Quiet revolution: formula e aims high

Quiet revolution: formula e aims high

The performance had an almost state-supporting dimension: a speech in front of the brandenburg gate and a ride with a police escort past the reichstag and the victor’s hall. With their presentation in berlin the formula E gave a small foretaste of their rough goals.

"Formula e is more than just a couple of cars racing. We call it a silent revolution in motorsport," emphasized CEO alejandro agag in the capital. In may or june 2015, the concrete apron of the former tempelhof airport is to be the site of a formula e series race in berlin.

With a view to the second season, talks are already underway with "very important manufacturers, and I can say that some of them are german," revealed agag. He also wants to lure the industry leaders of formula 1. "I’m sure that racing stables like ferrari or red bull will one day also field formula e teams," agag said in an interview with the daily newspaper "die welt". Already involved are mclaren as engine builder, williams as battery supplier, and renault, which is to coordinate the systems. The electric car is, however, smaller than a formula 1 racing car.

18-time brazilian grand prix starter lucas di grassi is currently in action as a test and development driver. "We’ll need top drivers, it’s not easy to steer these cars," agag stressed. Drivers from the indycar series, nascar, formula 1 and DTM are on the wish list of the purely privately financed racing series.

So far, two of the planned ten teams have been officially confirmed: drayson from england and china racing. A team from india, one from japan, two from the united states and others from europe are to follow. And the series is really hitting its stride. On 27. Last august, formula E holdings (FEH) signed the promotion agreement with FIA boss jean todt. The former rally driver at the helm of the world automobile association is committed to the promotion of motorsport. Even in formula 1, where the hybrid system KERS (kinetic energy recovering system) has been on board since 2009 with an interruption of one year and provides additional propulsion, the association is trying to demand environmental friendliness.

In formula E, the tire change familiar from formula 1 is replaced by a swap of the cars. Because at tempo 220 a battery is empty after about 25 minutes. "In formula 1, it’s currently tire management, in formula e, it’s going to be battery handling," agag said of the challenges.

But the formula E organizers don’t see the series as a competitor that formula 1 would like to displace at some point in the future. "That’s not what we’re about," affirms agag. "I’m a big formula 1 fan, i hope it never disappears. It is a global sporting event with millions of fans and a lot of money at stake. Formula E is a different kind of racing series."

But formula E also likes to win. Around 30,000 spectators are hoped for the race in berlin. Drivers compete in practice, qualifying and racing on the same day. In addition, the series will make stops in metropolises such as peking, los angeles, buenos aires or bangkok.

And in the german capital. "Berlin will be a racing city again," says cornelia yzer, senator for economics, technology and development. Then the silver race car set off on its lap through the heart of berlin with squealing tires and a barely audible engine noise.

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