The Renault e.dams team, 2015 championship-holder, is in Paris for the seventh leg of the 2015/2016 season. The challenge will be to bolster last year’s enviable position, as the first champion in this new discipline, and bring home the drivers’ title too. Past performance makes for great expectations, but as team co-owner, Alain Prost warns, nothing is being taken for granted.
With the emergence of this brand new motor sport —Formula E—, four-time world champion Prost teamed up with Jean Paul Driot’s Dams team and Renault in 2014 with a view to putting together a team capable of winning the world’s first 100% electric motor sport series, the FIA Formula E Championship.
There’ll the two drivers taking the wheel of the Spark-Renault SRT_ 01E, for the second season running:
Nicolas Prost, 34, has a great track record in single-seater and sport-prototype events: best rookie in the Spanish Formula 3 championship in 2006; Euro Formula 3000 champion in 2008; winner of the Le Petit Le Mans event in 2012 and 2013; and first in the LMP1 Private Team Driver standings in 2014.
Sébastien Buemi, 27, is a brilliant all-rounder. A very early and highly distinguished start on the kart scene led naturally to single-seater disciplines. He’s regularly seen on the World Endurance Championship podium, and was on the topmost step in 2014.
Behind the drivers stand two of motor sport’s most illustrious figures: Alain Prost, “Le Professeur”, who co-founded the team, building on his legendary experience (four world champion titles and no fewer than 51 Formula 1 race victories); and Jean Paul Driot, who founded Dams in 1988, holds several GP2 Series and F3000 prizes, and played an important role in the careers of star drivers such as Romain Grosjean and Kevin Magnussen (driver in the Renault F1 team). The talent line-up continues with Cyril Abiteboule and Vincent Gaillardot, head of Renault Sport F1 and leader of the Renault Formula E programme.
With an electric drivechain designed by Renault Sport, developing power of 200 kW, the car driven by Sébastien Buemi and Nicolas Prost boasts truly remarkable performance. As Vincent Gaillardot explains, “with its Renault Z.E.15 power unit, the car approaches a top speed of 215 km/h. And in its race specification, with the regulatory 170 kW power rating, the Spark-Renault SRT_ 01E takes just 4 seconds to reach 100 km/h from standstill.”
Renault’s Formula E involvement provides valuable input for its work on developing its production electric vehicles, such as Zoé, Twizy and Kangoo ZE. The Twizy power unit was developed at Viry-Chatillon, the Renault Sport engine operations base.