This is a promoted article in association with Avis, the sponsors of the Mahindra Formula E team
Formula E?s second season moves into its closing stages this weekend with only the double-header finale in London to follow Saturday?s Berlin ePrix.
From being a single-specification series at its inception, for year two the championship has begun to open up the technical competition. This has already had an intriguing effect on the racing between Formula E?s all-electric cars.
Abt?s Lucas di Grassi approaches the final three races with a slim 11-point lead over eDams racer Sebastien Buemi. This is an impressive feat for Di Grassi who has not started from pole position all year, yet has won three times and would have taken the last three races in a row but for a technical infringement by his team in the Mexican round.
When season two began in Beijing the Renault-backed eDams cars annexed the front row with Buemi a second clear of the team?s closest rival over a 3.4-kilometre lap. That inevitably provoked fears that increasing the technical competition would inevitably spoil the wheel-to-wheel action which characterised the first season of Formula E.
The sight of champion Nelson Piquet Jnr languishing at the back of the field, while Buemi romped to a straightforward victory, seemed to confirm that view.
Instead the second year of Formula E has subsequently shown that, as with Formula One and the World Endurance Championship, good racing can exist outside single-specification or performance-balanced championships.
Despite that performance edge, Renault and Buemi have managed to find themselves on the back foot. Round two in Putrajaya slipped through their fingers as the punishing Malaysian humidity took its toll on the equipment.
But errors by Buemi has arguably cost them even more dearly. He started last in Argentina after a mistake in qualifying and slipped up in Mexico too, leaving him to fight a rearguard action in both events. The team later discovered a braking problem on Buemi?s car.
While Di Grassi?s disqualification from victory in Mexico handed Buemi a useful points lead, he immediately threw it away at the next event by clattering into Robin Frijns. At the last round in Paris Buemi had more problems in qualifying and a rapid start by Di Grassi meant he added to his championship lead against the odds.
The varied approach to the technical rules has also enlivened the competition further down the field. While eDams and Abt have been able to get their cars down to the weight limit the likes of Virgin have not. While the Virgin car works well over a single lap ? Sam Bird has had pole position for three of the last four races ? over a race distance that weight disadvantage means he invariably finds himself under attack from lighter rivals.
It isn?t easy for championship to permit the kind of technical freedom which attracts manufacturers like Formula E?s Renault, Audi and Citroen without compromising the quality of racing which attracts fans. Consider how one-sided the World Touring Car Championship became when Citroen showed up.
But Formula E has the advantage of being able to design its rulebook from scratch to achieve that, and so far in season two it seems that difficult balance has been struck. The scene is set for an exciting conclusion to the championship.
21st May ? Berlin
2nd July ? London
3rd July ? London
Catch up on highlights from the Formula E season so far
Start, Mahindra, Formula E, Paris, 2016