Dragon Racing 360: Top Moments from Formula E Season 3

As Formula E’s third season draws to a close this weekend, the Faraday Future Dragon Racing team looks back at their favorite moments of the year and gives us a glimpse of things to come.

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“Things have been more challenging this season, but we’re still strong, sticking together, working hard, working toward being back on the podium,” says driver Jérôme d’Ambrosio.

“There’s a true racing spirit instilled by Jay Penske.”

That’s how the Formula 1 veteran sums up the 2017 season for the Faraday Future Dragon Racing Formula E team, led by Penske. Dragon Racing, which won a race in each of the first two seasons of the electric vehicle racing series, is discovering the importance of teamwork during times of adversity.

Here are some on-track highlights from Season 3.

  • Duval earned a point for setting the fastest lap of the race in Marrakesh.
  • In Buenos Aires, D’Ambrosio and Loïc Duval both finished in the top 10 and earned championship points.
  • Mike Conway of Great Britain led several laps in Paris while substituting for Duval.
  • In the first race in Brooklyn, D’Ambrosio earned the right to compete in the final round of Super Pole qualifying.
  • Also in Brooklyn, Duval used a patient, tactical strategy to finish fifth.

The best example of team unity? The Buenos Aires race where the Dragon Racing team put on a show. “I shared a great race with my teammate, Jérôme,” Duval says, “with a head-to-head battle, which lasted for three laps.” Their wheel-to-wheel struggle for sixth place was so compelling that the television cameras focused on them instead of the leaders.

In racing, intra-team battles often turn ugly – the history of Formula 1 is littered with teammates crashing into each other, and not always by accident. By contrast, the Dragon Racing pair raced each other hard but clean, partly because they knew that the team would demand nothing less.

“It was an exciting battle,” says Nick Sampson, Faraday Future’s senior vice president of research and development.

Looking toward next season, the good news is that Formula E is hypercompetitive. “The racing is very close in Formula E,” Sampson explains. “The difference between the back of the field and the front is very small.” So with just a few technical innovations, notably from its new-for-2017 homegrown drivetrain, Dragon Racing could soon be contending for poles, podiums and race wins.

This balance between competition and technology is part of the blueprint for the series. Formula E is all about innovation. The races are run exclusively on street circuits, bringing racing – often for the first time – into great cities like Berlin, Paris and New York. The series not only exposes Formula E to fans who’ve never seen a race in person, it also gives them the opportunity to participate via social media. Fans can log in and vote for three drivers who deserve a “FanBoost,” and those competitors can enjoy the benefits of extra power near the end of the race.

Formula E’s cornerstone innovation is, of course, the electric power of the cars. The conversation about today’s passenger EVs rightfully centers around their sustainability. But what’s less widely known is that EVs also boast very real performance advantages. Compared to conventional internal combustion engines, electric motors deliver power almost instantaneously, and that not only makes Formula E cars blazingly fast, it also gives them a handling advantage that comes with better traction management. The regenerative braking system allows drivers to add power to their cars as they drive. And, of course, the cars are so quiet that fans can watch the race without earplugs and actually talk about the action without shouting.

In this kind of fluid, tech-focused environment, it’s easy to see how Dragon Racing could soon find its way back to the front of the field.

“We have a car with much potential,” says D’Ambrosio. “It’s just a matter of overcoming obstacles that come our way.”

Learn more about Argo’s sponsorship of Formula E team Future Faraday Dragon Racing.

International underwriter of specialty insurance and reinsurance products in areas of the property and casualty market.

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