Formula E will make history this Saturday, 11 February, as the ABB FIA Formula E Championship comes to India for the first time with the 2023 Greenko Hyderabad E-Prix, Round 4 of the 16-race season.
The 2.835-km street circuit, constructed around the banks of the Hussain Sagar lake by the NTR Gardens, will see the first top-tier FIA World Championship motorsport event in the country for a decade and will become India’s first elite electric motor racing event.
When to watch
Free Practice 1 for the 2023 Greenko Hyderabad E-Prix Round 4 gets underway at 4.30 pm on Friday. Free Practice 2 follows at 08.10 am on Saturday, with qualifying from 10.40 am.
Free practice in Formula E refers to the practice sessions that take place before a race. It is a time for the drivers to get a feel for the circuit, fine-tune their car setup, and work on their driving pace.
Free practice is important as it allows the teams to gather data and make changes to their cars before the more important qualifying session and the race itself.
During free practice, drivers are free to run as many laps as they like and try out different strategies. The results of free practice sessions do not count towards the final standings, but they provide a good indication of the form of the drivers and their teams.
The main race will get underway at 3 pm (0930 GMT) on Saturday.
Where to watch Formula E?
For people who are wondering where to watch Formula E, Star Sports Select 2 will televise the race in India.
Disney+ Hotstar will show all of the competitive action live from the 2023 Greenko Hyderabad ePrix.
Disney+ Hotstar is the destination for all the Formula E action across the weekend.
Also read: FIA president invited to attend inaugural Formula E race in Hyderabad
Where does the race stand?
TAG Heuer Porsche Formula E Team driver Pascal Wehrlein moved to the top of the drivers’ standings after winning both races in the double-header in Diriyah, Saudi Arabia, thanks to an overtaking masterclass.
But 2016-17 Formula E champion Lucas di Grassi and teammate Oliver Rowland are expected to attract the biggest cheers from passionate fans in the grandstand in the first home race for their team, Mahindra Racing.
Di Grassi already has silverware to his name this season, sealed on his debut for Mahindra at the Mexico City season-opener, and no driver has been on the podium more than his nine in Asia.
“It is important for us to have a good race in India — not only for the fans but for the championship as well. It’s a new track for us, as it is for everyone up and down the grid. It needs to be a good weekend for us. We are going to try very hard and push to the limit to get the best out of the car. We can’t wait to see all the Indian fans out in force to support us and we want to give them a good show,” Lucas di Grassi said in a statement.
Also read: Drivers sceptical of 1st street-racing circuit of India during Formula E
As things stand
If Mahindra Racing is to take the top step of the podium in Hyderabad, it will have two Porsche-powered teams in TAG Heuer Porsche and Avalanche Andretti to overpower, based on current form. It has dominated Formula E so far in Season 9, with the Stuttgart manufacturer’s 99X Electric Gen3 cornering the top two in every race so far.
Andretti’s Jake Dennis set the benchmark in Mexico City with the first win of the new GEN3 era, with Pascal Wehrlein following him home. The two fought hard in Rounds 2 and 3 in Diriyah the last time, but the German got the better of Dennis in both races to take the top prize and a dominant win-double in Saudi Arabia and the standings lead, while Porsche still narrowly trails Andretti in the Teams table by two points.
Jaguar TCS Racing also attracted attention in Diriyah, with a resurgent Sam Bird returning to the podium after an uncharacteristically barren spell of more than 100 Formula E races.
No driver has won more than the Briton in Asia either, with Bird’s four the benchmark — two in Diriyah, one in Putrajaya, Malaysia, and another in Hong Kong.