Address: Formula E Beijing ePrix, Olympic Village, Beijing, China
Circuit type: Temporary street course
A new street circuit built especially for the Formula E championships, the Beijing ePrix Circuit winds its way around the famous Olympic Park in the Chinese capital. Backdrops include the 'Birds Nest' stadium and the Beijing National Aquatics Centre, complete with its shimmering façade which provides a light show after dark.
Penned by Rodrigo Nunes, the circuit is deliberately stop-start in nature, essentially comprising a series of straights, 90-degree corners and four flip-flop chicanes, designed to suit the nature of the electric cars which form the series. Cars need to have great stability on the brakes in order to maintain the racing line so they can get a clean exit from the corner, while traction is at a premium out of the slow chicanes, particularly given the high-torque nature of the electric racers.
With unyielding concrete walls and limited run-off, survival is the name of the game. The worth of the Tecpro barriers at the final turn was proved when Nico Prost and Nick Heidfeld clashed on the final lap of the inaugural race, launching the German skyward, fortunately without injury. Brazil's Lucas di Grassi inherited the victory after picking his way through the carnage.
Fans can get up close to the action at a number of points, not least of which at the unusual pit lane, which features a U-shaped viewing area giving spectators an excellent opportunity to watch the unique pit stops in which drivers change cars. The main grandstands are located on the start/finish straight, with additional bleachers at Turn 1 and the Turn 10-11-12-13 chicane.
For the 2015 event the track was modified with the removal of the chicane on the straight after Turn 2, creating a better overtaking opportunity into what was now a new Turn 3. The next chicane was also slightly tightened. The changes were welcomed by the drivers, with Jerome D'Ambrosio of Dragon Racing commenting: "I think the changes are definitely better this year, the left-hander at the end of the back straight is a nicer corner approaching at high speed. The tighter chicane makes it more fair as last year we had a lot of issues with people cutting more or less and gaining a lot of time."
The Formula E Beijing ePrix circuit is located in the Olympic Park in Beijing, China. Beijing's two international airports are convenient for circuit access. Beijing Capital International Airport (PEK) is furthest from the city centre, situated in the Shunyi District around 15.5 miles (25km) northeast of Tiananmen Square. The Airport Express tube line connects the airport to the city centre in around 20 minutes. Beijing Nanyuan (NAY) Airport is located in the Fengtai district which is nine miles (14km) from Tiananmen Square, south of downtown Beijing. The airport is considerably smaller but closer the centre, with regular shuttle buses available.
The circuit itself is centred around the famous 'Bird's Nest' Olympic Stadium. The Olympic Park is easiest to reach by tube train - from the city centre take Subway Line 10 and change at Beitucheng Station for Subway Line 8 and get off at Olympic Park ( Olympic Green ). Once you come out from the subway, you are inside the Olympic Park. Alternatively, Beijing's bus system has numerous services to the Olympic Park.