As the first car manufacturer to have nailed its colours to the Formula E mast, Renault continues to reap the rewards of its pioneering spirit. Founded by Alain Prost and Jean-Paul Driot, Renault-e.dams successfully clinched the Teams’ title for the third consecutive campaign in Canada on Sunday. With six victories from 12 races, the outcome was rarely in doubt.
Yet in the course of the formula’s third season, Renault-e.dams faced considerably stiffer competition following the arrival of Jaguar and Audi’s official involvement with the ABT squad, while the Andretti team has announced a new partnership with BMW from Season 5. Other contenders for race wins included existing manufacturers Mahindra and DS, not to mention electric vehicle specialists Venturi, Nextev and Faraday Future.
In evidence of the series’ ultra-competitive nature, it was not until the fifth event that a Renault Z.E. 16 claimed its first pole position of the season.
That can be partially explained by the fact that we focus our preparations predominantly on the races,” Alain Prost Co-owner of Renault e.dams
It was a strategy that clearly paid off. Defending champion Sébastien Buemi proved to be a class apart from his opponents in the races, winning the opening three rounds of the campaign, two of which – Hong Kong and Marrakech – were new additions to the Formula E calendar.
The Swiss ace did not stop there, either, going on to triumph in Buenos Aires, Monaco, Paris and Race 2 in Berlin. His Parisian success would be the highlight of the season, given Renault-e.dams’ fervent desire to prevail on home turf. It was also vital for Buemi to win as many races as possible before the New York round, which he had to miss due to clashing FIA World Endurance Championship commitments. Despite this absence, he arrived in Montreal at the top of the provisional Drivers’ standings. Unfortunately, a complicated weekend in Canada prevented him from successfully defending his 2015/2016 crown despite a score of six victories.
From the electric motor to the gearbox, energy recovery system and battery management, the technological solutions engineered by Renault were once again the championship benchmark.
The competitive environment of Formula E allows us to glean a lot of invaluable information that is also of benefit to Renault’s road cars, it is instrumental in our development of the electric technology that will be used in the future.” Alain Prost, Co-owner of Renault e.dams
In less than two years’ time, Formula E cars will be able to complete races with just a single battery – when currently drivers have to switch cars halfway through – which illustrates the rapid rate of progress in the all-electric series.
Renault’s continuing Formula E success underscores the brand’s electric motor expertise and reinforces the brand’s position as the European electric vehicle market leader.