Formula E is a fully electric racing series that is revealing what the future is likely to look like for both motorsports and the automotive industry. Now in the third year of its championship series in 2017, the FIA Formula E Championship season consists of 12 races of all-electric cars in nine different countries worldwide. The race has been supported by professional teams including Andretti, Audi Sport ABT, Renault, Panasonic Jaguar, and Virgin Racing, and the buy-in of these prominent teams has infused momentum and stability to Formula E as it continually reinvents itself.
The series is set in some of the world’s most alluring cities around the world, and the “ePrix,” as it is often called, is on the forefront of technological innovation. It is providing a much-needed signal of how the transportation industry as a whole can look to alternative energy power sources and be viable.
Jean Todt, President of the FIA, affirms the power and potential of the Formula E series.
“It is an absolutely remarkable development because it is a sports discipline that is young. We are at the end of the third season. It is great to see the interest that it arouses. There are already a number of manufacturers involved. We have a dozen builders who want to be engaged in the fifth season.”
Formula E Venues within the Heart of the World’s Best Cities
Launched in 2014, Formula E’s allure is partially due to the venues on which it runs: street circuits right in the midst of some of the world’s most appealing cities. Practice sessions, qualifying, and the race all take place on one day, and there are several double-header weekends in which two races occur back-to-back on Saturday and Sunday with the backdrop of iconic buildings and skylines.
Toto Wolff, a 30% owner and executive director of the Mercedes AMG Petronas Formula One Team, concurs that a large degree of the recent Formula E popularity is due to its settng. “The success of Formula E is being in town.” Wolff also concedes that Formula 1’s venues, in contrast to Formula E, are more like “supermarket car parks.” He offers that, from a spectator’s point of view, the Formula E cars “look fast in a city context,” and, in a city like Monte Carlo, “you can see the attractions.”