a look at the coming race in Tokyo here.