It’s been two months since Formula E made its thrilling debut, but the all-electric racing series is finally back this weekend with its second race. This time, it stops in Putrajaya, Malaysia. The race will broadcast live in the United States on FOX Sports 1 at 1AM on Saturday and at 6AM on ITV in England, so many viewers will need to catch it at an odd hour (FIA has a list of worldwide broadcast partners here).
The series looks to build on its exciting debut
The debut race was exciting even before the race leaders Nicoloas Prost and Nick Heidfeld wrecked in the final corner of the last lap, and more of the same action can be expected this weekend. The street course in Putrajaya features a dozen turns, a handful of sweeping, high-speed curves, and a massive straightaway bisected by a chicane turn that will force the drivers to brake so hard they'll pull nearly 2 Gs.
This weekend also represents the biggest challenges for the series so far. The first race was able to rely on the excitement of the debut — people tuned in to see what it would be like, and the crash at the finish kept Formula E in the news for a few weeks. That translated to decent ratings: over 700,000 viewers tuned in to the ITV broadcast in England alone, about a third of the average for a Formula 1 race. The odd hours for viewers in Western markets makes it harder to watch, but the replay of the race will be this Sunday on FOX at 3PM (depending on local listings). That’s great for exposure, but it also means it’s up against the ratings-juggernaut that is the NFL.
After this weekend, the series settles into a more regular monthly schedule, with the next race taking place in Uruguay on December 13. It reaches the United States in March with a race in Miami.