Formula E: How are Gen3 cars different and what are the new rules in Season 9?

 (Formula E / London E Prix / CSM)
(Formula E / London E Prix / CSM)

The return of Formula E in early 2023 marks the start of a new era in the electric vehicle racing championship, with the third iteration of race cars on the grid in season nine.

This introduction of Gen3 EV vehicles marks the culmination of over four years of planning, technological development and testing, resulting in faster, lighter and more efficient cars for teams and drivers to manage. Maserati, McLaren and NIO are among the manufacturers lining up this year in an 11-team championship across 16 races.

“The combination of sporting enhancements, a step change in car performance, cutting-edge battery technology and the innovation of Attack Charge will make our racing more competitive and entertaining while showcasing the future for EV development,” FE’s CEO Jamie Reigle said. “This is at the heart of what Formula E set out to achieve and we look forward to seeing the new generation come to life in Season 9.”

Gen3 cars are capable of far greater acceleration than their predecessors and a higher top speed of 320km/h (200mph), while new front powertrains sees the regenerative capacity of the vehicles reach 40% of the total energy used across a race through braking. The electric engines deliver “double the efficiency of an equivalent internal combustion engine”.

In keeping with Formula E’s wider approach of increasing sustainability and reducing waste, over 25% of Gen3 tyres comes from recycled or sustainable sources - a first for any motorsport - while suppliers are also requested to ensure end-of-life plans for batteries are in place.

Here’s everything you need to know ahead of the start of the new season.

When does Season 9 start and finish?

The new season of Formula E runs from mid-January through to the end of July, with a record 16 rounds of racing taking place across 11 cities around the world, with the finale coming in London on 30 July 2023.

Season 9 begins in Mexico City on 14 January 2023.

Free Practice 1: 13 January, 10:30pm GMT

Free Practice 2: 14 January, 1:30pm GMT

Qualifying: 14 January, 3:45pm GMT

Race: 14 January 8:03pm GMT

The race can be watched live on the Formula E YouTube channel, the Channel 4 Sport YouTube channel and the Eurosport player app across all devices.

What are the rule changes in 2023?

The most notable change is that there will be a set number of laps for each track, rather than a timed race this year. Where Safety Cars and other interruptions are needed, additional laps will be utilised.

Formula E also comes in line with other championships by offering opportunities to rookies this year, as a minimum of two Free Practice sessions across the season must be given to drivers with no prior experience of the series.

There will also be races later in the season which pilot the ‘pit stop’ effect - which will use the most advanced EV battery in the world to deliver an energy boost in a mandatory 30-second stop to recharge. Cars’ output power will be increased after this.

The ‘fanboost’ feature from previous seasons has been removed from Formula E.

Which teams and drivers are taking part this year?

There are 11 teams and 22 drivers in total (plus reserves), with some significant changes this year - including the return of Maserati to single-seater racing for the first time in 60 years and the departure of former FE champion Nyck de Vries, who has signed with F1 side AlphaTauri.

ABT Cupra - Robin Frijns and Nico Mueller

Avalanche Andretti - Jake Dennis and Andre Lotterer

DS Penske - Jean-Eric Vergne and Stoffel Vandoorne

Envision Racing - Nick Cassidy and Sebastien Buemi

Jaguar TCS - Mitch Evans and Sam Bird

Mahindra Racing - Oliver Rowland and Lucas Di Grassi

Maserati MSG - Edoardo Mortara and Maximilian Gunther

Neom McLaren - Jake Hughes and Rene Rast

NIO 333 - Dan Ticktum and Sergio Sette Camara

Nissan - Sacha Fenestraz and Norman Nato

Tag Heuer Porsche - Pascal Wehrlein and Antonio Felix Da Costa

 (Sam Bloxham / LAT Images)
(Sam Bloxham / LAT Images)

Full race weekend list and Formula E schedule

Pre-season: Valencia (Spain) 13-16 December 2022

Round 1: Mexico City (Mexico) 14 January 2023

R2: Diriyah (Saudi Arabia) 27 January

R3: Diriyah (Saudi Arabia) 28 January

R4: Hyderabad (India) 11 February

R5: Cape Town (South Africa) 25 February

R6: Sao Paulo (Brazil) 25 March

R7: Berlin (Germany) 22 April

R8: Berlin (Germany) 23 April

R9: Monaco (Monaco) 6 May

R10: Jakarta (Indonesia) 3 June

R11: Jakarta (Indonesia) 4 June

R12: Portland (USA) 24 June

R13: Rome (Italy) 15 July

R14: Rome (Italy) 16 July

R15: London (UK) 29 July

R16: London (UK) 30 July