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Paris Friday Notebook

Sam Smith’s Friday notebook on the eve of the third Paris E-Prix at Circuit des Invalides…

Photo: Formula E

***Mitch Evans has received a ten-place grid penalty for tomorrow’s race. The Panasonic Jaguar Racing team was was forced to change the car’s power unit after discovering an issue following the Rome E-Prix two weeks ago. Since Evans used his designated joker at Punta del Este, he will take the grid drop this weekend.

***“Unfortunately he will get a grid penalty but Mitch has shown this year how strong he is in coming through the field and we will be aiming for another points finish,” a Panasonic Jaguar team spokesperson told e-racing365.

***Venturi is expected to announce a replacement next week for Edoardo Mortara, who will miss next month’s Berlin E-Prix because of a clash with the Lausitzring DTM event. The Monegasque team has tested Michael Benyahia, Arthur Leclerc and Tom Dillmann in its Season Five car recently.

***Renault e.dams boss Jean-Paul Driot confirmed Alain Prost’s departure as a shareholder in his team, as reported by e-racing365 yesterday. “I confirm I am the owner 100 percent of e.dams, so I bought them back and not Nissan,” said Driot. “Alain was doing a lot of communications, so in one way you can be frustrated as you cannot do the communications and he could have been frustrated as he was not leading the team. So now things are much clearer.”

***Sebastien Buemi says that his home E-Prix at Zurich will be “amazing and a highlight of his career so far.” The Season Two champion took part in a promotional event last week and although he didn’t use the roads which will form the circuit, he told e-racing365 he thinks it will be an occasion to remember. “I can’t really believe after 64 years racing is returning to my home country. In fact until I do the first lap it is hard to say how I will feel.”

***The Paris E-Prix track is notoriously slippery and Michelin’s Formula E Program Manager Serge Grisin believes that the bumps and unique surface will again challenge drivers tomorrow. “The layout doesn’t really favor overtaking and the straight back to the start-finish line is very bumpy,” said Grisin. “The asphalt gives little grip, with the exception of the temporary coating laid over the original paving stones.”

***Bobby Rahal was in Paris today visiting the Formula E paddock for the first time. Rahal Letterman Lanigan was the first team to commit to the new-for-Season Five Jaguar I-PACE eTROPHY last November. “Even though the first race is some time off in the distance, we’re already looking forward to participating,” said Rahal.

***Dragon unveiled decals on its front-wing designating a new Mega City initiative in Saudi Arabia. NEOM is a project which is being driven by HRH Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman and is featured on both Dragon cars this weekend. Riyadh is poised to be included in the new Season Five calendar and could open the campaign this December.

***Jean-Eric Vergne has confirmed that the thumb injury he sustained during car swap practice in Rome affected him on left hand corners during the last race. “I nearly broke it and it was hard in the left corners to turn and attack as there was no way to catch any oversteer, and I would have ended up in the wall,” said Vergne.

***Alejandro Agag, Paris mayor Anne Hidalgo and FIA President Jean Todt met at the circuit today in a special council to discuss how future technology can benefit Parisian urban mobility over the coming decades.

***Jann Mardenborough was an interested visitor to the paddock this weekend. The NISMO driver previously attended the Las Vegas e-sports race in January 2017 and is interested in a potential future drive in the series. Mardenborough is currently racing in the Japanese Super GT championship for Team Impul.

***Mahindra formally opened its new factory in Banbury, UK, last weekend. Among the new facilities are a full in-the-loop simulator, a new design office and a marketing base for the Indian team.

***Idris Elba is a guest of Formula E at Paris this weekend. The award winning British actor has starred in series such as Luther and The Wire and is a known automotive and motorsport fan. Also at the track tomorrow will be former English cricketing stars Kevin Pietersen and Andrew ‘Freddie’ Flintoff. The pair will be filming a special feature for the popular UK TV show A League of Their Own.

***Nico Rosberg, who will drive the new Formula E car in Berlin next month, has launched a competition to design his helmet for the occasion. The winner will get a unique meet and greet experience with the 2016 Formula 1 champion.

***Formula E Holdings Ltd.’s chief revenue officer Sam Piccione is set to leave his position with the company. Piccione joined FEH Ltd from sports and entertainments business AEG in September 2015.

***Stanley Black & Decker and DS Virgin Racing have announced that Stanley Black & Decker’s Stanley brand is now an Official Partner of the team. As part of the agreement, Stanley Engineered Fastening will provide technical and operational support.

***E-racing365 tracked down the famous napkin that was brainstormed upon by Alejandro Agag and Jean Todt when they met for lunch in 2011. The napkin was signed by both the FIA President and Agag and then framed in the restaurant for posterity.

Photo: Sam Smith

Sam Smith is e-racing365's Formula E Editor. A 20-year veteran in motorsports media, including press officer roles in both the FIA Sportscar Championship and at Lola Group, Smith is a well-known face in the Formula E paddock, where he served as series editor for Motorsport.com from 2014-17. Contact Sam

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