tv Newsbeat Documentaries BBC News August 12, 2018 2:30pm-3:01pm BST
across north—west england today, another sunday of disruption for thousands of passengers. cyclists could face a new charge of death by dangerous cycling if they kill pedestrians while riding. tthe department for transport is consulting on proposals. now on bbc news, how is formula e racing helping us to make the shift towards electric cars? newsbeat reporter ellie roper follows team 05 virgin racing, as driver alex lynn takes his first year behind the wheel. these cars are definitely the future... we go green in mexico city! all the talking stops and it is all about business. off goes alex lynn! not much to say. i think this is the future. it has a guilt free capacity to it. from marrakech to montreal it's all electric and it's
all environmentally friendly. all of us have to move our technology to be clean rather than dirty energy like petrol. 10 teams travel the world to compete on street tracks. now in its fourth season it's notjust changing the face of motorsport. it is changing the way we drive as well. it's taken him until the last couple of races... in the wall! alex lynn climbs out of the car. he's off! he crashed in free practice one and he has crashed in free practice two. can he dig himself out? that makes me feel sad for him, actually. he's a really good kid. a fantastic driver, but that shows you the pressure every one of these drivers is under.
i'm newsbeat‘s eleanor roper. i've come to oxford to meet alex lynn. he embarks on his first season as a driver in formula e. this is your big moment. this is what you've been waiting for. how does it feel looking ahead to the season? it's everything you've worked for over the years and years of practice. as you come through the ranks and different categories and this is the start of racing. you build up to the moment where you're prepared and you are ready to take the opportunity when it comes, and that's the benefit of being a reserve driver. you learn everything in the background and it's a slightly slower pace and then when the time comes, you are ready to do the job. are you living your dream now? when i become the champion, i will be living the dream. never settled. alex takes us to silverstone to show us his cars before they're shipped off for the start of the season. ok, so talk us through the controls?
it seems like there's quite a lot. but these are the three main ones here. the brake setting, the paddle, which is changing the region of the car and the torque. in case you were wondering, the regen is a way of changing battery during the race. here are a few more formula e basics. there are ten teams and each team has two drivers. all of the cars have the same chassis and battery, but other parts of the car can be changed by the team's engineers. energy figures, lap time, laps remaining... as you are driving, you're focusing on the road. can you still take in all this data at the same time? but you have to. otherwise we will not win the race. as a team, we feel we are coming together to the first test, and after that will be the first race, and this all counts now.
all the talking stops and it's about business. as reality sets in we head to valencia for pre—season testing. it's a last chance for teams to size people up for the season. while electric cars might not be as loud as formula 1 cars, they are still pretty fast. with top speeds of around 140 miles an hour. the car is pretty traditional in the sense that it is a single seater race car, so the architecture is pretty standard. the big difference, these cars run purely on electricity. no fuel tank, no nothing. behind the driver, before when you would have the fuel tank, we have a large battery and an electric motor
which drives the wheels. it's the battery which is the main limitation. at the moment each driver needs two cars to finish the race, with a driver changeover happening halfway through the race. and the car change is one of the many things they are practising here in valencia. they are collecting data and fine tuning the car before the season begins. how did that go? good positive day. not starting many laps and a few problems with the car, which is a good, positive thing at this time of the season, so we rectified those. the next morning, i grab alex for a rare bit of downtime. so how old were you when you decided you wanted to take up racing? i actually first started racing motorbikes when i was five. i got a little 50cc motorbike.
and that's where it all started, really, and then i switched to racing go—karts instead. did that require your parents to drive you around a lot? were they ferrying you back—and—forth to competitions and stuff? my mum spent a lot of time in the car with me. driving up and down the country. a lot of early mornings and late nights. i've got a lot to be thankful for. the first two races of the season are both in hong kong. it's a great start for ds virgin. we go green in hong kong! but it's alex's team—mate sam who wins the race. sam bird wins! the opening race of the season! as we go green in hong kong once again, through the final corner, out on the road, who has got the best start and who's going to know where to brake? alex lynn is in fifth place... into his garage... and it is technical problems that hold alex back.
sam bird fifth, alex lynn ran into trouble. he's ended up finishing tenth. he must have run out of energy, he was crawling over the line. before every race, the drivers use a simulator to practise driving on the upcoming track. it is a chance to get to grips with the tight twists and turns that come with a street track. we had ourfirst race in hong kong. that went well. we got two points—scoring finishes. so it wasn't the dream scenario but it was a solid start for the whole team. so in that sense it was a good start. alex's engineer talks us through what went wrong. the problem is we had an energy problem which means alex ran low on energy in the last lap and unfortunately got some positions dropped some positions
before getting to the line. hong kong was a mixed bag. generally it was a positive weekend. a few little mistakes but we did not quite get the most out of it. we are here in marrakesh. we made it, and it's a really amazing place. it's boiling hot, palm trees everywhere and yet behind me is the atlas mountains. we've just been told there are two metres of snow fall, so it's this amazing contrast between hot, tropical weather and these snowy mountains. as the final preparations are under way, we catch up with alex as he looks ahead to the race. it would feel weird if you didn't feel nervous, and also, it's what you have only known, for me, since i was ten years old,
since i started racing. and for me, it almost feels like home to have that feeling. you end up sort of enjoying it. you go, this is what i do, that's what i live for, and that's that feeling of pressure and excitement all at the same time. we also meet alex's team—mate sam. alex is a really strong team mate. nice guy, great to work with. but you have to remember alex is in his first year, and i'm the one with all of the experience, so alex is catching up in that respect. on race morning, alex qualifies in sixth place, with sam qualifying in second. this is definitely the most rock ‘n‘ roll part of the race day so far.
the track's now completely full of vips and instagram influencers and stuff. you can see all of the teams, all of the cars are in their positions, ready for the race. alex is in sixth position. he's got all of his engineers standing by. this is my first race. it's very exciting. i got to drive one of the cars. i think the exciting thing about this is the technology they're developing with the cars on the track today, which obviously is moving at a very rapid pace. it will have an impact on home driving. going to have a great effect on the environment. i've always loved cars, fast cars, and this is kind of like this has a guilt free capacity to it. because you can enjoy all of that wonder what you're doing something that is totally going to forward the work, the good work at home with the environment, you know? the batteries are not an issue. now it is about the infrastructure and the charging stations and all that.
if this is going to affect the charging station at home, that is going to be amazing. in the uk the government has said that from 2040 all new petrol and diesel cars will be banned. all eyes are looking to formula e as they try to drive this change. i think 2040 is too long and i think there are governments in europe that have said by 2025, all new cars must be battery driven. that's what i would hope every government around the world would do. that would really speed up the process. i think here, we're going to see the price going down. we're going to see the range extending a lot. and those problems will be sorted and neverwill be... everyone will buy electric cars. at the moment the main challenge facing electric cars is their battery. 22 years might seem like a long way
off but with every year, there is another step forward. next season, drivers will go from two cars down to one, which means the battery in one car can now last for a whole race. that will show that to the world, we have improved by 100% the potential of the batteries and the technology. you've got the major manufacturers coming on board like porsche, mercedes, bmw, they are all coming on board. and that's because they want to have a racing car in an electric racing series. because we all want to sit in a car that can do 300 miles in one sitting. and it all stems from formula e. what is it like being surrounded by so many people, everybody wants a piece of you, when you have to be concentrating? you have to just take it in your stride and, to be honest, in four hours‘ time, i will be sitting in my
hotel room by myself. you've just got to take it in your stride and deliver the results. it's a good start... a few lock—ups here and there but at the end of lap one, bird looks super racy up at the front. off goes alex lynn! he has been hit! lynn has been sent spinning from sixth place. he drops right to the back and the team principal is stony—faced. that looked like a bit of overenthusiasm. are you 0k? is the carok? i think so. alex lynn is saying he thinks the car is ok and he will carry on. sam bird in third...
so he should be second in the championship. it's the podium spot that sam was asking for. and despite being knocked to the back of the race, alex makes it back up the order, finishing in tenth place. pretty disappointed. not much to say. you did really well to come back as well as you did. yeah, well, it's not really worth anything, so it is what it is. congratulations. thank you. good points to the team again, good points to myself. we are not leading the championship now but there is a still long way to go. the main thing is we've got points on the board in every single race, and good points. i thought you'd be happier. we are so excited for you. third is like second of the losers, so, no.
but sadly, alex does not leave his bad luck behind. for lynn, it's race over. he's done a greatjob this season and it'sjust not come together yet far as issues happening. on to mexico city, and things are looking up. alex qualifies in second place but it's technical problems which hold him back. the gearbox penalty as he starts in 12th place and finishing tenth. here come the lights now! we go green in uruguay! uruguay makes for some exciting competition between alex and sam. lynn in third and bird down in eighth. going to be a tight one between the two ds virgin team—mates. sam bird has got out in front of lynn so the two ds virgin cars have swapped position. sam gets back on the podium with alex coming in in sixth place. and the hard work does not stop once
alex is off the track. i suppose my height as a racing driver is quite unusual. i'm quite a tall racing driver. alex is six foot one. i have to watch my weight, maybe more so than other drivers. it's been a long time since i could think i can eat whatever i want. even if it'sjust a mental thing, a symbolic thing in the gym, but it translates to your whole life and certainly in your professional life. the pressure is a privilege. because at the end of the day, it means that someone is expecting a certain type of performance from you, whether it's from yourself or it's from the team that backs you and supports you. the reason there is this pressure is they believe in you.
they believe in me. so, yeah, ifeel pressure in a way that i don't want to let them down. we have put in so much work. and one of those backing alex all the way is virgin founder sir richard branson. well, the world is heating up. we have to move the world to a world that's powered by clean energy. and so if we can come up with an exciting way to try to get people involved in moving to clean energy, so much the better. what more exciting way could there be than really exciting motor racing taking place in cities all over the world? all of the big car manufacturers are getting behind formula e and that's because as well as the race on the track, they're also competing to develop their own electric cars. jaguar is one of the first teams in the championship to bring one out. what's really exciting is this year,
we launched our new car. the car that will have a range of around 400 miles. it's part of the technology we developed in our race car to consumers to try and enjoy. it's a really aggressive racing environment. we're pushing the boundaries and the technology to the limit. what we learned here was to make cars that drive more efficiently and faster, more enjoyably for consumers. that's really key. from a consumer point of view, there's a really limiting number of petrol cars you can buy on the market. we are going to see a massive step change. we're going to be the generation to the big change. like the generation that moved from steam to petrol. we are taking the new car for a spin around rome. it's jaguar driver nelson piquet junior behind the wheel. you just feel so much more comfort and just the handling of the car,
everything just feels great. the noise, the sound. it is very quiet. i think formula e is helping making people more aware of the technology the electric cars can do. the power that we have, electric cars are not only an idea of the future, it's the present. we already have, we are launching cars, we are racing them already around the world. it's going to help people be more aware of how evolved this technology of electric cars is already. from south america to rome where the teams will take to the streets tomorrow to begin the european leg of the championship. it's been a mixed start for alex. he has qualified well and scored points in almost all his races. but some technical problems have held him back. he'll be hoping to make up
for it in tomorrow's race. he's off! he crashed in free practice one and he has crashed in free practice! grimace again on the face of the team principal. there, you hear that. yeah, there it goes. there've been two practice sessions on the track in rome this morning and alex has crashed his car in both. after we spoke to him after the first crash, he was trying to downplay it and said this always happens in formula e. but i don't think anyone could have expected he would do the same thing again in the second practice. and this is certainly not part of the plan. you could see him storming off out of the car afterwards. there's nowhere to hide in the garage when your team mate is going faster than you. it pushes you to go beyond the limits of where you are trying to be. going a little bit too far and you end up running
into the run—off area, which is the wall. so we are rebuilding the car again. putting the morning's practice sessions behind him, alex qualifies in 11th place. sam is back up at the front, qualifying in second. we've got about 20 minutes to go now. are you interested in formula e? yes, very much. and what do you think about having electric cars? i think this is the future. so to have the technology invented here is fantastic. these cars are the future. i feel ready, i'm calm and just looking forward to it. we go green in rome!
no big position changes, oh, and into the back, alex lynn crashes again. alex lynn has been shown the flag, which means you have to come in to the pits for repair. it is not safe to stay out there. he's looking for a safe spot. rosenqvist is slowing. he's hit the wall! the swede shakes his head because he is out of the rome e prix! sam bird leading. he is going to launch himself into second, into championship contention, as he takes victory in the first rome e prix. it feels amazing.
it was a very difficult race. i think felix had the edge on us but all in all, we hung in there. we just about did enough today. while the team celebrates sam's success, alex's cars are turned to the garage on a recovery truck. it is very resilient. he will have a bad night tonight and then i think tomorrow, he will be back on it, ready to focus on the next race. it was tricky in the garage because you're here to support alex. the other half of the garage is celebrating sam's win. how tough is that for you? it's always disappointing because it is a competition, after all. i'm so happy for them, so yeah. alex has been so quick all season. he had a bad day. yeah, i know. everyone in formula e is looking
for a better performance, whether it's the engineers trying to get more from the technology or the drivers trying to better their position in the standings. everyone involved wants the sport to succeed. on his return to the garage alex is as professional as ever despite a really tough day, he's smiling and manages to see the positives. i think every top athlete or top driver always has self—doubt but usually, i think for the good guys, it does not take long to shut that out and concentrate on the next event. i'm the kind of guy that is going to go away and work even harder than we've done before because that's what you need to do. after seven months of following alex, it's time for us to leave him behind. he's got five races ahead of him, and his boss believes he is long overdue a spot on that podium. some of the results that he should have had have been taken away from him because we've had those technical issues.
getting that race pace, to get in a position where you are starting to win races, i think alex is overdue now. i think it is never over until it's over and you always believe in yourself and there's always the next race, the next session, the next lap, the next corner. i would not be here if i did not believe i could be formula e champion one day. we'll keep watching. i wonder if a sport has ever been so relevant. car manufacturers continue to sign up and with drivers like felipe massa coming over from formula 1, it looks like formula e is just getting started. sunday you see it racing, monday, you see racing on the street. the technology being discovered, the techonology are developing actually goes into road cars. formula 1 will no longer exist if it continues to drive petrol driven cars indefinitely. we will be looking to the drivers and those building the cars as they fight notjust for a spot at the top of the sport, but for our business too.
as whether we like it or not, we are going electric. good afternoon. for many parts of the country it is a fairly cloudy day out there. we have had some outbreaks of rain, not everywhere, but rain on the horizon. this is swa nsea, but rain on the horizon. this is swansea, so big shower clouds there. western england and wales will see more of those heavy showers. a bit of sunshine working its way into the west later on, but for most places it will be a cloudy the day. low
pressure is our weather and there area pressure is our weather and there are a couple of france, one lingering in scotland and one in the south east of england. this shows us where we have had the rain in the past few hours, particularly in south east and eastern england. in scotla nd south east and eastern england. in scotland it is quite slow moving. then showers into the wales, the west and the east midlands. it should be dry in northern ireland and in the fire south of england. some of these showers in wales and the north—west of england could be heavy, bringing hail and lying surface water. into the evening hours we will gradually start to see the rain for hours we will gradually start to see the rainfora hours we will gradually start to see the rain for a time in the south east easing away, but it will continue across parts of scotland. further showers in the west and in wales and north—west england as well. as the picture tonight and
quite mild with temperatures around 14 or 15. as we head through the day, we will see that mild start and then further showers on monday. low pressure slowly clears the way to the east and tyre pressure nudges in from the atlantic. more showers in parts of scotland and eastern england. the heaviest showers on monday will be in parts of northern england, particularly in yorkshire and lincolnshire. a chance of seeing some standing water. during monday afternoon temperatures are around about 23 degrees or so in the south east. a bit more sunshine in the south. cooler further east. a bit more sunshine in the south. coolerfurther north east. a bit more sunshine in the south. cooler further north where you have a cloud. looking further ahead through the next five days, further showers to come, particularly in scotland and northern ireland. slightly dry conditions for england and wales and warm weather on the cards on monday
and tuesday. it will turn cooler in the second half of the week. this is bbc news. the headlines: police in manchester are treating a shooting in the city's moss side area as attempted murder. ten people, including two children, sustained pellet—type injuries. nasa's ambitious mission to the sun launches from cape canaveral, 24 hours after its launch was cancelled due to a last—minute hitch. dozens of sunday train services across north—west england are cancelled for the second week running , rail operator northern blames crew scheduling "difficulties" for the disruption. cyclists who kill pedestrians could face a new charge of ‘death by dangerous cycling' — under new government proposals. a rememberance service will take place shortly, to mark this week's 20th anniversary of the omagh bombing,