London’s Battersea Park was the location for the FIA Formula E championship and it gave fans a bizarre conclusion to the second season of racing and introduced the world to something different. The event definitely deserved a much better climax, however, it is still new, and growing.
According to Top Gear, the season would have ended on a positive note had it not been for that unfortunate collision between Sebastien Buemi from Renault e.dams and Lucas di Grassi from Audi Sport to start the race. The two drivers had to eventually fight for two bonus points to settle the championship. Buemi emerged victorious by clocking a time of 1:24.150, earning him the title of Formula E champion.
It has been a mixed year for the electric racing series and Bueni’s victory has come at a time when a lot of people are asking a lot of questions about the sport. After incidents like the controversial cancellation of Russian ePrix in June when organisational issues forced FIA to abandon the event and the way the championship ended, some people were left wondering how strong the series really is.
Aside the final controversy and the last-minute calendar change in Russia, which does cast a poor light on Formula E, it is unfair to conclude that the sport is struggling for survival. If all approvals go thru, New York will host next year’s finale. Additional races are also being planned for the next season in Hong Kong, Marrakech and Montreal.
What exactly is Formula E? Similar to Formula 1, 10 teams compete against each other using all-electric race cars. The cars look very similar to the F1 cars, but when they are running, fans hear a high pitch whine of an electric motor instead of the gasoline powered counterparts. The bodies are from Spark-Dallara, based on a design by Renault. And similar to F1, tweaks in software, tire choices, suspension settings, along with a talented driver, manufactures attempt to get their car across the line faster than all the others. Adjustments in power by FIA during the race for positive and negative actions can push racers to the front, or make them scramble to make up lost time.
The future for Formula E is fuzzy. The hope is that it will continue to grow, and not simply fizzle out. Electric technology is slowly yet steadily approaching the point of challenging the market dominated by the internal combustion engine. To meet the increasing demand, major car manufacturers will rush to build electric cars. Something that would be incredible for the sport is to see all the EV automakers join in the sport. Tesla, Nissan, Chevrolet, and others could really help to secure up a strong fan base like Ferrari and Mercedes have done in Formula 1 and the Big Three U.S. automakers have in NASCAR. Motorsport, unquestionably, provides a fantastic landscape for pushing the boundaries of cutting-edge technology and this augurs well for Formula E. Better technology, better cars and super races!
Japan’s third biggest car manufacturer, Honda is closely following and observing the developments in the series. It is apparently playing a wait and watch game. Honda is waiting for series E to get bigger and better before it joins the arena, reports Reuters. When they do, unless a dominating EV manufacturer like Tesla comes in, Honda could be the Ferrari of Formula E.
According to the Evening Standard, the chief executive of the electric racing series, Alejandro Agag, who is a Spanish Businessman from London, has said that thousands of people have watched the first 1.5-mile circuit, Battersea Park race. He also has said that the electric Formula circuit and the electronic car market, at the moment is experiencing a boom, with the cars equipped to go from 0-60 in three seconds and effortlessly reach 140mph.
What do you think about Formula E? Is it exciting or is it missing something that NASCAR, Formula One, or Indy Car have? Share your thoughts in the comments below. For more CDA News, follow our tweets on Twitter and like us on Facebook.
Commentary by P. Prashant