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Paris Thursday Notebook

Sam Smith’s Thursday notebook from the Les Invalides paddock in Paris…

Photo: Nissan NISMO

***Brendon Hartley has reiterated his desire to race in the ABB FIA Formula E Championship after conducting several days of testing with Porsche recently.

“It really excites me and I love street tracks. Having watched Formula E races on TV it is clear that the racing is exciting in terms of wheel-to-wheel racing,” Hartley told e-racing365.

***A decision on whether the Monaco pit lane can be used as the Attack Zone for next month’s Monaco E-Prix is expected to be confirmed one way or the other on Tuesday. E-racing365 understands that intricate operational demands have to be overcome before such a procedure can be considered and sanctioned by the FIA after consultation with Formula E and the Automobile Club de Monaco.

***Teams generally receive circuit data for simulation purposes 10-14 days prior to an event. Some drivers face a tight turnaround in sim time before Monaco anyway due to the FIA World Endurance Championship round at Spa taking place next weekend.

***The plans to hold a demonstration run of an Audi Gen 2 car on the streets of Vienna on Monday were cancelled at the last minute. No official reason has been given but it believed that local political reasons may have played a significant part in it not taking place.

***Spark Racing Technologies told e-racing365 that “nothing has been reported” from any specific chassis damage to the 22 Formula E cars from the Rome E-Prix earlier this month.

***The Gen 2 cars took a pounding on the undulating street circuit which included several significant jumps which caused considerable wear on the cars’ wooden skid blocks, particularly on the run from Turn 8 to 9.

***Paddock speculation has already mounted regarding the possibility of a variation in the number and timings of the Attack Zone periods for the Paris E-Prix. Some key team figures believe that Paris will be the first time the FIA will deviate from the two deployments of the boost which has been used in the seven previous races.

***E-racing365 understands that Daniel Abt suffered a suspected water pump issue in Rome. Abt lost significant time and ended the race 18th and one lap down on the field.

***Spark has been confirmed as the supplier of the Extreme E chassis that will race in the all-electric SUV series’ inaugural season in 2021. As outlined by e-racing365 earlier this month, the prototype car will test shortly and could make a public appearance at the Goodwood Festival of Speed in July.

***SRT’s Theophile Gouzin said of the project: “Spark is thrilled to engineer the all-new electric SUV for Extreme E. Our team is privileged to be co-pioneering this new competition focused on e-mobility.”

***Mahindra Racing has released its latest ‘Straight Torque’ podcast which this month features Nick Heidfeld and Dilbagh Gill talking about the Automobili Pininfarina Battista electric Hypercar and Mahindra’s Race to Road program. Listen here.

***Venturi has announced an expanded role for one of its young drivers, Arthur Leclerc. The French teenager will get more simulator time and also attended races with the team this season. Leclerc’s current German Formula 4 campaign will also receive support from Venturi.

***Envision Virgin Racing’s Sam Bird and Sylvain Filippi visited Auto Shanghai last week. The pair spent time at the Envision stand at the show and also presenting to Envision staff about how the Formula E operation functions.

***In the same week that it claimed a maiden Formula E win in Rome, Jaguar also celebrated the I-PACE being awarded World Car, World Car Design and World Green Car at the New York International Auto Show. It was the first time any model had achieved all three accolades.

***Formula E teams are reacting positively to next season’s calendar which will be known by June 4 at the latest when the FIA World Motorsport Council meeting convenes in Geneva.

***Formula E Teams and Manufacturers Association Chairman James Barclay has told e-racing365 that teams were “largely positive about how the calendar is shaping up. I think that the amount of races for now is about right and I think we have a rather compressed calendar as well.”

***The already announced intention to run in Seoul is likely to see a March date for the Korean capital, while on-going discussions with Sao Paulo, Hong Kong, Sanya and Shanghai will see one or possibly two further Asian leg dates confirmed.

***Audi’s Lucas di Grassi will travel to Delhi this month to highlight the problem of low quality air and air pollution in India. Di Grassi will be attending in his role as a United Nations ambassador for the UN Environment department.

***Former VW Chairman Martin Winterkorn has been formally served with a German lawsuit relating to the Dieselgate emissions scandal. The legal proceedings come a month after the US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) begun similar proceedings against VW and Winterkorn over alleged defrauding of investors.

***Porsche has sold all 20,000 of the electric Taycan model’s production run through pre-orders. The Taycan will have a driving range of up to 500 km and support 800V and 400V fast charging stations.

***Porsche ambassador Mark Webber sampled the new Taycan prototype again recently. “The car is amazing, the car, the tech, the feeling of electric torque. What we’re building is exceptional, four wheel drive, ‘600 ponies’, it’s such an advanced car,” Webber told e-racing365.

***Brazilian model, actress and singer Mariana Rios will be supporting Brazilian drivers Caca Bueno and Sergio Jimenez in the Jaguar I-PACE eTROPHY on-site this weekend.

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 from 2014-17. Contact Sam

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