This weekend saw the launch and debut of the future thinking motor racing championship of Formula E. The sport has been rumoured and speculated over in recent years and today the rumours were finally answered. With mixed opinions about how successful the sport would be, the debut race in Beijing set out to show the world this championship is here to stay, and planning to be a very successful one.
Formula E aims to tackle environment issues which have been inflicted by the automobile, and stand up for ‘social responsibility’ to ensure we change the damages the car has caused to the environment so far. A fully electric vehicle, with the proportion looking pretty similar to what we would expect from a Formula 1 car, with some added Aero styling drama particularly around the wheels.
The sport has some very influential, and high profile support including Richard Branson and Leonardo Di Caprio who each backed a team. The FIA governing body is also supporting the sport, which shows the seriousness for the championship as a very competitive motor sport championship for the future.
The cars are practically silent, with the distinctive electric whirring noise the only engine sound coming from the car. Critics were concerned the lack of engine sound would lose a lot of the drama for the sport, a similar concern for this seasons Formula 1 cars. However the silence makes way for tyre squeels, and audible crash impacts, which Nick Heidfield and Nicolas Prost demonstrated on the final lap of the debut race.
Heidfield was looking to take the lead of the race when Nicolas Prost (F1 Legend, Alan Prost’s son) collided with Heidfield (former F1 star) creating a spectacular collision. The crash handed the race win to Lucas Di Grassi (former Formula 1 Driver) to win the first race in the sport’s debut season.
The sports driver line up is already attracting big names and surprises, with 10 ex Formula 1 names on the track, and also two females lining up on the grid as well, further adding to the sports future thinking mentality. If the driver line up wasn’t enough to attract your attention, the official safety car for the sport is the stunning new BMW i8, an absolute innovation in modern day car design.
Critics expressed further opinions over the race length, only 25 laps, and also the pit stop difference with instead of changing tyres, the drivers jump out and change cars due to battery life.
All in all it was a successful debut in Beijing, and will be exciting to see how the sport develops over the season, leading up to the finale race in London. Given a couple more years its hard not to imagine this sport pushing further to great heights and successes.