The heat is on for the Hankook iON Race – it’s off to India for the Hyderabad E-Prix
■ ABB FIA Formula E World Championship heads to Hyderabad, India for round four
■ Pascal Wehrlein leads the overall standings after impressive performances in Diriyah
■ Drivers and Hankook iON Race to tackle high temperatures and humidity on demanding circuit
Neu-Isenburg, Germany, February 7, 2023 – Round four of the ABB FIA Formula E World Championship could be a hot ride for the new Formula E tire, the Hankook iON Race. The current weather conditions in Hyderabad, where temperatures are exceeding 30 degrees Celsius, make for very hot track temperatures at the 2.835-kilometer circuit. “The challenge of the cool night temperatures in Diriyah is now followed by the other extreme. It is going to be very hot on the track in India. Another aspect is the very high humidity,” explains Thomas Baltes, Hankook Formula E race engineer.
Once again, it will be crucial for the teams and drivers to find the right set-up for their cars, in order to get the Hankook iON Race into the perfect working window. So far, the TAG Heuer Porsche Formula E Team and its German driver Pascal Wehrlein has achieved this most successfully. The 28-year-old finished runner-up at the Hankook Mexico City E-Prix, before winning both races at the double-header in Saudi Arabia. That puts Wehrlein at the top of the overall standings, with a six-point lead over Britain’s Jake Dennis of Avalanche Andretti Formula E.
The street circuit in the metropolis of Hyderabad, with its population of roughly seven million, is new to the Formula E calendar. The 2.835-kilometer track winds its way in a clockwise direction along the banks of the Hussain Sagar lake and through the “NTR Gardens” urban park. The demanding circuit features a total of 18 corners – ten right and eight left. The start and the first two corners, T1 and T2, are followed by a long high-speed straight, which provides good overtaking opportunities for the 22 drivers. It will also allow the Hankook iON Race too cool down a little. The straight after Turn 14 is another good opportunity for the drivers to improve their position.
The first free practice session takes place on Friday, February 10, from 16:30 to 17:00 (local time). Saturday’s action gets off to an early start at 08:10 with the second 30-minute practice session. Qualifying follows from 10:40 to 11:55. The 22 drivers then embark on the race at exactly 15:03.
At the recent Diriyah E-Prix, German driver Pascal Wehrlein made history as the first German to top the overall standings in Formula E. Swiss driver Sébastien Buemi also made a strong showing, earning his 15th pole position of his Formula E career on Friday. The last time the Swiss qualified fastest was more than two years ago at the 2019 New York City E-Prix. Meanwhile, Jake Dennis and Pascal Wehrlein both claimed three podiums each in the first three races of the season. They join a select group of drivers including Lucas di Grassi (Season 1 and Season 2) and Sébastien Buemi (Season 3) who have achieved this feat in previous seasons. After Maserati MSG Racing, the NIO 333 Racing FE Team and the Nissan Formula E Team picked up their first points on Saturday, only the ABT Cupra Formula E Team is yet to score points this season.
The first double-header of Season 9, a brace of victories under the floodlights for Pascal Wehrlein, and a breathtaking show at the second event of the season in Saudi Arabia: the Diriyah E-Prix thrilled fans of Formula E. The new tire for the global series, the Hankook iON Race, also impressed the field again with its high level of consistency, making for exciting battles on the track, even towards the end of both races. Hankook Tire & Technology President & CEO, Sooil Lee, enjoyed a very special experience: he was given a taste of what it feels like to go racing, as the passenger in an electric car on a flying lap of the street circuit.
Fans can watch the Hankook Highlight Clip of the second race weekend of the season here on YouTube. Additionally, regular updates and news about Hankook's involvement in Formula E can be found on Instagram (@hankooktire.motorsports) and Twitter (@hankook_sport).