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What Is Formula E and What Does It Mean For Formula One?

  • by: Alex Fuller
  • On: 1, Nov 2018
3 min read

What is Formula E?

Formula E has grown in popularity over recent years since its uncertain beginnings in 2014. The green alternative to Formula One, the cars run entirely on electric engines. This means less noise and less speed, two of the most important factors in Formula One racing.

Formula E says its concept of sustainability ‘is to reduce our carbon footprint as much as possible and have a positive impact on both people and the planet’. While some commend the sport for attempting to pull away from its roots, others perceive Formula E as a mere fad in the history of Motorsport.

The Future of Racing

The history of Formula One is long and famous, casting a heavy shadow on a similar sport struggling to emerge. However, Formula E is attempting a bold new way to excite fans and bring in revenue to the sport. One such way is by racing in cities like Paris, Berlin, and New York. The global Formula One championship lasts for seven months and ranges across twelve cities.

Racing on the streets condenses the F1 drama into a tighter space, focusing attention at a central point against iconic skylines, making the sport more accessible for fans and casual observers. This helps grow the sport’s audience, something that is vital if Formula E is to continue.

Audience engagement is also important, with new interactive elements unlike any in other sports. Motorsport fans are more than just spectators: they can influence the outcome of a race by voting for their favourite driver, giving them a speed boost.

What Does Formula E Mean for Formula One?

Unlike Formula One, there are strict limits on what technology can be used in Formula E cars, going so far as to enforce that all cars use the exact same battery and chassis. This means less disparity between the cars, so F1 drivers make all the difference. With Formula One, standard wisdom is that the best car wins. With Formula E, there’s more room for upset and excitement, with the best driver on the day walking away victorious.

Formula E cars are cheaper to design and produce, with annual budgets for teams being between $10 and $20 million. Motorsport has always encouraged innovation and Formula E is no different. With nine manufacturers working on cutting-edge automotive technology, Motorsport is helping to move sustainable energy forwards, bringing racing innovations to our cars. Mercedes-Benz, Porsche and BMW are among the teams building these state-of-the-art racing vehicles.

Higher power limits and more efficient batteries mean the new generation of cars will be able to reach speeds of 174 mph. This gives the companies that produce the cars an excellent opportunity to show off their technology, and electric vehicles are making their way toward consumer markets. Electric cars are growing in popularity, and Formula E is set to boost that through exciting spectacle and major celebrity investors like Leonardo DiCaprio.

Formula E consists of eleven teams with two drivers each. Season 5 begins in December 2018 in Saudi Arabia and will end in New York in July 2019. Like in Formula One, there are two titles to win: Best Driver and Best Team. Formula E fans who can’t make it to the races can sign up to watch them online.

Learn about what it’s like to work in Formula One, or start applying for some of our Motorsport jobs.

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