Buemi and Frijns back in the hot seat for a brand new challenge

A double-header awaits Envision Racing as Formula E goes to China for the first ever Shanghai E-Prix

Whilst the ABB FIA Formula E World Championship has raced numerous times in China in both Beijing and Sanya, this year will see the drivers do battle in Shanghai for the first time. In fact, the first ever Formula E race was hosted in Beijing way back in 2014, and returns to the country after a five-year hiatus.

And for the first time since the Misano E-Prix, the two races taking place over the Shanghai E-Prix weekend will be hosted on a permanent race track in the shape of the Shanghai International Circuit. 

After missing out on the Berlin E-Prix due to conflicting racing schedules, Robin Frijns and Sébastien Buemi return to Formula E action, raring to go out and battle for big points.

The Shanghai meet will be the second of four double-header race weekends to finish off the season, so there is still plenty to play for.

The challenge in Shanghai

Inspired by the Chinese character for ‘ascend,’ the Shanghai International Circuit, designed by Herman Tilke, debuted in 2004 for the Chinese Grand Prix. Now, two decades later, it prepares for an all-electric show.

The Shanghai E-Prix features a unique layout utilising a part of the iconic West Loop section, and the lap begins with a dramatic first turn, tightening as drivers navigate the flowing turns 2-4 complex. 

After a high-speed blast, drivers will have to be hot on the brakes to tackle the hairpin at Turn 6 before entering a rhythmic sequence leading to the final right-left-right chicane. This electrifying 3km course promises to reward a good car set up, bravery and canny energy saving. 

Last time out 

This year’s Berlin E-Prix clashed with the Spa Francorchamps round of the World Endurance Championship, a series in which Envision Racing’s Frijns and Buemi both compete. This meant that the team welcomed two new drivers in the hot seat for the unforgiving challenge of the harsh concrete surface of the Tempelhof Airport Street Circuit.

Swedish Formula E returnee Joel Erikkson and rookie Paul Aron stepped into the pressure cooker of an E-Prix and both did a stellar job over the weekend’s two races.

In the opening race of the weekend Eriksson looked quick, moving up from the rear of the field and challenging for points until being forced to retire. This left team-mate Aron to lead the Envision Racing charge, and the debutant drove artfully and maturely. Keeping out of trouble, a points finish looked on the cards until the final few corners, and at the chequered flag, Aron had to settle for 13th.

The weekend’s second and final race was preceded by a stellar qualifying performance from Eriksson who narrowly missed out on the duels, and lined up 11th on the grid.

If Aron was the shining light for Envision Racing on Saturday, Eriksson proved to be positively illuminating on Sunday. The Swede mixed speed and aggression to avoid multiple incidents and accidents to climb as high as eighth by the midpoint of the race.

Entering the final few laps, Eriksson held ninth place, and looked comfortable, even fending off former champion Jean-Éric Vergne to take two crucial points, and Envision Racing’s first since the Tokyo E-Prix.

Aron capped off a great Formula E debut, crossing the line in 14th with bags of experience earned.

Where and when to catch the Shanghai E-Prix

(All times BST)

Round 11

Free Practice 1 Friday 24 May – 09:55 – 10:45

Free Practice 2 Saturday 25 May – 00:55 – 01:45

Qualifying Saturday 25 May – 03:20 – 04:43


E-Prix Saturday 25 May 08:03 – 09:30

Round 12

Free Practice 3 Friday 26 May – 00:05 – 07:30

Qualifying Saturday 26 May – 03:20 – 04:43

E-Prix Saturday 12 May 08:03 – 09:30

Drivers’ standings (after Rd 10):
1. Nick Cassidy, 140pts
2. Pascal Wehrlein, 124pts
3. Oliver Rowland, 118pts
4. Jake Dennis, 102pts
5. Mitch Evans, 97pts
14. Robin Frijns, 21pts
15. Sébastien Buemi, 20pts
22. Joel Eriksson, 2pts

Teams’ standings (after Rd 10):
1. Jaguar TCS Racing, 237pts
2. Porsche Formula E Team, 183pts
3. Nissan, 144pts
4. DS Penske, 127pts
5. Andretti Formula E 126, pts
8. Envision Racing, 43pts