It’s official. The world is ready for Formula E, complete with a spectacular concept which allows fans to speed up the car of their favourite driver.
The exhilarating spectacle, with electric cars powered by McLaren Applied Technologies batteries, has been given world championship status by FIA World Motor Sport Council as of the beginning of the 2020/21 season.
Starting in November next year, the competition will become known as the ABB FIA Formula E World Championship, taking the series’ rip-roaring racing and carbon-reduced emissions onto a whole new level.
“It was always our ambition to one day become an FIA world championship. Everything we have done and delivered to this point has been working towards this particular moment in time," said the founder & chairman of Formula E, Alejandro Agag, who reached a deal with FIA president Jean Todt in Paris this week.
Formula E pits 24 drivers, representing 12 different teams, against each other, with the championship contested across 14 races covering five of the seven continents.
"Achieving the feat and being granted with world championship status adds more credibility to what is already a fully-fledged formula of racing and a spectacular sporting product,” said Agag, who devised the concept with Todt in March 2011 on the back of a napkin in a restaurant in the French capital.
"This agreement and announcement truly puts Formula E in the top tier of international single-seater racing. It has been a tremendous effort from many people involved and none of it would have been possible without the support of FIA president Jean Todt and the federation, as well as the dedication and commitment shown by our teams and partners.”
The ultimate purpose? To combine the excitement of motor racing with the incentive of creating ‘a better, cleaner world’. To put the importance of this in perspective, Formula 1 recently revealed that it has a 256,551-tonne carbon footprint.
Currently in its fifth season, Formula E encourages the development and employment of new diverse global technology and robotics for it’s all-electric street car racing, which takes to some of the most iconic cities across the globe. A typical vehicle can reach 100km/h in approximately 2.8 seconds and top out at around 280km/h.
And, in a slice of marketing genius, it also bills itself as ‘the only sport in the world that lets fans impact the outcome of the race.’
Fans are allowed to vote for your favourite driver. This ‘FANBOOST’ gives them the chance to give some extra juice to their preferred racer. Your vote can advertently affect the final result. It’s a concept that perhaps Lewis Hamilton wouldn’t entirely benefit from.
Mercedes boss Toto Wolff has described it as "Super Mario Kart with real drivers".
The new deal will no doubt produce even greater interest but also fundamentally, awareness of our effect on the planet.
"Now we can say we have done it” said Agag, “But it is only the beginning of a new chapter under the banner of the ABB FIA Formula E World Championship.”
If you can’t wait until next November, there’s the rest of the 2019/20 season to watch. You non-petrol heads don’t have to wait long until the next race of the season, which screeches its way only the circuit in Santiago, Chile on January 18. This follows the initial two races in Diriyah in November. Both events so far have been won by Brits - Sam Bird racing for Envision Virgin Racing, and Alexander Sims for BMW i Andretti Motorsport.
Formula E debuted officially back in 2014 in Beijing, with the first championship won by former F1 champion Nelson Piquet Jr. Last year, the Frenchman Jean-Éric Vergne became the first driver to defend his FIA Formula E title.
Get plugged in to Formula E. It’s electric.