It’s been a busy week for the FIA’s all-electric race series, Formula E. Having announced that over 180 cities are vying for a place on the calendar for 2015/16 and beyond, Formula E CEO Alejandro Agag has now declared his desire for an all-electric feeder series.
The inaugural Formula E series has attracted a number of ex-F1 drivers, which has certainly aided the profile of the sport, but Mr Agag wants to ensure that it is seen as a separate lineage to Formula 1 in supporting technology and driver development.
Speaking to Formula E Zone, Mr Agag commented: “Formula E is not in the same ladder that helps drivers get into Formula One, as the style is totally different. At the moment, Formula E is at the top of our pyramid, but there is nothing behind us at the moment, but there will be one day. We already have electric go karts and there will be a racing series behind Formula E that will be fully electric.”
Such a system would offer younger drivers an alternative route to the top, building on the likes of GP3, F4 and Indy Lights, particularly as the series is much less expensive to race in.
Developing talent and tech
Formula E is currently supported by the FE Schools Series, which is one of the most intelligent marketing and sporting decisions made in motorsport. Children from local schools are given kits to develop their own electric cars, teach essential engineering skills and raising greater awareness of the benefits of electric vehicles with the next generation of motorists.
For that reason, I hope FE Schools Series will remain as a support race for years to come.
That said, an all-electric support series would pay dividends in progressing the technology that will inform electric road cars in the coming decades. More cars running powertrain and batteries would lead to quicker insight into development opportunities, assuming the feeder series would run similar specifications.
Whatever the outcome, Formula E has a very bright and exciting future.