Formula E the long term alternative to Formula 1?

28 August, 2012

From left to right: Alejandro Agag (CEO of Formula E Holdings), Jean Todt (President of the FIA) and Enrique Banuelos (Formula E Holdings) signing the agreement between FIA and FEH.

From left to right: Alejandro Agag (CEO of Formula E Holdings), Jean Todt (President of the FIA) and Enrique Banuelos (Formula E Holdings) signing the agreement between FIA and FEH.

Aug.28 (GMM) The FIA has reached an agreement to licence the commercial rights of the FIA Formula E Championship to a consortium of international investors; Formula E Holdings Ltd (FEH) in what could herald the start of the alternative to Formula One in a petrol scarce future.

The governing body’s president Jean Todt has signed a deal with Addax GP2 and GP3 team owner Alejandro Agag and other Hong Kong-based investors to promote the new single seater series that will debut in 2014.

Pirelli test driver and former Virgin Racing Team driver Lucas di Grassi is now involved in plans for the FIA’s new ‘Formula E’ category as a test driver.

The cars will be powered only by lithium batteries and electric energy.

One race will be held on the streets of Rio de Janeiro, and the FIA said other rounds “will be ideally staged in the heart of the world’s leading cities, around their main landmarks”.

Reuters said a race around Berlin’s Brandenburg Gate “would be the first choice for Germany”.

The Financial Times said an aim of the series is “to draw competitors from traditional F1 teams, electric car companies and global brands”.

The report said that drivers will reach speeds of 220km/h, and have to switch cars during mid-race pitstops when their batteries are depleted after 25 minutes.

“We don’t expect the big carmakers to step into Formula E in the beginning,” said chief executive Agag. “The industry is not too familiar with electric racing. But I am sure they will come in [at] a second stage.”

FIA Formula E Announcement:

FIA LogoThe Fédération Internationale de l’Automobile (FIA) has reached an agreement to licence the commercial rights of the FIA Formula E Championship to a consortium of international investors, Formula E Holdings Ltd (FEH).

Formula E is a new FIA championship featuring Formula cars powered exclusively by electric energy. It represents a vision for the future of the motor industry over the coming decades.

FEH, the new promoter, has as anchor investor London-based entrepreneur Enrique Bañuelos, and as CEO and shareholder former MEP and racing team owner Alejandro Agag, who has a long experience [of] the motor sport business. Also associated with the project are Lord Drayson, Managing Partner of Drayson Racing Technologies, and Eric Barbaroux, Chairman of the French electric automotive company “Electric Formula”.

Demonstration runs of the Formula E cars will start in 2013, followed by the championship in 2014 with an objective of 10 teams and 20 drivers participating in the competition. The races will be ideally staged in the heart of the world’s leading cities, around their main landmarks.

Jean Todt, President of the FIA:
“I would like to thank all the parties involved. This new competition at the heart of major cities is certain to attract a new audience. We are pleased with this agreement with Formula E Holdings as they bring a very strong experience in motor sport. This spectacular series will offer both entertainment and a new opportunity to share the FIA values and objectives of clean energy, mobility and sustainability with a wider and younger audience as well.”

Alejandro Agag, CEO of FEH:
“We are very pleased with the agreement reached with FIA. We see this as a great opportunity to create a new and exciting spectacle mixing racing, clean energy and sustainability, looking to the future. We expect this Championship to become the framework for research and development around the electric car, a key element for the future of our cities.”

Professor Burkhard Goeschel, President of the FIA Electric and New Energies Championships Commission:
“Formula E will be a milestone for the future of motorsports, driven by the FIA. It follows the global megatrends of our world like sustainability, the growth of the megacities and the digital world of connectivity. I would like to say thanks to all partners, who supported us in creating this new project and also to the partners who will accompany us to a successful launch of Formula E.”

The series will be open to any cars sanctioned as Formula E by the FIA. The consortium will ensure that a Formula E Car, based on the Formulec EF 01 prototype already in operation, is available for those competing teams willing to race with it.

Subbed by AJN.


  • Butterfly

    Run out of power after 25 min? 220 Kph?

    If they really want to go all-electric, why not invest in hydrogen power instead? It would be the ideal R&D platform for the whole car industry, surely.

    Pffft, swap cars every 20 min…

  • Bec

    No races at Monaco, Valencia and Albert Park etc …. Because if you remember the Formula One Promoters Association ( the circuit owners), they threatened to pull the plug on F1 races due to the slightly quieter 2014 engine … So a completely silent engine will leave them no choice but to ban Formula E from their tracks.

    Unless FOPA are a bunch of two-faced opportunistic liars of course ;)

  • McLaren Fan

    WTF Change cars, pit stops would be stupid sorry we forgot to get your car charged.
    Boring

  • Hawk

    yeah.. you need to accept. F1 is becoming slower, while the rest of the world is moving faster.

  • hillside

    F1 is getting closer to remote control cars

  • Butterfly

    This must be power-play between JT and BE.

  • fools

    and there you have it…the end of F-1. :(

  • f1 fan

    It sounds like a good idea to me, but only if it does not affect formula one in any way, and if it is held as a completely different Championship, good for the future…
    And it will also give a chance to other young drivers who did not get the chance to enter F1.

  • Jody Renza

    Gosh enjoy the sound of pure racing engines while we can…FIA is making plans to rake in cash from another source & loose more fans!

  • McLaren Fan

    Formula E the long term replacement of Formula 1?
    I hope not as no screaming out of the exhausts as the engines hit maximum RPM.
    Silence is boring rather play Scalextric!

  • Disgusted with 2012

    First IC engine – 1807, driven on hydrogen. First EV in 1835. First modern Otto cycle car 1886 or so. Gas turbine engine 1914. KERS 1868… Nothing on the current agenda for “modern” power-plants is actually new at all. The only thing new about the electric motor is the battery technology it’s run from. So, the evolution of F1 remains founded on technology of the 19th century… Interestingly, the FIA has blown off more current IC engine approaches, like the Coates CSRV, Hydrogen fuel, OPOC, Scuderi, Free Piston, or even Wankle, and has completely dismissed Fuel Cell electric, and Sterling. The move toward electric motors on a plug-in power basis is a 19th century idea that seems neat-o, until you consider the implication of moving an entire transportation infrastructure onto an electrical grid not designed for such gigantic demand. Its not green, its marketing.

  • AlonsoFan

    I wonder what does Jean Todt refers to as ”younger audience”.I mean,I dont see boys of our age going to see a few silent cars race at a gp or children saying I love the Ferraris Electric EC-14 because its silent.I think its Bernie’s brilliant idea to satisfy all the green peace hippies and all the lonely old people in Europe and USA that their electric g wizs and priuses are raceiisshh..and please where does the charge for the lithium batteries comes from(its not like KERS) they will use the electricity from power station(which runs on nuclear fuel or fossil fuel or wind)

  • Kimi4WDC

    It’s good they create separate category. Means F1 will be less affected by “E Movement”. I hope they create two more categories:

    Formula Eco – aim is to drive on as little fuel as possible
    Formula V4 – so F1 don’t have to go all the way down to V4 engines.

  • Nowhereman

    What a political joke…. LOL
    Words can’t describe the incredible stupidity Europe constantly craps forth.
    All in just to make a buck.
    How about we come up with a formula series that has all the political / sociopathic people involved in motor sports run at top speed off a cliff.
    The one that lives we have jump again…
    The auto industry doesn’t need motor sports to develop anything.
    Get over yourselves.

  • f1 fan

    I also feel that the new idea would be rather more expensive than formula 1, electric engines are not so cheap to make and considering the fact that drivers will have to change their cars during races, V6 Turbo Engines are already too expensive to make and i dont that the current teams would like to spend additional millions of Dollars on electric cars, unless they have too much overflowing cash around, ….. . . .

  • splat

    Formula E? Yeah, right. The “E” is for ERROR!

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