On 22 November 2019 the sixth ABB FIA Formula E Championships kick off with an ePrix in Diriyya (Saudi Arabia). The Indo-Swiss racing driver Neel Jani, on the starting grid for Porsche, explains what makes ABB FIA Formula E so special, how he gets ready for it and what he thinks privately about lighting.

Mr Jani, ABB FIA Formula E is a relatively young discipline. In your opinion, what are the main differences to other championships like Formula 1 or FIA World Endurance Championship? 

It starts on the organisational side: a Formula E race is a one-day event. This means that the free practice, the qualifying and the race itself all take place on the same day. And the track is also only set up for that day. So the drivers have the chance to practice and train on the track only on race day. It basically means that there is no home advantage in the classic sense with Formula E. The biggest difference though is the electric drive technology: energy management is turning into a critical success factor, and that's also what makes the races so exciting... some have to take their feet off the accelerator to save battery energy while others can still attack. So in a driving sense you have to think a lot and be good at tactical manoeuvring. 

Driver or technology – what decides victory or defeat in ABB FIA Formula E? 

Actually 80 percent of E race cars are technically the same – only the other 20 percent has individual potential for optimising. It increases the importance of the driving skills compared to the technological advantages. In terms of physical burden, the Formula E town or city circuits where we often have to do a lot of steering are extremely tough on the arms, so optimum mental and physical preparation for the race is a complete must.

TRILUX recently supported Porsche in the LMP1 with an HCL solution. From your point of view, what are the advantages of Human Centric Lighting?

I myself had very positive experiences with the TRILUX HCL solution during the Le Mans 24 hour event. Efficient recovery during the rest periods is absolutely vital – the lighting was really important here and it genuinely helped.


You've also equipped your private house throughout with TRILUX luminaires. Why’s that?

I actually lived in a rented house for a long time so I didn't think much about the lighting. At some point I noticed that a really cheap light fixture doesn't give me the light I need, whether it’s the lighting in my office, or for computer work in the evenings, or the light in my bedroom. So for my new home I was on the lookout for luminaires that I could easily network and easily control – and where I could flexibly change the light colour between warm and cool white. I also thought it was really important that the indoor and outdoor lights match, and that I like the design. TRILUX ticked all the boxes. 

Is there anything you've learned from working with TRILUX?

I can think of three things straight away. Firstly, you don't say lamp but luminaire – that was certainly helpful for me. The second point is the impact of warm white and cool white lighting on the body and on your well-being. Cool white stimulates and warm white calms down. And point three, I’m definitely not going to buy another light bulb because on many levels, from efficiency to controllability, LED is the new thing.

We keep our fingers crossed for the coming season! Neel Jani also gives a look behind the scenes on Instagram @neeljani_official.