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Mexico City Friday Notebook

Sam Smith’s Friday notebook on the eve of the Mexico City E-Prix…

Photo: Nissan NISMO

***The prospect of London returning to the ABB FIA Formula E Championship calendar is “getting closer” according to a senior Formula E Operations figure. E-racing365 revealed last month that a deal was approaching fruition with the ExCeL venue in the eastern part of the British capital.

***“The likelihood is that it would be a season finale double-header at ExCeL,” the figure told e-racing365. “An announcement could come as soon as next month in Hong Kong and the weekend would most likely be 27-28 July 2020.”

***The Formula E shakedown session saw little in the way of incidents with only Mahindra Racing’s Pascal Wehrlein suffering an excursion when he got sideways and went down the escape road at Turn 1.

***DS Techeetah team principal Mark Preston confirmed that the issue which stopped Andre Lotterer scoring a likely top-six position in Santiago was with the DS E-Tense FE19’s inverter.

***“The explanation is very long and detailed but essentially it was an element of the inverter overheating but we are confident it won’t happen again,” Preston told e-racing365.

***Panasonic Jaguar Racing team principal James Barclay believes that it is too early to fully appraise Nelson Piquet Jr.’s Season five performances. The Brazilian has scored a single point so far this season.

***”He hasn’t had a straight forward run yet in the first few races for various reasons,” Barclay told e-racing365. “Nelson is working hard to optimize and get everything out of the car so it’s too early to judge things right now.”

***Three cars completed the entire day’s running at the Santiago E-Prix on one set of tires. This was despite the record temperatures which peaked at 100ºF.

***“The Dragon cars and also I think Piquet ran on the one set through the day,” Michelin’s Serge Grisin told e-racing365. “The data we got back was good despite the extreme conditions. Of course they didn’t look new but considering the temperatures they were OK.”

***E-racing365 understands that HWA Racelab’s Stoffel Vandoorne had discussions with SMP Racing about competing in the FIA World Endurance Championship this year. The talks are believed to have now ceased after an agreement for him to undertake a role with the Russian team could not be found.

***Jaguar Racing has announced a partnership with DHL, to act as global logistics partner for the Jaguar I-PACE eTROPHY.

***“We are proud to welcome DHL as the Global Logistics Partner of the Jaguar I-PACE eTROPHY series,” said championship manager Marion Barnaby. “They are global leaders in logistics and with an international championship travelling to four continents we have the best possible partner.

***Simon Evans paced the first ever I-PACE eTROPHY session at Autodromo Hermanos Rodriguez this afternoon. The winner of the inaugural race at Ad Diriyah in December headed Katherine Legge’s Rahal Letterman Lanigan entry by 0.13 seconds.

***Jaguar’s Barclay confirmed to e-racing365 that potential Jaguar I-PACE eTROPHY entrant Team Bleiner is still working on its funding to compete this season. The project is the brainchild of ex-F3 and F3000 driver Thomas Bleiner. The Austrian is the inventor of the laser anti-crash system ‘All Weather Light’, a safety device for poor visibility conditions.

***The TWR Techeetah Jaguar I-PACE eTROPHY team has announced two new partnerships with VanDutch and Gulf Oil Mexico.

***“We’re proud to welcome VanDutch to our growing list of team partners,” said team principal Keith Smout. “Our brands our perfectly aligned in promoting the highest levels of engineering excellence and delivering an unforgettable experience”.

***2016 F1 champion and Formula E shareholder Nico Rosberg has launched the Greentech Festival to take place at the 2019 Berlin E-Prix at Tempelhof. The event aims to promote sustainability into people’s everyday lives.

***The festival’s multi-faceted programme will cater to both an audience of renowned specialists as well as the general public. Allianz, Deutsche Bahn, Ströer, partner country Norway, and Formula E are early partners with more to be announced in the run up to May.

***The BMW i8 Coupe Safety Car will feature new colors this weekend. The new livery, from the pen of Michael Scully, head of design at BMW Motorsport, underlines the close relationship between this special BMW i8 Coupe and the BMW iFE.18 race cars.

***Pratt & Miller staff were seen networking in the Formula E paddock on Friday with vice president for engineering services Lynn Bishop taking a look at the all-electric championship. The Michigan-based company has 50 percent of its business concentrated on EV technology through its work in aerospace and defense.

***Autodromo Hermanos Rodriguez hosted the first FIA Smart Cities Forum of the season. Keynote speeches from Formula E founder and chairman Alejandro Agag, OMDAI president Jose Abed and Andrew McKellar, FIA secretary general for automobile mobility and tourism, headed the agenda.

***DS Techeetah has appointed Karina Maldonado as a commercial executive. She is a cousin of former Williams and Lotus F1 driver Pastor Maldonado and will work with chief commercial officer Keith Smout.

***Geely’s all-electric GE11 sedan will be launched shortly as the company aims to market more all-electric vehicles. The Chinese automotive giant owns Volvo Car Group which includes the Polestar brand. Polestar engineers and management have attended several previous Formula E races and has sat on the manufacturer advisory body founded by Formula E in 2015.

***Former Mazda IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship driver Joel Miller was seen in the paddock today. Miller, who was also a sim and development driver with Multimatic on its DPi program, is talking to teams in both the Formula E and Jaguar I-PACE eTROPHY paddocks.

***Former Mexican president Felipe Calderon was an interested spectator in the paddock this afternoon as he was given a special tour of the Nissan e.dams pit by Nissan’s global motorsports director Michael Carcamo.

***Bolivia has signed deal with a consortium of Chinese companies on new $2.3 billion lithium projects. The South American country has a huge reserve of the metal which is used in the manufacturing of batteries used in EVs.

***“Why China? There’s a guaranteed market in China for battery production,” said Bolivian president Evo Morales in a state broadcast from the Bolivian city of Oruro.

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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